Why measure governance


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With the help of this powerpoint presentation, at the Workshop on Governance Assessment Methods and Applications of Governance Data in Policy-Making (June 2009), Ken Mease argued that governance assessments can be 1) a reporting tool that can track and communicate progress towards goals and/or outcomes; 2) a policy tool that can guide evidence-based planning and action to address issues identified as important by citizens and in existing political commitments, and finally 3) a tool that can strengthen democracy by engaging stakeholders through informed discussions.

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  • Module 1 - Introduction to the Programme
  • Module 1 - Introduction to the Programme
  • Why measure governance

    1. 1. Why Measure Governance? Dr Ken Mease University of Florida Cairo, June 2009 United Nations Development Programme
    2. 2. Three general purposes for measuring governance <ul><li>It is a reporting tool that can track and communicate progress towards goals and/or outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>It helps build and strengthen democracy by engaging stakeholders through informed discussions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why measure Governance? <ul><li>Foster inclusive participation, strengthen accountable and responsive governing institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Consolidate and deepen democracy - free and fair elections must go with efforts to ensure that all people have the opportunity to participate in the decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Local, regional and national governments need the capacity and resources to deliver effective policies and manage the public services that citizens need </li></ul><ul><li>Governance needs to be grounded in the principles of human rights, transparency, honesty, gender equality </li></ul>
    4. 4. Why Measure Governance? <ul><li>Good governance promotes the rule of law, the transparency of institutions, officials, and transactions </li></ul><ul><li>It increases the chances that the poorest and most vulnerable can directly influence political decision-making, particularly the allocation of development resources. </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
    5. 5. Defining Governance <ul><li>Governance has been defined by many and adapted for different uses and agendas. </li></ul><ul><li>The term of governance derives from Latin origins that suggest the notion of 'steering‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Some definitions are broad encompassing governance, democracy and human rights issues, while other are quite narrow focusing on a single issues, such as corruption </li></ul>
    6. 6. A Definition <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Hyden, Court and Mease 2004 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Widely held Principles of Governance <ul><li>Participation : involvement and ownership by stakeholders – CSOs, Citizens, Parliament, Private Sector, Vulnerable Groups, Government </li></ul><ul><li>Fairness : rules apply equally to everyone in society </li></ul><ul><li>Decency: rules are implemented without harming people </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability : political actors are responsible for actions </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency: clarity and openness of decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency: use of limited resources for greatest outputs. Hyden, Court and Mease 2004 </li></ul>
    8. 8. Placing Governance in Context Level_______ Activity_________ Concept Meta Politics Governance Macro Policy Policymaking Meso Program Administration Micro Project Management Hyden, Court and Mease, 2004
    9. 9. Governance Assessments – Growing Importance - Agenda Driven <ul><li>  For the past 15 years, governance has become a key concept in the debates surrounding international development. </li></ul><ul><li>Governance assessments vary according to the interests, needs and culture of the assessor. </li></ul><ul><li>Good governance is critical for a viable democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment are used to pressure and reward governments– a carrot and stick approach </li></ul><ul><li>There is a belief that getting the politics right is the key to development </li></ul>
    10. 10. A Donor Dominated Assessment Process <ul><li>Until recently, governance assessments were dominated by bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as other external actors. </li></ul><ul><li>At last year’s meeting of the Organization for Economic and Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) GOVNET group, over 30 different governance assessment tools were identified, with 9 more under development </li></ul>
    11. 11. More Donor tools or a shift to country led initiatives? <ul><li>The OECD debate was lively over the need for more of these tools, </li></ul><ul><li>In the end there was broad agreement on the need to support national efforts to monitor and evaluate governance. </li></ul><ul><li>It appears we are now in a shift from donor dominated External Assessments to stakeholder dominated Internal Monitoring, Evaluation and Evidence Based Policymaking </li></ul>
    12. 12. Governance Assessments – A shift to Country-led Assessments (CLAs) <ul><li>After years of trying to make changes from the outside, donors are now hoping that country-led efforts are better situated to improve democratic governance. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>A shift from donors pointing fingers to self reflection by in-country stakeholders </li></ul>
    13. 13. A move to support Country-led Assessments <ul><li>Several donors have stepped forward in efforts to support country-led efforts. Here are some who participated in the early country led efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UNDP Oslo Governance Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>InWEnt - capacity building international </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GTZ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DFID </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USAID </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OECD GOVNET (governance) Group </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. What External Assessments Lack <ul><li>They do not often point to national and sub- national level institutions or institutional arrangements. </li></ul><ul><li>They also often lack national ownership and stakeholder engagement in the assessment process. </li></ul><ul><li>They tend to offer aggregate results that fail to capture complexities and nuances of governance issues </li></ul><ul><li>They often overlook the perceptions of governance issues that impact marginalized groups in society, such as the poor and women. </li></ul>
    15. 15. In-Country demand for M&E Governance <ul><li>Government and non-government stakeholders in some countries are integrating governance into national development plans. Example – Zambia, Palestine and Indonesia </li></ul><ul><li>Civil society is demanding better information in order to hold governments accountable. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a desire for more ownership of the indicators and the areas examined </li></ul>
    16. 16. Good Governance and Democracy <ul><li>Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of governance will enhance the quality and strength of democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Broad participation of government and non-government stakeholders will lead to an increased sense of ownership and responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>CLAs will likely lead to healthy, more informed policy discussions between the government, opposition political parties and CSOs during and in-between elections </li></ul>
    17. 17. Good Governance and Policy <ul><li>Understanding how governance works in specific areas of government citizen interaction will lead to reform and better policy to help meet the MDGs. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence based policy making and evaluation will strengthen democratic institutions and increase the depth of democracy in the country </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    18. 18. What is Ownership? <ul><li>There is much talk of nationally owned indicators </li></ul><ul><li>What exactly does this mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it mean that every country or region in a country should develop their own unique indictors? </li></ul><ul><li>National ownership for me is more about the stakeholder deciding which indicators to use, more than it is about developing new indicators </li></ul>
    19. 19. Ownership <ul><li>Developing new indicators requires skill, testing, time and resources – financial and human </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the governance issue, many well tested indicators are available </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping indicators the same, as much as possible, across regions allows for comparison </li></ul>
    20. 20. What Country-led Assessments (CLAs) are doing <ul><li>CLAs are quite different that external assessments. </li></ul><ul><li>Some focus mostly on public sector corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Other on service delivery –health, education, water, electricity, telephone, waste removal, and sanitation </li></ul><ul><li>Access to justice, elections </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s rights, the poor and other groups </li></ul><ul><li>At the national and sub-national levels </li></ul>
    21. 21. Topics that Country-led Approaches Might Monitor and Evaluate <ul><li>The Broad National Governance Situation </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>executive </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>judicial </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>legislature </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>private sector </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>civil society </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>bureaucracy </li></ul></ul></ul>
    22. 22. More Specific Examples of Topics for CLAs <ul><li>Access to Justice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Victims rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prisoners rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial process – length of time, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Violence against women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Child abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Elections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Registration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voting Procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MDGs </li></ul>
    23. 23. Governance M&E priorities from Zambia’s 5 th National Development Plan <ul><ul><li>Access to Justice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring and evaluation </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Zambia’s Governance Interests <ul><li>Public perceptions of the role of the public in the policy making process </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting the MDGs and Poverty Reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption perceptions & abuse of public office </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Human Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Violence against women </li></ul><ul><li>Child abuse </li></ul>
    25. 25. CLAs - key ingredients <ul><li>A participatory approach to assessing democratic governance that mirrors the principles of democratic governance – Transparency, participation, accountability, fairness, efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    26. 26. CLAs – key ingredients <ul><li>Strive to reduce political biases in the assessment results </li></ul><ul><li>It is critical that the process of indicator selection is seen as legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>One approach is through broad-based participation that includes both government and non-government stakeholders from the initial planning to release of the results. </li></ul>
    27. 27. The Challenges of Country-led Initiatives <ul><li>Conducting a CLA of democratic governance is potentially fraught with politics </li></ul><ul><li>Even in the North, such topics can be very sensitive. </li></ul><ul><li>Country-led efforts can, and in some cases will, be unduly influenced by those in power to set the agenda and manipulate the results </li></ul><ul><li>External actors, primarily donors, also have political agendas and often wield considerable power. </li></ul>
    28. 28. What Country-led efforts can provide <ul><li>Nationally owned systems provide upward internal rather than external pressure for reform </li></ul><ul><li>They provide a catalyst for greater citizen engagement in democratic processes </li></ul><ul><li>They examine areas not found in most external assessments such as the sub-national level, service delivery and vulnerable groups </li></ul><ul><li>The provide valuable information and experience to help empower Civil Society Organizations </li></ul>
    29. 29. What Country-led efforts can provide <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>They can generate valuable feedback to government and citizens on how people feel about various issues and identify priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Help meet the MDGs </li></ul>
    30. 30. Best Practices for CLAs <ul><li>They must be conducted in a professional manner if they are to be viewed as legitimate. </li></ul><ul><li>The professionalism and objectivity of those participating must be beyond question or reproach. </li></ul><ul><li>There must be government and non- government stakeholders involved in the process from beginning to the end </li></ul>
    31. 31. Best Practices for CLAs <ul><li>Moreover, these assessments should to take issues into account such as gender, ethnicity, region, the poor and different political viewpoints </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, the key to achieving these goals rests in practicing the principles of governance – especially participation, accountability and transparency </li></ul>
    32. 32. Final Thoughts <ul><li>CLAs can provide valuable insights into exiting government programs and policies, such as those aimed at meeting the MDGs </li></ul><ul><li>They can inform new policy and help evaluate existing policies at the national and sub-national level </li></ul><ul><li>The process and the results can encourage participation and dialogue between the citizens, civil society, the private sector and the government </li></ul>