The concept of “governance” is as old as ancient civilization.  In simple term, “governance” means the process of decision-making and the process in which decisions are implemented. Good governance is generally characterized by; participation, transparency, responsiveness, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency, equity and inclusiveness and obeys the rule of law, all these remain requisite for a nation’s development. This is because they provide the basis for ‘good’ policy development and implementation and emphasizes the strategies for economic, Social and political development and growth as well as enhance efficient management of a nations resources.

Participation:  The participation and involvement of citizens in the process of governance is key to achieving good governance.  This provide citizens’ the opportunity to influence, monitor and evaluate public decisions, processes, and actions.  Citizens can either participate directly or indirectly through their elected representatives.

Transparency:  Transparency provides free and accessible information to citizens, thereby enabling the citizen to access enough governmental information regarding various projects, policies and their implementation in simple and understandable forms/media to enable citizens to understand and monitor government activities.

Responsiveness: Good governance motivates interrelationships between the government and its citizens. It requires institutions and processes to serve the people within a given period.

Accountability: In attaining good governance, accountability is key in both the public and private sectors. All those in the seat of governance are accountable to those who will be affected by their decisions, actions and inactions. Good governance depends on how accountable the government, as well as private sectors and civil society organizations are to their institutional stakeholders.  However, without transparency and the rule of law, accountability cannot be achieved.

Effectiveness and Efficiency: Effectiveness and efficiency ensure that institutions produce results that meet the needs of the society while utilizing available resources for the establishment of sustainable development.

Equity and Inclusiveness: To achieve good governance an equitable and just society must be established. Good governance creates a society where all citizens have equal opportunities and are not excluded from the mainstream of governance. It acknowledges the fact that all citizens have a stake in governance.

Rule of law: Good governance needs fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. The rule of law helps protect citizens particularly the vulnerable and marginalized. The independent judicial system is impartial and incorruptible. 

Why Promote Good Governance?

To achieve sustainable development, it is important to have good governance. Bad governance is regarded as one of the root causes of all evil and a vehicle for all social vices within a society.   Without good governance, a state or nation will experience a lack of stable economic growth, social and political development.

Good governance is a catalyze for economic investment, productivity, and even distribution, and consumption of resources. Also, society is bound to experience social development when there is good governance.  The result of development ensures all citizens irrespective of class, religion, gender or age enjoy the basis of fairness.  If there is a lack of fair distribution of wealth among citizens, there will be an increase in social discontent.  Additionally, good governance promotes economic, and social development as well as relies on political development and evolution.  The success of a society depends solemnly on the political leadership and adherence to the rule of law.

In conclusion, good governance promotes human and capital development. It protects the interest of the people economically, socially and politically irrespective of gender, religion and ethnicity.  A nation with good governance exhibits characteristics such as; Participation, Transparency, Responsiveness, Equity and Inclusiveness, Effectiveness and Efficiency, Accountability and Rule of Law. Finally, to ensure sustainable development, a deliberate effort must be taken to work towards achieving good governance. 



Narzary, M. (2015). Concept of Good Governance. In S. Mangla (Ed), Citizenship and Governance (pp. 17-45). New Delhi: Kaveri Books. 










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