What are the features of good governance?

Good Governance insist on removal of corruption, voices for the minorities, participation of most vulnerable in decision-making and responsive to the present and future needs of society.

1. Participation

Inequalities and discriminations of various kinds like gender, race, caste, creed, place of birth etc are addressed in the good governance by participation of various stakeholders in governance either through direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives. Informed and organized participation is emphasized. It means freedom of association and expression for all to raise their concerns.

2. Rule of Law

Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It entails protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities; impartial enforcement of laws which requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force.

3. Transparency

Transparency suggest three things; firstly, decisions must be taken and enforced in proper legal manner, secondly, the information must be freely available and directly accessible to the affected, and thirdly, complete information in easily understandable forms and media.

4. Responsiveness

It suggests that governance must be responsive to the concerns of all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe.

5. Consensus Oriented

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 needs sensitivity of the administration to the historical, cultural and social contexts of a given society or community. In political term it is called as political pluralism.

6. Equity and Inclusiveness

Good governance must address the issues concerning justice and equity. None in the society should feel side lined or exploited in the process of development. Growth should be inclusive and equitable. Mostly the vulnerable and marginalized must share the fruits of the development and must have opportunities to improve and maintain their well being.

7. Effectiveness and Efficiency

It means that developmental needs of the society must be achieved by the optimum utilization of the resources at their disposal. It further suggests sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.

8. Accountability

Accountability is a key of good governance. Both public and private institutions along with civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders. Transparency and Rule of Law are prerequisites of accountability.

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