Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

Please provide an overview of countries that have implemented national governance policies, extending to natural resources governance or extractive governance as well as political and economic governance. If possible, focus on examples from Africa or Latin America.

Summary

Good governance has repeatedly been identified as crucial to achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth, to making governments accountable to their citizens, and to successfully tackling corruption-related challenges. Most countries in Africa have put forward strategies to reform their governance frameworks, most commonly as part of national development plans, and to a lesser extent as part of anti-corruption strategies or efforts to improve natural resource governance. Significant strides have been made in recent years in designing and implementing governance reforms and in improving the rule of law, access to justice, and citizen participation. Nevertheless, progress has been uneven between countries and challenges remain in several areas: public service delivery, insufficient checks and balances, high levels of corruption and inequality. Additionally, the governance reform programmes often suffer from ineffective coordination, an inability to sustain political will, and a lack of focus on monitoring and evaluation.

Two African countries that have made progress in the delivery of governance reforms are South Africa and Ghana. These countries have put forward comprehensive reform frameworks and have registered initial progress in ensuring citizen engagement, strengthening institutions, fostering open government, countering corruption and improving decentralisation.

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The scope of good governance
  3. Forms of national governance strategies
  4. Success factors for policy design and implementation
  5. Country case studies
  6. References

Main points

  • Good governance provides the tools, processes and structures to make policies more transparent, participatory and accountable.
  • Successful governance reform requires continued leadership, effective coordination and meaningful citizen engagement.
  • A lack of effective cooperation and alignment as well as insufficient monitoring and evaluation can derail many efforts at governance reform.
  • Strides have been made in many African countries, but comprehensive governance reform programmes and effective implementation are still lacking.

Authors

Jennifer Schoeberlein, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Reviewer

Jorum Duri, Transparency International

Date

22/06/2020

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