Participation by both men and women is a key cornerstone of good governance.
Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate
institutions or representatives. It is important to point out that
representative democracy does not necessarily mean that the 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 other hand.
Rule of law
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 and military 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
Good governance requires that institutions and processes try to serve all
people within a reasonable timeframe.
There are several actors and as many view points in a given society. Good
governance requires mediation of the different interests in society to reach
a broad consensus in society on what is in the best interest of the whole
community and how this can be achieved. It also requires a broad and
long-term perspective on what is needed for sustainable human development
and how to achieve the goals of such development. This can only result from
an understanding of the historical, cultural and social contexts of a given
society or community.
Equity and Inclusiveness
A society’s well being 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 well being.
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
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 whom 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.