Insuring the success of governance in a developing country requires the consideration of many factors. This isn’t only the responsibility of just the government institutions. It involves various other institutions and begins with initiation by private sectors and public citizens. Governance in a developing country is a bigger part of a smaller whole, which includes many aspects, ranging from civil and political society, bureaucratic system, economic society and the judiciary system.
Furthermore, developing countries face many challenges that needs to be addressed by the government. The question of illiteracy rate, child mortality rate, education system, post conflict situations, health and well being of the citizens are a few of many issues. Thus, the governance in a developing country, the type of government chosen, and the acts taken forth by the government should be uniquely tailored to the challenges of the country.
According to the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicator project, there are six different indicators for governance in a developing country.
Voice and Accountability
The government needs to provide a platform from which the citizens can voice their concerns. Nepal has introduced HelloSharkhar as a platform to hear citizen’s grievances. Due to the dominance of technologies and the possession of smart phones by majority of the citizens, social medias provide an easy way to voice concerns and also to keep the government officials accountable.
Political stability and absence of Violence
In order for there to be a stable government, there needs to be a consensus in the political system and the division of ideals and acts of violence must cease. This was not the case after Operation Iraqi Freedom. Due to the multiple political factions in Iraq and continuous violence by rebel groups, it was hard to set up a coalition government immediately after the invasion. However, in the context of Nepal, the path to constitution was further advanced by the cease in violence after the Maoist uprising.
The government that is in place must be working with it’s citizens and other branches in order to ensure that it is functioning as planned. It is pointless to have an institution with responsibilities that they are incapable of performing.
This implies that the government is able to put forth a new regulation and then regulate it, while in coordination with public and private sector, as well as having gained compliance of the citizens. Few examples of these in Nepal are the no horn policy and the zebra crossing policy, both implemented within few months of each other. The no horn policy was a success and both citizens and authorities cooperated with this regulation, making Kathmandu valley a more peaceful place, and drivers, more cautious. The zebra crossing policy, however, was a failure because the government officials failed to consider the congestion of the roads and the lack of zebra crossing, in regards to the number of pedestrians.
Rule of Law
Governments in developing countries must be able to provide its citizens with concrete, written rule of laws and make sure that it is being implemented and followed. Without a rule of law, the act of governing will depend on individuals’ morality and perspective. However, consensus on the rule of law will ensure that the citizens and the government are on the same page.
In developing countries, there are lots of risks of officials becoming corrupt by private and public sectors; they seek to promote their own self-interest. However, there must be institutions in place, which will investigate and prosecute corrupt officials and enact tough punishments to prevent further acts from others.
There are several actors that must be in place in order to ensure the success of governance in developing countries. As mentioned before, they are the Civil and Political society, bureaucratic system, economic society and the judiciary society.
Civil societies consists of citizens, linked by common interests, who perform certain activities together, in order to achieve their interests. Examples include, watchdog groups, who monitor government corruption, mismanagement, fraud, and donor influence. Next, advocates, who hear their followers needs and desire then advocate for those specific policies to their partners in the government. Finally, educational institutions, responsible for reproducing knowledge and expanding the participation in the governing process.
Political society, with systems of checks and balances between different branches and a method for cooperation is an important medium of inclusion. There must be democratic contestation, to ensure competitive political participation. Governance quality must be good, to ensure economic coherence, public service effectiveness and to limit corruption. There must also be restraints on executive discretion in order to have separation of power, and party that composes both executives and legislatures.
Effective Bureaucratic System
Finally, there must be an effective bureaucratic system in place so that there is an effective and smooth implementation and communication of policies. The administering laws and the policies passed by the legislature and the parliament must be effectively practiced and implemented by the bureaucratic system so that the desired goals can be achieved to ensure further development. There also needs to be coordination with the education institution in order to produce competent bureaucrats in order to have effective performance. IMD world talent shows that Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium have one of the best performing bureaucratic system in the world, and much of it have to do with competence of the bureaucrats, as well as the education institutions for their knowledge reproduction.
There must presence of effective economic societies that promote job growth, industrial development and widespread involvement. The government must also have laws in place to protect the investments in the public and private sector. These laws will encourage further investments from other countries and multinational cooperation since their assets will be protected. When starting a business, concerns such as permits, credit, paying taxes, cross boarder trading, enforcements of contracts and resolving conflicts may arise. Thus, the need for governmental institutions to hear the grievances of these economic sectors, as well as provide easy solutions to these problems can promote further economic growth in a developing country. Nepal was ranked 107 in the Doing business report for 2017, and if Nepal can fix some of the problems mentioned above, she has the potential to improve in that ranking.
The judiciary system is extremely crucial for governance in a developing country. The judiciary system will ensure that the liberty and freedom, which are promised by law to its citizens, are not being trampled on. It will ensure the transparency of its dealings. The judiciary system will uphold the rule of law, thus being an institution whose sole duty is to promote the laws created by the parliament or the legislature.
Governance in a developing country is very tricky, as seen in the reality of Nepal. Each country has it’s own unique challenges and the policy makers must tailor their decisions to face those challenges. Countries that can provide good governance, that can address various types of grievances and adapt to the demands made by the citizens while continuously trying to improve it’s institutions and address public concerns have very good chances of succeeding. Countries with corruption, lack of watchdog groups, bad infrastructure, lack of healthcare and education system and the lack of motivation and desire to improve the lives of it’s citizens have a very low chance of succeeding. To tackle these problems, developing countries must seek assistance from institutions such as United Nations, World Bank and regional organizations. Furthermore, the academics of the developing countries must also play a vital and crucial role, as they are the ones with the most knowledge in their respective field. The academics should work with policy makers and government officials, as needed, and cooperate to come up with the most effective and sound plan to ensure the success of governance in a developing country.
Mr. Rupak Aryal is pursuing his masters in International Relations and Diplomacy in Tribhuvan University