Meaning of Good Governance

Governance can be viewed both in positive and negative terms (1) Good governance and (2) Poor governance. Good governance means an ideal governing system that is inevitable for political, economic, social and cultural development of a country. It is the ideal orientation of a state that works best to achieve self-reliance, sustainable development and social justice.

According to V.K. Chopra, good governance is, "a system of governance that is able to unambiguously identify the basic values of the society where values are economic, political and socio-culture issues including human rights, and pursue these values through an accountable and honest administration."


Features of Good Governance

Good Governance consists of 8 major characteristics. These are:

1. Participation, 2. Rule of Law, 3.Transparency, 4. Consensus, 5. Equity and Inclusiveness, 6. Effectiveness and Efficiency, 7. Responsiveness and 8. Accountability. These criteria assure that:

*     Corruption is minimized

*     The views of minorities are taken into account

*     The voice of the most vulnerable in society is heard in decision making

*    It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.

 PARTICIPATION

*     A key cornerstone of good governance is participation by both men and women.

*     Participation needs to be informed and organized.

*     Involving all groups of stakeholders and taking into due consideration their opinions.

*     It could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives.

RULE OF LAW

*    Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially

*    Most important point is full protection of human rights particularly those of minorities

*    Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force.

TRANSPARENCY

*    It means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations

*    Information flow must be free and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement.

*    Enough information is provided and that are provided in easily understandable forms and media.

RESPONSIVENESS

*    Good governance requires that institutions and process try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe.

CONSENSUS

*    It requires a broad and long-term perspective on what is needed for sustainable human development and how to achieve the goals of such development.

*    Good governance requires mediation of different interests to reach a broad consensus in society on what is in the best interest of the whole community and how this can be achieved.

EQUITY AND INCLUSIVENESS

*       It must ensure that society's all members feel that they all have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society.

*       This requires all groups but especially the most vulnerable in society should have opportunity to improve or maintain their wellbeing.

EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY

*    This meets the needs of society by efficient process and institutions produce result while making the best use of resources at their disposal.

*    Efficiency also covers the protection of environment and sustainable use of natural resources.

ACCOUNTABILITY

*   Government institutions as well as private sectors must be accountable to the public about their respective acts.

*   Organizations and institutions have to be concerned about those who will be affected by their decisions or actions.

*   Accountability has to be imposed on every steps of society.