By Ter Manyang Gatwech, Kampala, Uganda,
September 10, 2014 (Nyamilependia) — 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 decision making made and the formal and informal structures that have been set in place to arrive at and implement the decisions.
Government is one of the actors in governance. Other actors involved in governance very 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. 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 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 in the Government of South Sudan(GoSS).
What are the characteristics of good governance to be followed?
Participation by both men and women is a key cornerstone of good governance. Participation could be either direct or through legitimate institutions or representatives. It is important to point out that representative democracy does not necessarily mean that concerns of the most vulnerable in society would be taken into consideration in decision making. Participation needs to be informed and organized. This means freedom of association and expression on the one hand and an organized civil society on the
2. Rule of law
Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires 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 means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations. It also means that information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement. It also means that enough information is provided and that it is provided in easily understandable forms and media.
Accountability is a key requirement of good governance. Not only governmental institutions but also the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. Who is accountable to who varies depending on whether decisions or actions taken are internal or external to an organization or institution. In general an organization or an institution is accountable to those who will be affected by its decisions or actions. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law.
5. Equity and inclusiveness
A society ‘s wellbeing depends on ensuring that all its members feel that they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. This requires all groups, but particularly the most vulnerable, have opportunities to improve or maintain their wellbeing.
6. Effectiveness and efficiency
Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. The concept of efficiency in the context of good governance also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
From the above discussions it should be clear that good governance is an ideal which is difficult to achieve in its totality. Very few countries and societies have come close to achieving good governance in it totality. However, to ensure sustainable human development, actions must be taken to work towards this ideal with the aim of making it a reality.
By Ter Manyang Gatwech, a finalist student of Cavendish University Uganda, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Public Administration and Management. A chairman of Gawaar Community in Uganda. He can be reach through email address; email@example.com Tel: +256774755763+256715655663.