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Why Measure Governance?


United Nations Development Programme ... There is a desire for more ownership of the indicators and the areas examined Good Governance and Democracy Understanding ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Why Measure Governance?

Why Measure Governance?
  • Dr Ken Mease
  • University of Florida
  • Cairo, June 2009

United Nations Development Programme
Three general purposes for measuring governance
  • It is a reporting tool that can track and
    communicate progress towards goals and/or
  • It is a policy tool that can guide evidence-based
    planning and action to address issues identified
    as important by citizens and in existing
    political commitments
  • It helps build and strengthen democracy by
    engaging stakeholders through informed

Why measure Governance?
  • Foster inclusive participation, strengthen
    accountable and responsive governing institutions
  • Consolidate and deepen democracy - free and fair
    elections must go with efforts to ensure that all
    people have the opportunity to participate in the
  • Local, regional and national governments need
    the capacity and resources to deliver effective
    policies and manage the public services that
    citizens need
  • Governance needs to be grounded in the principles
    of human rights, transparency, honesty, gender

Why Measure Governance?
  • Good governance promotes the rule of law, the
    transparency of institutions, officials, and
  • It increases the chances that the poorest and
    most vulnerable can directly influence political
    decision-making, particularly the allocation of
    development resources.
  • Success depends on public participation to ensure
    that political, social and economic priorities
    are based on a broad societal consensus. CSOs
    need to be full partners in the process and not
    just finger pointers

Defining Governance
  • Governance has been defined by many and adapted
    for different uses and agendas.
  • The term of governance derives from Latin origins
    that suggest the notion of 'steering
  • Some definitions are broad encompassing
    governance, democracy and human rights issues,
    while other are quite narrow focusing on a single
    issues, such as corruption

A Definition
  • Governance refers to the formation and
    stewardship of the formal and informal rules that
    regulate the public realm, the arena in which
    state, as well as economic and societal actors,
    interact to make decisions.
  • Hyden, Court and Mease 2004

Widely held Principles of Governance
  • Participation involvement and ownership by
    stakeholders CSOs, Citizens, Parliament,
    Private Sector, Vulnerable Groups, Government
  • Fairness rules apply equally to everyone in
  • Decency rules are implemented without harming
  • Accountability political actors are responsible
    for actions
  • Transparency clarity and openness of
  • Efficiency use of limited resources for greatest
    outputs. Hyden, Court and Mease 2004

Placing Governance in Context
Level_______ Activity_________
Concept Meta Politics
Governance Macro
Policy Policymaking Meso
Administration Micro Project
Management Hyden, Court and
Mease, 2004
Governance Assessments Growing Importance -
Agenda Driven
  •  For the past 15 years, governance has become a
    key concept in the debates surrounding
    international development.
  • Governance assessments vary according to the
    interests, needs and culture of the assessor.
  • Good governance is critical for a viable
  • Assessment are used to pressure and reward
    governments a carrot and stick approach
  • There is a belief that getting the politics right
    is the key to development

A Donor Dominated Assessment Process
  • Until recently, governance assessments were
    dominated by bilateral and multilateral donors,
    as well as other external actors.
  • At last years meeting of the Organization for
    Economic and Co-operation and Developments
    (OECD) GOVNET group, over 30 different governance
    assessment tools were identified, with 9 more
    under development

More Donor tools or a shift to country led
  • The OECD debate was lively over the need for more
    of these tools,
  • In the end there was broad agreement on the need
    to support national efforts to monitor and
    evaluate governance.
  • It appears we are now in a shift from donor
    dominated External Assessments to stakeholder
    dominated Internal Monitoring, Evaluation and
    Evidence Based Policymaking

Governance Assessments A shift to Country-led
Assessments (CLAs)
  • After years of trying to make changes from the
    outside, donors are now hoping that country-led
    efforts are better situated to improve democratic
  • There is good reason to believe that when
    assessments form part of the national actors
    agenda, instead of that of external actors,
    assessment results are more likely to lead to
    real change.
  • A shift from donors pointing fingers to self
    reflection by in-country stakeholders

A move to support Country-led Assessments
  • Several donors have stepped forward in efforts to
    support country-led efforts. Here are some who
    participated in the early country led efforts
  • UNDP Oslo Governance Center
  • InWEnt - capacity building international
  • GTZ
  • DFID
  • OECD GOVNET (governance) Group

What External Assessments Lack
  • They do not often point to national and sub-
    national level institutions or institutional
  • They also often lack national ownership and
    stakeholder engagement in the assessment process.
  • They tend to offer aggregate results that fail to
    capture complexities and nuances of governance
  • They often overlook the perceptions of governance
    issues that impact marginalized groups in
    society, such as the poor and women.

In-Country demand for ME Governance
  • Government and non-government stakeholders in
    some countries are integrating governance into
    national development plans. Example Zambia,
    Palestine and Indonesia
  • Civil society is demanding better information in
    order to hold governments accountable.
  • There is a desire for more ownership of the
    indicators and the areas examined

Good Governance and Democracy
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of
    governance will enhance the quality and strength
    of democracy
  • Broad participation of government and
    non-government stakeholders will lead to an
    increased sense of ownership and responsibility.
  • CLAs will likely lead to healthy, more informed
    policy discussions between the government,
    opposition political parties and CSOs during and
    in-between elections

Good Governance and Policy
  • Understanding how governance works in specific
    areas of government citizen interaction will lead
    to reform and better policy to help meet the
  • Evidence based policy making and evaluation will
    strengthen democratic institutions and increase
    the depth of democracy in the country
  • It involves monitoring and evaluating governance
    issues across the wide range of critical areas
    where the government and citizens interact - at
    the national and sub- national levels.

What is Ownership?
  • There is much talk of nationally owned indicators
  • What exactly does this mean?
  • Does it mean that every country or region in a
    country should develop their own unique
  • National ownership for me is more about the
    stakeholder deciding which indicators to use,
    more than it is about developing new indicators

  • Developing new indicators requires skill,
    testing, time and resources financial and
  • Depending on the governance issue, many well
    tested indicators are available
  • Keeping indicators the same, as much as possible,
    across regions allows for comparison

What Country-led Assessments (CLAs) are doing
  • CLAs are quite different that external
  • Some focus mostly on public sector corruption
  • Other on service delivery health, education,
    water, electricity, telephone, waste removal, and
  • Access to justice, elections
  • Womens rights, the poor and other groups
  • At the national and sub-national levels

Topics that Country-led Approaches Might Monitor
and Evaluate
  • The Broad National Governance Situation
  • executive
  • judicial
  • legislature
  • private sector
  • civil society
  • bureaucracy

More Specific Examples of Topics for CLAs
  • Access to Justice
  • Victims rights
  • Prisoners rights
  • Trial process length of time, etc
  • Violence against women
  • Child abuse
  • Elections
  • Registration
  • Voting Procedures
  • MDGs

Governance ME priorities from Zambias 5th
National Development Plan
  • Access to Justice
  • Human Rights
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Zambias Governance Interests
  • Public perceptions of the role of the public in
    the policy making process
  • Meeting the MDGs and Poverty Reduction
  • Corruption perceptions abuse of public office
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Human Rights
  • Violence against women
  • Child abuse

CLAs - key ingredients
  • A participatory approach to assessing democratic
    governance that mirrors the principles of
    democratic governance Transparency,
    participation, accountability, fairness,
  • The process and the results must be able to stand
    public scrutiny, include the voices of the poor
    and women, be representative of the populace and
    be accountable to the citizenry.

CLAs key ingredients
  • Strive to reduce political biases in the
    assessment results
  • It is critical that the process of indicator
    selection is seen as legitimate
  • One approach is through broad-based participation
    that includes both government and non-government
    stakeholders from the initial planning to release
    of the results.

The Challenges of Country-led Initiatives
  • Conducting a CLA of democratic governance is
    potentially fraught with politics
  • Even in the North, such topics can be very
  • Country-led efforts can, and in some cases will,
    be unduly influenced by those in power to set the
    agenda and manipulate the results
  • External actors, primarily donors, also have
    political agendas and often wield considerable

What Country-led efforts can provide
  • Nationally owned systems provide upward internal
    rather than external pressure for reform
  • They provide a catalyst for greater citizen
    engagement in democratic processes
  • They examine areas not found in most external
    assessments such as the sub-national level,
    service delivery and vulnerable groups
  • The provide valuable information and experience
    to help empower Civil Society Organizations

What Country-led efforts can provide
  • These efforts may well lead to better governance,
    policy design and outcomes at the local and
    national levels if the assessment efforts
    themselves use solid research methodologies
  • They can generate valuable feedback to government
    and citizens on how people feel about various
    issues and identify priorities
  • Help meet the MDGs

Best Practices for CLAs
  • They must be conducted in a professional manner
    if they are to be viewed as legitimate.
  • The professionalism and objectivity of those
    participating must be beyond question or
  • There must be government and non- government
    stakeholders involved in the process from
    beginning to the end

Best Practices for CLAs
  • Moreover, these assessments should to take issues
    into account such as gender, ethnicity, region,
    the poor and different political viewpoints
  • Finally, the key to achieving these goals rests
    in practicing the principles of governance
    especially participation, accountability and

Final Thoughts
  • CLAs can provide valuable insights into exiting
    government programs and policies, such as those
    aimed at meeting the MDGs
  • They can inform new policy and help evaluate
    existing policies at the national and
    sub-national level
  • The process and the results can encourage
    participation and dialogue between the citizens,
    civil society, the private sector and the
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