What is Good Governance?
Let’s get our definitions straight. I prefer the definition provided by the World Bank. As defined by the World Bank – Good Governance is the government’s ability to:
1) Ensure political transparency and voice for all citizens,
2) Provide efficient and effective public services,
3) Promote the health and well-being of its citizens, and
4) Create a favorable climate for stable economic growth.
These four items in the list are considered key drivers or components that make up good governance.
Wikipedia further states:
Good governance is an indeterminate term used in development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in order to guarantee the realization of human rights. Governance describes “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)”. The term governance can apply to corporate, international, national, local governance  or to the interactions between other sectors of society.
The concept of “good governance” often emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or political bodies with viable economies and political bodies. Because the most “successful” governments in the contemporary world are liberal democratic states concentrated in Europe and the Americas, those countries’ institutions often set the standards by which to compare other states’ institutions. Because the term good governance can be focused on any one form of governance, aid organizations and the authorities of developed countries often will focus the meaning of good governance to a set of requirement that conform to the organizations agenda, making “good governance” imply many different things in many different contexts.
The United Nations emphasizes reform through human development and political institution reform. According to the UN, good governance has eight characteristics. Good governance is:
* Consensus Oriented
* Following the Rule of Law
* Effective and Efficient
* Equitable and Inclusive
The UNESCAP elaborates:
WHAT IS GOOD GOVERNANCE?Recently the terms “governance” and “good governance” are being increasingly used in development literature. Bad governance is being increasingly regarded as one of the root causes of all evil within our societies. Major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that reforms that ensure “good governance” are undertaken.
This article tries to explain, as simply as possible, what “governance” and “good governance” means.
The concept of “governance” is not new. It is as old as human civilization. Simply put “governance” means: the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance.
Since governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented, an analysis of governance focuses on the formal and informal actors involved in decision-making and implementing the decisions made and the formal and informal structures that have been set in place to arrive at and implement the decision.
Government is one of the actors in governance. Other actors involved in governance vary depending on the level of government that is under discussion. In rural areas, for example, other actors may include influential land lords, associations of peasant farmers, cooperatives, NGOs, research institutes, religious leaders, finance institutions political parties, the military etc. The situation in urban areas is much more complex. Figure 1 provides the interconnections between actors involved in urban governance. At the national level, in addition to the above actors, media, lobbyists, international donors, multi-national corporations, etc. may play a role in decision-making or in influencing the decision-making process.
All actors other than government and the military are grouped together as part of the “civil society.” In some countries in addition to the civil society, organized crime syndicates also influence decision-making, particularly in urban areas and at the national level.
Similarly formal government structures are one means by which decisions are arrived at and implemented. At the national level, informal decision-making structures, such as “kitchen cabinets” or informal advisors may exist. In urban areas, organized crime syndicates such as the “land Mafia” may influence decision-making. In some rural areas locally powerful families may make or influence decision-making. Such, informal decision-making is often the result of corrupt practices or leads to corrupt practices.
Good governance has 8 major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
Political View Does Not Translate to Good Governance
A moronic piece (and thousands more of pieces like it) through its convoluted logic, would have you believe that Aquino automatically stands for good governance just because he is against Arroyo. Believe you me, suckers fall for this line – hook, line, and sinker. Bumibenta na sa takilya at.. bumibenta ba rin. UNBELIBABOY!
The Aquino camp pulls a fast one by by mangling the definition of good governance and limiting it to being Anti-Arroyo only. With the WB definition as reference, the Aquino camp plays up Item #1- Transparency – BUT does PLAYS DOWN ITEMS 2-Efficient and Effective Services, 3-Health Care, and 4-The Economy!
Here’s how the logic goes:
A- The Arroyo government is synonymous with bad governance.
B – The opposite of bad governance is good governance.
C – Aquino opposes Arroyo (bad governance)
D – Since Aquino opposes Arroyo (bad governance) and B applies, Aquino therefore must stand for good governance.
E – Aquino is synonymous to good governance.
Never mind if these people (behind Noynoy and the Aquino administration) – 2) HAVE NOT PROVIDED efficient and effective public services, 3) HAVE NOT promoted the health and well-being of its citizens, and 4) HAVE NOT create a favorable climate for stable economic growth. Heck, the Aquino Administration wasn’t even transparent and the voice of its citizens wasn’t heard when the CARP was eviscerated.
By the same logic, Gordon, and Villar can stand for good governance – because they are against Arroyo.
There is no proof that an Aquino administration will ensure political transparency and voice for all citizens either.
Supporting Noynoy Aquino are, the personalities behind the former Aquino administration, people who weren’t exactly paragons of good governance. Remember Kamag-anak Inc and Council of Trent? Kamag-anak Inc. was a term concocted by the late columnist Luis Beltran pertaining to the relatives of Cory who were said to be abusing their connection in getting contracts, appropriating for themselves some of Imelda’s jewelry collections, power tripping in sports committees, etc. Beltran also popularized the terms Council of Trent (Cory’s advisers) peninsulares, insulares, etc.
These people HAVE NOT PROVIDED efficient and effective public services, HAVE NOT promoted the health and well-being of its citizens, and 4) HAVE NOT create a favorable climate for stable economic growth.
For short, if these are the people who will benefit from a Noynoy a victory, a Noynoy administration will have all the characteristics of bad governance – inefficient, ineffective, apathetic, protectionist and pro-oligarch.
Just because you are politically opposed to Arroyo, does not mean that you are efficient and effective and able to grow the economy rationally…. NO SIR.