August 19, 2016

Challenges to Good Governance

Nowadays, good governance has been accepted as one of the important keys to transformation from predatory state to developmental state. This being so, the concern for good governance is drawing attraction of the policy makers, political leadership and people at large. The literature are indicating that every nation especially the developing ones are being faced with a few challenges – weak or predatory institutions, lack of participation and democratisation, lack of social capital and corruption etc.
Regarding weak institutions, we can either emphasise the creation of new institutions or sustain the existing ones which serve the interest of participation and development. What counts is to reduce the transactional costs. These costs can be lowered when the institutions are effective. To make the institutions effective, they need empowerment. As democracy means participation, power is to be decentralized. Other than weak institutions and absence of participation and decentralisation, lack of social capital is also a major challenge in the approach of good governance. Social capital is viewed as emerging from the collection of norms, beliefs, attitudes and practices that govern relationship between individuals, and groups in a society. It is worth recalling that it is the social capital that fosters trust in societies, and it is that societies that are marked by trust are industrialised and economically developed. Another important challenge is corruption, which accompanied with favouritism surrounds bureaucratic allocations of investment licenses, import licenses and the awarding of government contracts. Such a corrupt state is a predatory state in which the government machinery is used to serve personal interests. The problem posed is how to create conditions under which a state moves on to become a developmental state in which resources are invested for the good of the society as a whole.
Whatever the case may be, as good governance can mean different things to different nations, it is, therefore, important that the concept of good governance is to be understood in the context of each country and region to find indigenous and pragmatic solutions to its unique problems of governance. Each country should frame each own good governance agenda according to each socio-cultural and economic context.


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