For the last two decades there has been consensus on the centrality of governance to countries’ ability to provide security, prosperity and well-being for their citizens. The promotion of good governance, however, particularly in developing countries, has proven difficult. Difficulties arise from: the failure to understand governance as a system; the imposition of “best practice” solutions without understanding context and user/citizen perspectives; exploitation by leaders and managers of ill-defined decision rights; and the failure to recognize and harness available assets.
The manual explains how it reaches its definition of governance as rules and processes for creating decision rights. It distinguishes between how institutions embody and formalize the rules of the game and how those organizations serve to implement rules in practice. Key elements of governance are analyzed in turn: rules for decision rights; processes for setting objectives and allocating resources to tasks; relationships governing individuals, bodies and networks; and revising mechanisms in light of feedback. The aim is providing policymakers and analysts with an analytic framework to cut across the core state functions, situating detailed sectorial focus within a wider strategic framework. The manual addresses critical aspects for evaluating governance and how to move from evaluation to successful governance implementation.