Friday, 3 May 2013

Governance: Our new theme of the month!

‘Governance is the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development.’ The World Bank

So it’s a new month, and you all know what that means, a new Wikiprogress theme! Over the last period we have focused on Post 2015 and Health and during the next few weeks we will be looking at Governance in relation to progress and well-being. Responsive and answerable institutions are key in contributing to societal well-being. Countries with effective, accountable and transparent governing bodies prosper ‘in a range of dimensions of human development and social cohesion’ (How’s Life Report). This blog is a means of introducing our new theme and highlighting a number of key resources related to governance that we plan to reference in the coming weeks.

OECD’s Better Life Index  - The OECD Better Life Initiative provides a comprehensive understanding of what drives the well-being of people and nations and identifies what needs to be done to achieve greater progress for all. The Index uses eleven dimensions, including Civic Engagement and Governance in an attempt to present accurate, comparable and comprehensive well-being indicators.

According to the report a cohesive society is one where a citizens have a high confidence in their governing institutions and public administration. It seems that more than ever, citizens are demanding greater transparency from their governments. In the United Kingdom for example, the ruling parties are under permanent scrutiny from the country’s media and focus organisations like Transparency International. The Index cites transparency in communication and open access to regulations as promoters of government accountability, resulting in high voter turn out, increased participation in the legislative process and compliance with rules.

4TH OECD World Forum, New Delhi - At the Forum in November last year, the OECD ran a session on Building effective and responsive institutions with the likes of Sue Taylor, the Director of the Social and Progress Reporting of the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Arun Maira, a member of the Planning Commission in the Government of India speaking:

‘If you want to understand well-being ask the citizens. They understand.’ Arun Maira

The discussion identified some of the common characteristics of successful governing institutions including; effective regulatory frameworks, streamlined and efficient public services and tough anti corruption practices. It concluded by emphasizing the necessity of NGOs, civil servants and governments to work collaboratively in an effort to improve the well being of citizens.

ODIPolitics and Governance – The Overseas Development Institute focuses much of its work on governance, providing resources on Democracies in Transition, Justice and Security Sector Reform, Politics and Service Delivery and Applied Political Economy. Since two-thirds of the world’s population now lives in a democracy of some sort, the ODI explores the socio-political and economic factors that shape transition processes in a bid to support hybrid democracies that are vulnerable to backsliding. The organization is currently focusing on elections, the interaction between different dimensions of governance transitions and political voice and accountability in a bid contribute to the post 2015 framework.  

Finally, make sure you check out the Wikiprogress page where all our articles related to the theme are kept. We look forward to bringing you governance related articles over the next month.

The Wikiprogress Team

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