August 19, 2016

Governance cannot be understood in isolation

NOWADAYS, the word governance has become a buzz word, which explains the changing role and rules for the state. For some scholars, governance refers to the retreating of the state’s role and more of a democratic alignment of various other social agencies. For other scholars, governance means the growing need of state action in alliance with various non-state actors and social agencies. Whatever the case may be, definitions of governance by leading institutions like the World Bank, UNDP and OECD are referred to as a process under which power is exercised. Their definitions reflect an understanding of the term that includes the management of social and economic resources and administrative supervision.
It is worth recalling that the concept of governance can never be understood in isolation. In order to enrich ourselves with the meaning of the term, we need to reflect upon the political developments that led to the shift from government to governance in some places. This is why governance is referred to by scholars as a slippery term. It is in vogue in the field of public affairs. Nonetheless, it is worth considering in the context of a specific state and society, as it will not only help improve management but also lead to better understandings of the needs of that particular society.
It would, therefore, not be inappropriate to say that governance is reflective of the fact that the role of the government, which was traditionally believed to be one of control and coercion, has changed. Today, we see a greater role for societal actors in policy consultations, formulations and implementations. The world has recognised that there is a growing need for public participation in fostering the democratic spirit.
In a nutshell, governance has become a very important process that can foster the democratic spirit, accountability, transparency and the improved management of resources.


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