Measuring GovernanceFurther information: Good governance
Over the last decade, several efforts have been conducted in the research and international development community in order to assess and measure the quality of governance of countries all around the world.
Measuring governance is inherently a controversial and political exercise. A distinction is therefore made between external assessments, peer assessments and self-assessments. Examples of external assessments may be donor assessments or comparative indices produced by international non-governmental organisations. An example of a peer assessment may be the African Peer Review Mechanism. Examples of self-assessments may be country-led assessments that can be led by Government, civil society, researchers and/or other stakeholders at the national level.
One of these efforts to create an internationally comparable measure of governance and an example of an external assessment is the Worldwide Governance Indicators project, developed by members of the World Bank and the World Bank Institute. The project reports aggregate and individual indicators for more than 200 countries for six dimensions of governance: voice and accountability, political stability and lack of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, control of corruption. To complement the macro-level cross-country Worldwide Governance Indicators, the World Bank Institute developed the World Bank Governance Surveys, which are a country level governance assessment tools that operate at the micro or sub-national level and use information gathered from a country’s own citizens, business people and public sector workers to diagnose governance vulnerabilities and suggest concrete approaches for fighting corruption.
A new World Governance Index (WGI) has been developed and is open for improvement through public participation. The following domains, in the form of indicators and composite indexes, were selected to achieve the development of the WGI: Peace and Security, Rule of Law, Human Rights and Participation, Sustainable Development, and Human Development.
Additionally, in 2009 the Bertelsmann Foundation published the Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI), which systematically measure the need for reform and the capacity for reform within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The project examines to what extent governments can identify, formulate and implement effective reforms that render a society well-equipped to meet future challenges, and ensure their future viability.
Examples of country-led assessments include the Indonesian Democracy Index, monitoring of the Millennium Development Goal 9 on Human Rights and Democratic Governance in Mongolia and the Gross National Happiness Index in Bhutan.
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