The British Council, Governance and law

Council publications in governance

Good Government exhibition

Contents

Introduction

According to the DFID's Departmental Statement for 1993, the aim of overseas aid is:
'to promote sustainable economic and social development and good government in order to improve the quality of life and reduce poverty, suffering and deprivation.'
Good Government has been a priority for aid donors and international lending agencies since the late 1980s when they first made it explicit that successful economic and social development depends on viable government policies and their effective implementation. Since 1989, various donor agencies, such as the DFID, and International Lending Agencies (ILAs), including the World Bank, have expressed serious concern, not only about the proper use of development funds but also about economic management and human rights in aid-receiving countries. Concern expressed is not only for the use of aid funds but for all the resources available to governments for development.

The terms Good Government, Open and Accountable Government, Good Governance, and Better Government, are all in use by different agencies and are broadly synonymous in the issues they cover. The British Council, following DFID practice, is using the term Governance. Multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank, are generally constrained from pursuing an active interest in the more political elements of Good government and tend to focus on issues of economic competency, proper use of public resources, accountability and transparency. At the same time, however, they recognize the validity of bilateral donors operating in more political areas.

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