Good governance didn’t make it to the Millennium Development Goals when the United Nations established them in 2000, but today, a civil society organization argues there is no reason why fighting against corruption and making public officials accountable should not be included in the post-2015 agenda.
More initiatives and monitoring measures are now in place that can help set the indicators to measure citizen engagement, rule of law, fiscal transparency and public procurement, Transparency International policy manager Craig Fagan tells Devex.
For instance, the World Bank Institute now has a set of indicators for good governance and anti-corruption, which include government effectiveness, rule of law and corruption control, and the World Justice Project has also developed an index that explores the different dimensions of rule of law in 97 countries.
Other initiatives, like the Open Government Partnership, are also helping set standards on transparent and accountable procurement processes.
Good governance sets itself apart from many of the development goals being floated around these days. Foreign aid, for one, can act as a “small part of the picture,” explains Fagan.
Resources can be amped from domestic resources, tax revenue or private sector investments, and the goal goes for both developing and developed nations.
An honest and responsive government was among the top priorities of close to 400,000 citizens around the world who participated in the U.N. My World Survey launched last month. Good governance ranked third out of 16 proposed goals for both female and male voters, and second among people aged 55 years old and above.
“People are calling for this demand. There is no reason why it should not be among the priorities,” Fagan argues.
Corruption has proven to be detrimental to a country’s development and in reducing poverty. Many aid funds meant to boost health care or improve a country’s infrastructure have been suspended because of this so-called “social disease.”
About 30 percent of aid was lost to corruption to 2011, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon estimated during the closing session of the Economic and Social Council High-Level Panel on Accountability and Transparency in July 2012.
“Peace, development nor human rights can flourish in an atmosphere of corruption,” said Ban.
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