About the Chandler Good Government Index:
The Chandler Good Government Index is an annual Index, built by government practitioners, for government practitioners, measuring the capabilities and effectiveness of 104 governments around the world.
- The Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG) is an international non-profit organisation, headquartered in Singapore.
- Each country is measured across over 50 open data points. The index focuses on seven pillars:
- Leadership and foresight.
- Robust laws and policies.
- Strong institutions.
- Financial stewardship.
- Attractive marketplace.
- Global influence and reputation.
- Helping people rise.
- It supports government leaders and public officers worldwide in nation building and strengthening public institutional capacity through training, research and advisory work.
- It also shares tools and frameworks for effective policymaking, and empowers nations to provide better public services for citizens.
Highlights of the 2021 index:
- Seven of the top ten countries are in Europe, but there are four continents represented in the top ten, with Singapore first in Asia, New Zealand leading Oceania, and Canada foremost in the Americas.
- All of the top ten countries are high-income, as defined by the World Bank.
- Finland came tops with 0.848 points ahead of Switzerland and Singapore.
- Venezuela was at the bottom of the log at 104, followed by Zimbabwe at 103 followed by Nigeria at 102.
- The report noted that countries that have done well under this pillar are all market economies with sound property rights and stable business regulations.
- It added that the ability to effectively tackle corruption is the indicator with the strongest correlation with overall good government rankings.
- India ranked 49th, Sri Lanka 74th, Pakistan 90th and Nepal 92nd.
Indian Initiatives for Good Governance:
- Good Governance Index:
- It has been launched by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions to determine the status of governance in the country.
- It assesses the impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
- Good Governance Day:
- It is celebrated annually on 25th December to mark the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- Its aim is to create awareness of accountability in government among the citizens of India.
- National e-Governance Plan:
- It has the vision to “make all government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man.”
- Right to Information Act, 2005:
- It plays an effective role in ensuring transparency in governance.
- Setting up of NITI Aayog, Make in India programme, Lokpal, etc.
What is Governance?
In 1993, the World Bank defined governance as the method through which power is exercised in the management of a country’s political, economic and social resources for development.
In simple words, Governance is the process and institutions through which decisions are made and authority in a country is exercised.
- Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance.
- Thus, governance focuses on the formal and informal actors and institutions involved in decision-making and implementing those decisions.
Government is one of the key actors in governance. Other actors may include political actors and institutions, interest groups, civil society, media, non-governmental and transnational organizations. The other actors involved in governance vary depending on the level of government.
Typically, the stakeholders of governance at national level can be categorised into three broad categories –
- State – includes the different organs of then government (Legislature, Judiciary and Executive) and their instrumentalities, independent accountability mechanisms etc. It also consists of different segments of actors (elected representatives, political executive, bureaucracy/civil servants at different levels etc.)
- Market – includes the private sector – organised as well as unorganised – that includes business firms ranging from large corporate houses to small scale industries/ establishments.
- Civil Society – is the most diverse and typically includes all groups not included in (a) or (b). It includes Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Voluntary Organizations (VOs), media organisations/ associations, trade unions, religious groups, pressure groups etc.
Understanding Good Governance
Governance’ by itself is a neutral term while `Good Governance’ implies positive attributes and values associated with the quality of governance. Good governance is a dynamic concept and there is much subjectivity involved in defining the aspects of good governance.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recognizes eight core characteristics of good governance:
|Participation of all section of society is cornerstone of good governance. Participatory governance provides opportunities for citizens to take part in decision making, implementation and monitoring of government activities.
|Good governance requires mediation of the different interests in society to reach a broad consensus on o what is in the best interest of the whole community and o 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.
|Rule of Law
|Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities and vulnerable sections of the society.
|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 in easily understandable forms 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 media. For example, in India the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been a powerful instrument in the hands of people to ensure transparency in the decision-making process of executive.
|Accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies. The components of accountability are answerability, sanction, redress and system improvement. Accountability cannot be enforced without transparency and the rule of law.
|Good governance requires that institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. Redressal of citizen grievance, citizen orientation, citizen friendliness and timely delivery of services are key component of responsive governance.
|Effective and Efficient
|Good governance means that processes and institutions produce results into the optimum use of resources at their disposal. Thus it also covers the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
|Equitable and Inclusive
|A society’s wellbeing depends on ensuring that all its members feel they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. This requires all groups, particularly the most vulnerable, have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being.
Strategies for good governance
- Reorienting priorities of the state through appropriate investment in human needs
- Provision of social safety nets for the poor and marginalized
- Strengthening state institutions
- Introducing appropriate reforms in the functioning of Parliament and increasing its effectiveness
- Enhancing Civil Services capacity through appropriate reform measures
- Forging new alliances with civil society
- Evolving a new framework for government-business cooperation
Source: The Hindu