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Roshni Menon
on Fri, November 16, 2012 at 10.33 pm

Phase I: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?

Phase I (19 November – 2 December) will reflect on the lessons that have emerged about the role of governance in the achievement and sustainability of the Millennium Development Goals and other international development goals. The overall guiding question of this phase of the e-Discussion is: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?

Specific guiding questions include:

  1. Dimensions of governance: How can multiple dimensions of governance be included in a global development framework? To what extent has governance been reflected in the current MDGs? How has the context of governance—including opportunities and challenges—changed since the MDGs were conceived? How do governance and (in)equality, including gender inequality, affect one another? What lessons have emerged regarding the importance of specific components of governance for the achievement and sustainability of the MDGs and other IADGs? Why is governance relevant for the achievement and sustainability of development priorities? What are experiences at the sub-national, national, regional and global level in this regard?
  2. Feasibility of goals: Would it be desirable or feasible to propose governance goals and targets in specific areas? What are alternative approaches?
  3. Some areas of examination could include:
    • Civic participation that includes the rights of indigenous peoples, minorities, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, migrants (legal or otherwise), amongst others;
    • Capacities of public institutions (including for the administration of justice, democratic participation, and personal security) at national or sub-national level;
    • Global governance (global institutions, mechanisms and instruments); global partnerships and policy coherence at all levels (i.e. in areas such as trade, the environment, justice, etc.)
  4. Role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in governance: What might be the role of ICTs in building institutional capacity? In mobilizing civic participation and empowering individuals and groups around the world?
Please or to post a comment.
Patrick Spearing from
Wed, December 5, 2012 at 01.12 am

My input to the discussion addresses the role of ICTs in building institutional capacity.

The use of ICT in public administration can seem a dry topic compared to such marquee questions as participation, democracy, human rights, integrity and rule of law, but it is essential to talk about it in the context of development priorities for some obvious and not-so-obvious reasons.

First among them naturally is the fact that ICT in the public sector, thoughtfully applied, can bring about orders of magnitude improvements in efficiency that are immediately noted and appreciated by individuals and business interests. The marginal cost of common transactions – such as information retrieval, social benefits payments, application for personal documents and tax filing – is indeed very low once the requisite infrastructure is in place, especially where people are squeezed tightly together.

With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas and some two-thirds projected to be city dwellers by 2050, economies of scale strongly favour the benefit side of the equation in all regions. The implication of this is that judicious management of public sector ICT investment can enable forward-looking governments to redirect significant resources to ensuring the most basic needs of citizens.

Even in high-income countries that are well-advanced in technology, administrative efficiency remains an important concern and compelling argument in financial deliberations. Technology also has a clear multiplier effect both in the overall economy and in the public sector. Government as a platform, for example, with the inherent potential of open data and crowd sourcing, can facilitate innovation and enable co-production of public services at almost no cost once the necessary procedures, safeguards and methods are in place.

But this is only part of the story. Improvements in effectiveness are where the real developmental gains from building ICT capacity in government are to be found. The bottom line is important but it is not a development outcome in the sense of improving quality of life and opportunities available to people and societies. Rather, ICT is an effective tool because it helps government become a better listener and more agile partner in the sustainable development effort. Techniques such as participatory budgeting, mobile voting, data mining and interaction on social media allow the public manager and policy-maker to take the pulse of a constituency and at least try to shape public services that more closely address the needs and aspirations of people.

ICT is also necessary for dealing with increasing complexity, managing engagement and transforming production methods. The quality of health care systems is a case in point. The progressive roll-out of technology – from rural clinics accessing health information to near real-time epidemiological tracking with mobile devices to computer-assisted diagnostics and remote consultation – builds institutional capacity in a way that transforms lives and makes public health noticeably more effective with every step. The same can be said of educational quality, environmental management, transport, water and energy management and a range of other sectors.

One of the less obvious reasons that building institutional capacity through ICT plays a central role in development is that technological advantage concentrates wealth. It is well-known that firms that invest in technology have a competitive advantage over firms that do not. The same is true of governments and countries, with the result that post-2015 efforts to address inequalities between and within countries risk unravelling if technological diffusion is itself uneven. The digital divide refers not only to questions of Internet access and diversity but also to the use of that capacity and knowledge to keep up with the neighbours.

By extension, if people are to interact on an equal footing, their public institutions must also operate on an equal footing with counterparts in other countries. This concern is an ongoing concern in important areas of international public policy-making including, for example in the area of Internet governance, finance and investment, security and trade. Governments that do not have the capacity, enabled by technology, to cooperate and compete as equals undermine prospects for their citizens and put whole societies at a material disadvantage to others.

The corollary of wealth concentration is concentration of influence and the propagation or reinforcement of social divides. Within countries, this can manifest itself in dominance of private over public interests. Across countries this comes out in the transfer of executive functions to high-income areas with the most advanced technology, and a tendency to locate low-return extraction and manufacturing functions in low-technology areas – further weakening the position of the public sector vis-à-vis the private sector due to relatively limited access to ICT investment, infrastructure and skills.

To be sure, traditional forms of engagement are quite possible without ICTs, for example by means of parliamentary representation and elections. Yet, these traditional forms, while valuable for public policy-making, remain at a distance from communities and people. Alone, they are out-of-step with the Information Society, including in countries dependent on low bandwidth mobile networks and other emergent ICT capacity. Technological diffusion, like efficiency, is not a goal in and of itself but an indication of a country’s capacity for social equity generally as well as the ability to deliver on development goals, i.e. to engage and govern effectively in an interconnected world.

Finally, one should recall that that ICT can have a powerful transformative effect on public perceptions of transparency and accountability. Everywhere the call is for honest government and integrity in the public sector as a fundamental characteristic of social well-being. Excuses for excluding citizens from government, from keeping information hidden, ring false in the Internet age where citizens expect to be treated as partners with government just as long-standing social contracts grounded in constitutional law would suggest.

Thus, with so much political uncertainty associated with democratic reform, one should not lose track of the transformative potential of ICTs in the public sector. One of the most important lessons of the information age is that steady march of technology in government will bring us to sustainable development goals more quickly and possibly more effectively than many other governance reforms.

For all these reasons, UNDESA, through DPADM, has been tracking public sector ICT take-up by means of its e-government development index for the past ten years. As a key enabler of governance and pillar of institutional capacity development, diffusion of ICT in government needs to become an integral part of the monitoring framework of a post-2015 development agenda. Without it, we will not be able to deliver on sustainable development goals.

Patrick Spearing, Senior Governance and Public Administration Officer, UNDESA

Anonymous from
Mon, December 3, 2012 at 08.58 pm

UN Women understands democratic governance as the process by which citizens interact with governments. From a gender and human rights perspective, good governance should be measured by how it achieves gender equality and women’s empowerment and advances human rights. Gender-responsive and human rights based governance systems are central for enabling the realization of women’s rights and implementation of gender equality goals including women’s economic empowerment, women’s access to health and education, elimination of violence against women and all other forms of inequality and discrimination experienced by women.

However, most definitions of good governance in the academic and institutional literature do not make explicit reference to gender equality and the assumption is made that governance systems are gender neutral. However citizen interaction with the state is not gender neutral. Governance systems frame the relationship between state and citizens and as such reflect the power dynamics in society. Governance systems often present obstacles to the fulfillment of women’s rights and the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

These obstacles include:

Content of public policy is often not coherent with human rights standards and gender equality goals and does not address structural gender inequality: National development strategies are important policy documents that set out development priorities and identify implementation and financing arrangements as well as performance indicators that constitute the accountability frameworks for government actions. However, public policy as articulated in NDSs, sector and local plans and strategies often do not include a gender analysis of development gaps. Even where such an analysis is incorporated, gender equality priorities are often not taken into account at later stages of policy formulation and implementation. Despite numerous efforts to formulate national action plans for gender equality, and sector gender strategies, these are rarely integrated in national or sector and local plans. And often when they are, they do not factor in priorities and needs of women in all their diversities and contexts.

Implementation of existing policies is ineffective in achieving gender equality outcomes: Persisting gender gaps point to the inadequacy of interventions that address barriers to women’s access and benefit from public services. The UN Report on the MDGs for 2010 and the following two years, showed insufficient progress on gender equality targets (MDG3) and maternal mortality (MDG5) as well as in addressing the issues of equity to achieve the rest of the MDGs. Around 64% of the MDG targets for service-related goals (2, 3, 6 and 7) are ‘off track’. Gender analysis of this underperformance points to women’s lack of resources and freedom to access services, their dual roles as income earners and care-givers, and lack of voice to influence policy making on service delivery and broader development and aid policies (ODI 2010). Responding to those barriers requires responsive institutional systems and capacity, with strong political will to support action and investment, and effective accountability mechanisms that put gender equality at the heart of the aspired goals.

For example, the growing trend in budget reforms that introduces systems for results-based budgeting and facilitates monitoring of the impact of public investments on achievement of results, highlights the critical need for gender analysis and data. The inadequate capacity and unavailability of gender analysis and limited scope of gender related data result in the inability to measure progress towards gender results.

On the other hand, efforts in mainstreaming gender in public administration and international development organizations (including the United Nations) have shown limited impact on transforming organizational mandates, priorities, investments, and performance accountability frameworks. Weak institutional capacity to formulate gender-responsive plans and budgets and to deliver quality services is further exacerbated by the weak positioning and resourcing of institutional units dealing with gender equality. Due to their limited authority and capacity, these units are left out of strategic stages of policy making. What is required is strengthened capacity of national partners on gender analysis, data, and gender responsive planning and budgeting and ensuring that institutional systems and accountability mechanisms are gender-responsive.

Financial resources allocated towards gender equality are inadequate. Public investments in services that contribute to achieving gender equality are considerably low. In addition, public services that target women respond to a limited scope of women’s rights (with primary focus on women’s reproductive health or girls’ education and limited focus on women’s economic rights, security and empowerment - investments that address women’s strategic needs and strengthen demands for accountability). Further public services that address women’s rights are often of poor quality, insufficient and not well targeted at leaving groups of women excluded (e.g. rural women, indigenous women, women living with  HIV, . etc.). Ability of governments or institutions to monitor adequacy of public spending in relation to gender equality remains elusive. Financing for gender equality is not transparent and is difficult to measure. A number of countries and institutions have developed systems or gender markers to track “financing for gender equality”. However, further efforts are needed to ensure an integrated approach for tracking financing for gender equality using a harmonized definition that distinguishes between various types of investments and ensures a substantive contribution towards gender equality goals. Effective financing for gender equality needs to demonstrate evidence of impact of investment in addressing structural barriers to gender equality, and to respond to strategic priorities contributing to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Low levels of participation by women and gender equality advocates (within and outside government) in processes shaping public policy. The legitimacy of any governance system is often determined by the level of engagement with citizens. Structures of governance enhance, or limit, participation and accountability and this is having an impact on effectiveness of interventions to respond to inequalities. Women’s role in political processes – as part of government or civil society – as well as in the private sector- is critical to their ability to fully exercise their rights as active citizens and to contribute to the well-being of society. For women, meaningful engagement requires adequate capacity, inclusive spaces for policy dialogue, transparent and accessible information, and recourse mechanisms. Women’s engagement needs to be opened at all stages of processes of decision-making, from the local level to the national level and in formal and informal spaces. In the context of political processes, this includes participation in civil society processes, access to vote, ability to run for office and institutional support for elected leaders to act effectively.

These conditions are also necessary for the effective engagement of gender advocates in the various policy formulation and implementation stages. Regarding delivery of services, for example, the participation of women, gender equality advocates and women’s organizations in policy analysis and development and in the design of public administration reform processes would ensure that they are more demand driven and more effectively targeted and financed. It is also a critical element of ensuring legitimacy and effectiveness of governance systems.

The paradigm by which we address participation of women in decision-making processes must shift to reflect true gender balance, which is inherent in the concepts of good governance and democracy. This new model also needs to address deeper structural issues that are transversal to all obstacles to gender equality, ranging from the comparison of skills and perspectives correlated to male-dominated leadership models to issues of financing and access to information that hinder the way women can effectively participate. In terms of numbers based on national level participation (national parliaments), the data points out that that we are far from meeting parity. The goal of gender balance in political participation is consistent with the concept of representative democracies and the goals laid out in the 1990s by the ECOSOC resolution (E/RES/1990/15) and the Beijing Platform. These agreements were the basis for the also-elusive target of 30% representation of women in leadership positions, set as a general target for 1995 – more than a decade ago. The Beijing Platform’s interpretation of the ECOSOC resolution was actually a dilution of the original call to action which put the target to “at least 30% by 1995, with a view to achieving equal representation between women and men by the year 2000”. This current model by which we measure women’s participation needs to be reformulated to encompass not only equality in numbers but also the underlying structural and societal barriers to recognizing women as equal to men in decision-making spaces. No development agenda that is forward-thinking can fail to address women’s participation nor can it rely on outdated standards and goals.

The momentum around the review of implementation of the MDGs by 2015 and the development of a new development agenda for post 2015 as well as the follow-up to the Rio+20 conference and its mandate to develop sustainable development goals (SDGs) provides a critical opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of gender responsive and human rights based governance in order to eliminate discrimination and deprivation and increase the role of women in decision-making to achieve sustainable and inclusive human  development .  While it is essential to make clear policy arguments about the centrality of governance related concerns to development, and, within that context, to underline the essential need to combat gender-based discrimination in governance, arguments about policy priorities alone will not be sufficient. The post-2015 framework is likely to reproduce the governance deficit of the MDGs unless compelling and concrete goals, indicators and targets are also proposed.

Key questions UN Women is considering

What aspects of gender responsive governance are most critical to include in the post 2015 framework?

How would gender responsive governance be best reflected at the goal level? Should gender equality advocates, for example, be supporting the creation of a “good governance” goal in addition to a “gender” goal?

How would we measure success in these areas and ensure human rights standards and principles including equality and non-discrimination, participation, accountability, empowerment. .

How can we promote a more forward-thinking paradigm of women and gender advocates’ political participation and engagement in decision-making processes that addresses the ‘quantitative’ (number of women participating) while promoting true gender balance as well as societal support to enable the ‘qualitative’ dimension of citizen participation?

What viable targets and indicators might be proposed for these critical areas?

zafar gondal Law and Development Practitioner from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Mon, November 25, 2013 at 10.17 am

The building blocks for post 2015 are inclusive and well publicised good laws, effective, efficient, adaptive and accountable  institutions and fair, transparenet, inclusive and well publicised processes ad procedures and finally enforcement of laws and processes and procedires. This is minimum requirement for godd governance post 2015. 

Lal Manavado from
Mon, November 25, 2013 at 12.46 pm
Is this a tenable approach?
I have often raised my doubts about the soundness of this approach.. It is comparatively easy to pass splendid laws, even in countries governments are known for their cavalier attitude towards the laws of the land. This is not a theoretical claim, but a description of reality as it is.
It would be puerile to expect 'good laws' to succor the poor, unless there are means of enforcing them fairly. Even in 'mature democracies', this is hardly the case. Disregarding the statistics, if we should consult the public about how they have experienced law enforcement in any country,  vast majority of people would point out how inefficient it is with respect to time, money and other 'resources' needed to make use of the existing laws.
Therefore, law can only play an indirect, and only a limited role in alleviation of poverty. In a previous comment, I have underlined the other undesirable side-effects of a legalistic approach to the problem.
Lal Manavado.

From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: 25 November 2013 11:22
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] zafar gondal Law and Development Practitioner from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland commented on the Discussion "Phase I: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?"

Celine Paramundayil from United States of America
Tue, November 5, 2013 at 06.10 pm

We need just policies not charity! see what the Special Rapporteurs says- The special Rapporteur  on the right to food connects the link between Taxation and hunger. “Weak taxation and deregulation make it possible and profitable for multinationals to exploit farmland in the developing world in ways that undercut and marginalize local small-scale farmers. And the taxes not collected from these companies become the funding shortfalls that prevent Governments in the developing world from financing, owning and implementing the multi-year, multi-sector food security strategies that are proven to reduce hunger," he said

Lal Manavado from
Wed, November 6, 2013 at 07.57 am
Value of policies.
Most countries in the world have lovely policies on paper, which are as relevant to those who live in abject misery as were the policies of Britain and France vis a vis Germany  in 1930-ies with respect to peace.
What we need is appropriate action now, and the political willingness and the ability and skill to undertake  such action immediately.
Lal Manavado.

From: notification@unteamworks.org [mailto:notification@unteamworks.org]
Sent: 05 November 2013 19:21
To: Lal Manavado
Subject: [World We Want 2015] Celine Paramundayil from United States of America commented on the Discussion "Phase I: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?"

Lal Manavado from
Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12.16 pm

The quest for effective governance


There seems to be a general agreement on the difference between a governance and an effective governance. What appears to be needed is a consensus on what may constitute an effective governance, and the form it may take in order to render it holistic and inclusive.


I would like to begin by suggesting that it would be justifiable to change the current meaning of the term 'development' to stand for something individual, i. e., define it as an endeavour to enable every person to be capable of using his or her potential abilities in order to achieve contentment and well being.


One's sense of contentment and well being  depends on the values laid down by the culture to which one subscribes.


However, in view of the current state of our environment, it is imperative that its preservation and regeneration is given a universal value. Many of the so-called indigenous cultures have always done so, while in industrialised ones, it has been depreciated.


Meanwhile, it is generally agreed that a society has a right to its own culture. It is important that governance regardless of its range and scope, should actively uphold this right.


Meanwhile, unlike other living things, the possibility of our living like human beings, depends on our acquiring the ability to do so. Part of this ability represents education, be it informal or formal. The other part involves the possibility of procuring the material tools needed to exercise our abilities. Such tools may range from simple agricultural tools to most sophisticated electronic gear.


Justice at this point involves making available to people education relevant to one's abilities, and access to the requisite tools. It is crucial that this is done with reference to the specific cultural framework involved. Otherwise, it would be an imposition from without.


But other things being equal, learning and application of one's abilities would be possible, if and only if one is healthy, adequately nourished, and secure from other threats to life.


If this view is accepted, the purpose of a government is to ensure that the governed are able to develop their potential abilities with reference to their culture, to maintain their health, to meet their nutritional needs, and to be secure in a manner that does not degrade or destroy the environment.


As cultural value sets are local, a governance should have a local component. Regional similarities among cultures makes it possible for one to develop  a regional governance that would enable a number of governments to cooperate in a manner that would increase their efficiency in providing the services noted above.


Finally, a global governance  would describe what means are to be used to achieve what may be decided on as global objectives by consensus. But, it is crucial that these goals will in no way constitute impositions on a local culture, nor yet be determined by vested interests, be they the local elite or opportunists from without.


Consequences of such a tiered or a hierarchical governance are that the local people will have a greater say in the way they lead their lives, an aim democracy professes to uphold and lessening the 'international pressure' that has often disrupted the lives of many a small communirty.





Daniel Johnson from
Fri, April 12, 2013 at 11.10 pm
  1. I believe that multiple dimensions of governance can be brought into the same framework through the formation of a democratically elected World Parliament. The political systems of most of the world's ostensibly democratic countries have come under the control of business interests that are contrary to interests of their general public, and many are downright hostile to many of the Mellenium Development goals.  
  2. Because of that situation, inequality of every kind is destined to grow, the extremes of economic inequality are growing in every part of the world. Because of this, efforts to reduce the various gender and racial inequalities are met with a certain hostility by working class people of the 'dominant' culture who are still poor, who feel they are being penalized for sharing a skin color with the wealthy elite whose policies have created most of the economic crisis to begin with. In my own country, it seems like every level of government from municipal to provincial to federal is completely indifferent to the average person's standard of living, which is increasingly going down. It used to be one person with a full time job could support a family, now we require 2 people working plus various subsidies in order to get by at near poverty and still be going into debt. I know it's worse in other countries, but when we see empty houses that nobody can afford to buy while people are crowded into apartments there is obviously something seriously wrong with our economic system, especially when we're told that these problems are all considered positive economic signifiers. 
  3. Feasibility of goals: While I think it might be desirable, I don't believe it will be feasible to propose governance goals and targets in specific areas with the current political systems being what they are in almost every part of the world. I believe the best alternative approach would be a World Parliament that could operate above the global economy and above existing national governments in order to ensure that the market system serves broader human interests. If the election system for the World Parliament could be insulated from the kind of campaign-funding related backdoor deals that have come to dominate existing election systems, it could become the ultimate vehicle to bring about mass civic participation in international political affairs. Measures could be taken to encourage participation in the system by indigenous peoples, minorities, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, migrants (legal or otherwise), as well as the poor and working class who are currently relegated to spectator status by the various national political systems. 
  4. Information and communications technologies would be the backbone of the World Parliament system, especially during elections and plebescites. With the right approach, using the internet to it's fullest, every individual in the world would empowered and encouraged to participate.
Claudio Schuftan from
Thu, April 18, 2013 at 04.45 am

Diagnostic correct, prescription unrealistic, Daniel.

Claudio in Ho Chi Minh City

Pricilla Nakyazze from
Sun, April 7, 2013 at 01.51 pm

I would say transparency,equality,democracy and accountability are the means through which good governance can be achieved. So all resources should be channelled to holding service providers accountable and ending all abuse,misuse and corruption.

Louise Haigh from
Tue, April 2, 2013 at 11.34 am

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition (CSRC) was convened by Aviva Investors in September 2011.

The CSRC represents investors with assets under management of approximately US$2 trillion, as well as financial institutions, professional bodies, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders.

It includes organisations as diverse as the ACCA, Global Reporting Initiative, and the Carbon Disclosure Project which acts on behalf of 551 institutional investors, holding US$71 trillion in AUM.

Last year the coalition accompanied the UK Government’s delegation to the Rio+20 conference to advocate a convention on corporate sustainability reporting, encouraging governments to adopt policies that would require large companies to integrate sustainability issues within their annual reports on a report or explain basis.

The outcome of the conference ratified the importance of corporate sustainability reporting; and encouraged governments, industry and other relevant stakeholders to develop models of best practice.

pursue a transformational agenda that aims to integrate economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. Furthermore, we welcome the High Level Panel’s commitment to a vision that fosters sustainable growth with equity, the sustainable and transparent management of natural resources; and the cooperation between governments, private sector and civil society behind a common agenda that addresses local, national and global development challenges.


In this regard, we believe that corporate transparency and accountability should be one of the building blocks underpinning this vision.  The role of the private sector has been recognised as pivotal to achieving the current Millennium Development Goals. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition that businesses’ potential contribution to poverty eradication can be significantly higher than that of international aid.[1] The Post-2015 development agenda should be a catalyst for the realization of this potential and for providing the contours for an enabling environment that fosters sustainable and inclusive business practices and sustainable capital markets that contribute to poverty eradication, green growth and sustainable economies.


Transparency and accountability as a building block for this vision can be delivered through corporate sustainability reporting (the disclosure of a company’s governance, environmental and social performance and impacts). Leading companies around the world already publish sustainability reports on an annual basis  Meanwhile, governments and stock exchanges in both developed and developing countries are designing mandatory policies and incentives to expand the measurement and disclosure of corporate sustainability information. Accordingly, the 2011 UN High-Level Global Sustainability Panel recommended that governments consider making sustainability reporting a compulsory requirements for companies with a market capitalisation of over USD100 million.[2]


By measuring and disclosing governance, environmental and social information, companies can better understand, evaluate and eventually manage their risks- a necessary step towards building sustainable business models around the concept of ‘shared value’. Furthermore, investors are able to allocate capital in a more sustainable way, civil society can engage in constructive dialogue and effective partnership with the private sector, and governments can enable a better level of national sustainable development policy making and programme delivery based on actual information of corporate practices and aspirations on the key dimensions of sustainable development.


We therefore call on the High Level Panel to include corporate transparency and accountability as one of the building blocks underpinning a vision for a Post-2015 development agenda that will respond to the challenges of the 21st Century. We believe that corporate transparency through sustainability reporting and disclosure will enhance the effectiveness of a Post-2015 Development Framework and strengthen the Global Partnerships and coordination between private sector, governments and other development actors including civil society.


[1] Ellis, K. (2010) The Private Sector and Development. Overseas Development Institute Policy Brief http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/docs/5936.pdf

[2] United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability (2012). Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing, New York


Claudio Schuftan from
Tue, April 2, 2013 at 02.29 pm

I want to comment on Louise's closing paragraph:

"We therefore call on the High Level Panel to include corporate transparency and accountability as one of the building blocks underpinning a vision for a Post-2015 development agenda that will respond to the challenges of the 21st Century. We believe that corporate transparency through sustainability reporting and disclosure will enhance the effectiveness of a Post-2015 Development Framework and strengthen the Global Partnerships and coordination between private sector, governments and other development actors including civil society".


Anne L. Budd from
Tue, April 2, 2013 at 06.19 pm
Regarding Claudio's posting.
Accountability is not the same as responsibility and Claudio is right in this regard.  We have mentioned 'corporate governance' many times in this series of discussions going back as far as December 2012.
The global partnerships need to be underpinned by an accountable governance framework and scrutinised not by politicians or stakeholders but the NGOs and grass root organisations.
If we are truly committed to improving our global society we must ensure that inclusivity is on the agenda at all costs and be unwaivering in that commitment. We must stand firm else, we are just recycling what has gone previously, and in the meantime, disabled peoples around the world continue to be disenfranchised. Such a situation cannot be right and we should not accept the status quo.
Discussions are good - actions far better.
Regards, AL Budd, UK

--- On Tue, 2/4/13, notification@unteamworks.org <notification@unteamworks.org> wrote:

From: notification@unteamworks.org <notification@unteamworks.org>
Subject: [World We Want 2015] Claudio Schuftan commented on the Discussion "Phase I: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?"
To: anne.budd1@btinternet.com
Date: Tuesday, 2 April, 2013, 5:27

Deborah King from
Thu, March 28, 2013 at 03.56 pm

Job sharing MPs campaign

Disability Politics UK is campaigning to introduce new laws that would allow two people from the same political party to stand together for election to represent a parliamentary consitutency.

We believe that this would open parliament up to disabled people who might not be able to work full-time for impairment related reasons.This would also help carers - mainly women - get access to politics.

We think this should be adopted by the Unite Nations as a worldwide goal, to enable more disabled people to get access to politics.

For more information see www.disabilitypolitics.org.uk

Anne L. Budd from
Tue, April 2, 2013 at 03.09 pm
Regarding Deborah King's posting
I think this proposal is very progressive and deserves more exposure and profile.
We all need to think more about how we can inject 'inclusivity' in our work.
Congratulations Deborah and I will check out your website.
AL Budd (UK)
Founder, KAAL Network

--- On Tue, 2/4/13, notification@unteamworks.org <notification@unteamworks.org> wrote:

From: notification@unteamworks.org <notification@unteamworks.org>
Subject: [World We Want 2015] Deborah King commented on the Discussion "Phase I: What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?"
To: anne.budd1@btinternet.com
Date: Tuesday, 2 April, 2013, 2:09

Dana Wilkins
Fri, March 15, 2013 at 11.42 am

Dear Colleagues, 

Please forgive my late addition to this forum.

I've attached a delayed but brief position paper from Global Witness on how transparency and accountability can be built into the post-2015 development agenda, whether under a Governance, Inequality, or Conflict goal.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions or comments!



Luke Fuller from
Sun, March 3, 2013 at 05.40 pm

Key considerations of governance in sustainable development include capacilities, accountability, efficiency, and citizen participation. Many of the members commenting here seem to agree that civic participation is critical for good governance, but that can't be limited to national elections and lobbying. very few communities and citizen groups can effectively participate in national-level politics, and national elections are only one mechanism of democratic governance. More frequent and intensive participation in government decisionmaking is necessary to ecnourage governance that is responsive to the distinct needs of communities and marginilized groups, as the United Nations has reecognized time and time again [see Participatory Governance and the Millennium Development Goals].

In order to really achieve this kind of participation, we need look explicitly at local governance. Local participation in political decisionmaking (when the governing body has the discretion and capacity to manage local resources) has been causally linked to a wide array of development goals including improved access to affordable education, increased spending in maternal and child health, improved management of common resources, pro-poor budgeting, etc.

Obviously this requires local government structures to have the authority to make decisions about resource allocation and planning. Political decentralization is fundamental to this process - specifically, devolution of public services, budgeting and political processes to local levels.

I am part of a growing community of practitioners, academics and government leaders focused on this issue. We are developing an index to measure the state of participatory democracy through regional consultations in India, Mexico, Bangladesh, South Africa, etc. The Index is currently based on 5 primary components:

  • Active Citizenry
  • Political Decentralization
  • Administrative Decentralization
  • Fiscal Decentralization; and
  • Planning Capacity

If you are interested in learning more about the Index and the Community of Practice (or joining in on the conversation) I encourage your to visit Community's webpage at http://localdemocracy.net/the-scorecard/

Caroline figueres from
Thu, February 28, 2013 at 09.43 pm

ICTs are ubiquitous in people's lives. If we want an inclusive, participative and just world we should make use of ICTs in a smart way

francesca recanatini from
Thu, February 28, 2013 at 01.15 pm

Dear Roshni and colleagues

please find an input to this extremely intersting and important discussion from the Governance and Public Sector Management of the World Bank.

Looking forward to your thoughts, comments and feedback

Francesca Recanatini

Senior Economist, The World Bank

Vedabhyas Kundu from
Tue, February 26, 2013 at 09.27 am

Promoting Child Participation and bringing them together to develop their capacities to develop critical understanding of grassroots democracy is an important building block of good governance. Here are perspectives from children's councils (shishu Panchayats) in India.  - Vedabhyas

Vedabhyas Kundu from
Tue, February 26, 2013 at 09.27 am

Promoting Child Participation and bringing them together to develop their capacities to develop critical understanding of grassroots democracy is an important building block of good governance. Here are perspectives from children's councils (shishu Panchayats) in India.  - Vedabhyas

Vedabhyas Kundu from
Tue, February 26, 2013 at 09.23 am

Communication literacy which entails critical understanding of various tools of available communication modes and the ability to use these has to be an important feature of today’s knowledge society. At a time when different communication channels are ubiquitous and the increasingly convergent nature of the communication architecture makes an important case in point for the citizenry to be communication literate. A communication literate citizenry only can make optimal use of the available knowledge for sustainable development. In this context, communicaton literacy and a communication literate citizenry are an integral part and building block of good governance. 

Vedabhyas Kundu from
Tue, February 26, 2013 at 09.21 am

Communication literacy which entails critical understanding of various tools of available communication modes and the ability to use these has to be an important feature of today’s knowledge society. At a time when different communication channels are ubiquitous and the increasingly convergent nature of the communication architecture makes an important case in point for the citizenry to be communication literate. A communication literate citizenry only can make optimal use of the available knowledge for sustainable development. In this context, communicaton literacy and a communication literate citizenry are an integral part and building block of good governance. 

Elizabeth Rodríguez from
Tue, February 26, 2013 at 12.17 am

Elizabeth, Lima-Perú

Hola estimado foro! mi opinión al tema en discusión para comenzar.

 ¿Cuáles deberían ser los elementos básicos de gobernabilidad para una agenda post-2015?

  • Las dimensiones de gobernabilidad:  ¿Cómo las múltiples dimensiones de la gobernabilidad se incluirán en un marco de desarrollo global? ¿En qué medida el gobierno ha reflejado en los ODM actuales? ¿Cómo ha cambiado el contexto del gobierno-incluyendo las oportunidades y los retos del Cambio desde que los ODM fueron concebidos? ¿Cómo gobernabilidad y (des) igualdad, incluyendo la desigualdad de género, afectan unos a otros? ¿Qué lecciones han surgido con respecto a la importancia de los componentes específicos de gobernanza para el logro y la sostenibilidad de los ODM y otros ODAI?

    ¿Por qué es la gobernanza relevantes para el logro y la sostenibilidad de las prioridades de desarrollo?

    • Porque se requiere de un órgano que preserve y promueva el equilibrio entre el estado, la sociedad civil y la empresa, actuando de manera comprometida y velando por el bienestar de la comunidad.

       ¿Cuáles son las experiencias a nivel sub-nacional, nacional, regional y mundial a este respecto

Según la región, será el nivel cultural que permita "entendimiento" y mayor participacipación, este es un aspecto importante, si no se comprende lo que se hace o el mensaje, entonces la participación y voluntad de involucrados disminuye.

    • Debe existir un concenso llevado a políticas públicas universales que se unifiquen en programas.

    • Fortalecimiento de capacidades locales para mejor gestión en países sub desarrollados.

    • No hay continuidad mayormente entre un cambio de gestión y otro.
  • Viabilidad de los objetivos:  ¿Sería deseable o factible proponer objetivos y metas de gobierno en áreas específicas? ¿Cuáles son los enfoques alternativos?

Las metas son una manera de medir no sólo resultados,si no también los avances que son indicadores importantes y muestran otras variables no previstas que se prensenten, entonces:

  • Las metas a corto y largo plazo deben ser cualitativas para evitar el cumplimiento aparente que suele ocurrir.

  • Un concenso llevado a políticas públicas universales que se unifiquen en programas con etapas, previa capacitación de articuladores y actores. 
    • Educación: la comunicación y comprensión son fundamentales, la comprensión es un problema que está aquejando a muchas personas desde el colegio y , si no comprenden lo que escuchan o leen, no podrán tomar buenas decisiones.

    • Fortalecimiento en instituciones: no es visible en muchos lugares, pero la falta de talento en los gestores de alto mando es creciente,se ha perdido la sensibilidad, acrecentado la falta de sentido común y comprensión, esto lleva cualquier proyecto a declive y perdida de talentos del entorno.

    • Salud pública: gestionar todos los temas concernientes a la salud, el entorno influye en la salud mental, un alivio es promomover una comunicación más positiva, empoderante y alegre, que la gente logre ver sus problemas como retos. En un estado emocional más positivo, las personas reflexionen sobre las necesidades que existen a su alrrededor y se integren a la búsqueda de una su solución.

    • Saneamiento: si las personas son más sensibles a las necesidades, tendrán un mayor compromiso y manejaran mejor los recursos, esto debe estar de la mano de la opción creativa y generosa de los científicos que permitan ver soluciones alternas, nuevas formas de conseguir las necesidades básicas y a partir de estas ideas comenzar, porque estirar lo existente no es una solución.

  • Algunas  áreas del examen  puede incluir:
    • La participación ciudadana, que incluye los derechos de los pueblos indígenas, las minorías, los jóvenes, las personas con discapacidad, los ancianos, los inmigrantes (legales o no), entre otros;

    • Las capacidades de las instituciones públicas (en particular para la administración de justicia, la participación democrática y la seguridad personal) a nivel nacional o sub-nacional;

    • La gobernanza mundial (instituciones globales, mecanismos e instrumentos); asociaciones mundiales y la coherencia de políticas a todos los niveles (es decir, en áreas como el comercio, el medio ambiente, la justicia, etc)

  • El papel de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TIC) en la gestión:  ¿Cuál podría ser el papel de las TIC en la construcción de capacidad institucional? En la movilización de la participación cívica y el empoderamiento de las personas y grupos de todo el mundo?

    • La divulgación es muy importante, porque llega a muchas personas que tienen necesidad de información, las sensibiliza sobre la necesidad o función de algo. Si bien el acceso a las tics es mayor pero no llega a zonas marginales, ni de extrema pobreza con gran cantidad de población.

    • Las TIC Mueven el mundo y ellas deben usarse y manipularse de manera más responsable, evitando la contaminación e influencia mediática, es decir todo tipo de violencia ya que se convierte en una herramienta que llega a exacerbar bajos instintos, lejos de modificarlos o tratarlos.

    • Las TIC son una responsabilidad por lo cual dentro de las políticas públicas puede concensuarse, para que los medios de comunicación tomen una mayor responsabilidad de lo que deberían informar, revalorizando lo importante sobre lo negativo cotidiano que si bien es nuestra realidad, debe "informarse" de su existencia y  "formar" de otras que también existen pero ayudan a promover lo positivo y sacar lo mejor de las personas. Su gestión tiene gran influencia en la decisión y cambios de conducta de muchas personas.

    • Las Instituciones tendrán una mejor ventana para llegar a las personas que tienen acceso a las TIC, pero deberán gestionar mejor cómo llegar a aquellos no lo tienen aún y lo necesitan como un medio de formación.

    • Las TIC, son una forma de vida pero no debemos depender de ellas, que mentes creativas generen siempre alternativas ante una eventual caída de las redes, no es deseable pero es previsible.

    • Las TIC son una herramienta valiosa que supera las creencias, religiones manejadas responsablemente, un buen mensaje puede llegar y entenderse de la misma forma por todos, hay que saber hacer el mensaje, y hay que preparar a las personas para entenderlo.
Anonymous from
Sat, January 26, 2013 at 04.22 pm

Ten regional finalists, Mums, babies and guests had been invited to attend the award ceremony where the mother who has nominated the Midwife of the Year will receive £1000 and a further £1000 top up for their child’s trust fund generously donated by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Midwife of the Year will also receive £1000 for herself and a further £1000 for her Midwifery Unit. This year witnessed celebrity sports star and England Rugby ace Ben Cohen give up his position at the World Cup to stay at home for the recent arrival of his twin daughters and to honour not only his own midwife Julia Bennett but to also award the trophy to the finalist of the 2007 awards. The host for the event was regional TV and radio presenter and president of the Leeds NSPCC, Jon Hammond. Jon had the unexpected honour of receiving a charity cheque donation for £6,000.00 for the NSPCC from Mamas & Papas as part of the brand’s charity commitment through the profits made from the sale of the retail catalogue. The winner of this year’s award demonstrated exception qualities as a midwife not just this year but for many years previous where she has been nominated as a regional finalist. Midwife Sandra Bosman from The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle is a highly skilled midwife for the regional who specialises in multiple births. Her nominating mother for whom she helped delivery quadruplets said,“We will tell our children as they grow not only how she made a positive impact on our lives but how she will no doubt have a positive impact on others in the future. “Lorna Bird, 2006’s Midwife of the Year winner from Southampton and who was central to the judging process said,“This midwife is truly inspirational, her devotion and commitment to her multiple birth families is outstanding. Every day she goes the extra mile without a second thought and her charity work is just a further sign of her dedication.“A surprised but delighted winner, Sandra Bosman commented on receiving the award what it being a midwife means to her,“As I deal with a lot of women who require IVF treatment, childbirth is a long hard journey and I am blessed to be able to help them. I love the women I care for and birth is a wonderful gift. “
If you are looking to find a car then you might want to consider these 10 important tips before running off and signing that check. With the recession affecting more dealers, they are looking to squeeze every penny possible out of their buyers but you as the buyer should learn to get the most value out of your money as well. Your vehicle whether new or used is an important investment. You want it to become an asset and not a liability, but if you aren’t careful then it might become a burden. The following tips can help you when you go to get your dream car. Take them into consideration when you enter that dealership lot and you might spare yourself the pitfalls of a failed purchase. 1.Choose the right time. Usually the best time to purchase a new car is when the new models are out. These are usually between August and November. When you shop during these times you will get to see the latest models that are available or get a discount out of the older models since the new ones are already out. 2.Do not let the salesman pressure you into a decision. More often than not, sales agents will try to convince you to purchase at that instant. Don’t let them pressure you this way. Let them do their sales pitch but in the end, it will be you who will decide when to buy, not them. 3.Ask for any promotions or unadvertised sales that might be going on. This can provide you with a great discount.4.Search the internet. These days, there are a great many offers over the internet and you might find yourself with one. This removes the burden of going to a dealership and even dealing with pushy car sales agents. 5.Don’t be afraid to negotiate, prices are oftentimes negotiable so do not hesitate to bargain for a price that is right for you. 6.Don’t go on weekends. Generally this is when there are a lot of people buying, if there are plenty of people around you will not get good deals. Try to go mid-week because this is the time when most sales agent are eager to make a sale and offer great deals. 7.Also, go to the dealers during the month’s end or towards the month’s end. This is when agents are rearing to meet their quotas and you might have a bigger chance in landing a greater deal as they are eager to make a sale.8.If you’re not well versed with cars, bring along someone who has knowledge of cars.9.Don’t be hasty. Remember buying a car is a major purchase and something that needs thorough evaluation and consideration before jumping into.10.Enjoy. Purchasing a new vehicle need not be a hassle, remember these 10 tips when purchasing your new car and get your hard earned money’s worth with a great deal for your new vehicle.http://colombianitos.org/index.php?option=com_blog&view=comments&pid=530906&Itemid=0〈=es
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zafar gondal from
Wed, January 23, 2013 at 04.43 pm

Building blocks for good governance should be (1)democratic, plain, effective and efficient laws that are result of constructive consultation and participation of those governed '(2) responsive and delivering institutions, (3) narrowing implementation gap, (4) continuously assessing relevance , impact and efficiency of laws and institutions,(5) putting in place laws and institutions for market economy.

Allah Dad Khan from
Tue, January 22, 2013 at 10.52 am

The majority of our country want religious justification of all question and every religion promotes human values so for the betterment of good governess it is essential to make this majority to assure that every matter must be thought on the basis of human dignity and respect of others opinion.

thank you 

Allah Dad Khan 

Advocate ,Multan,Pakistan


Fackson Banda from
Tue, January 22, 2013 at 10.30 am

Find attached a think piece from UNESCO, highlighting what we see as the role of free, independent and pluralistic media in supporting democracy and development, key pillars of governance. Fackson Banda, UNESCO, Paris.

Anonymous from
Mon, January 21, 2013 at 01.54 pm

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Claudio Schuftan from
Mon, January 21, 2013 at 02.20 pm


Issa Hamad Al-Hewetat from
Wed, January 16, 2013 at 12.13 am

Perfect governance What is good governance? Perfect governance includes the concept of governance practices affecting the decision-making and implementation, both from inside and outside the body of formal governance system. While intended to good governance level of interaction between all the components of NGO's , government sector, civil society organizations , and the private sector as transparent and effective and caring needs and interests of people and that it is subject to accountability and includes all of human existence and cares opinion minorities and needs of vulnerable groups. Good governance depends on the following principles: • Transparency and accountability. • Human rights and gender equality. • conflict management and communication. Perfect governance is mainly able to :- • Enhancing the efficiency and capacity of partners in good governance. • Involving government agencies and non-governmental organizations design and implement projects contribute to achieving reforms, good governance and shared responsibility in the field as:- - Transparency and accountability. - Human rights and gender equality. - Conflict management and communication. • Urging both the public sector, private sector and civil society organizations to care and share in a joint venture, to ensure procedures and processes and sharing designs and choices targeted results. Some selected criteria 1. To contribute to the planned task in achieving reforms in the area of one or more of the areas of perfect governance like: • Accountability and transparency. • Gender and Human Rights • Communicate and managing differences 2. There is a logical relationship and clear between the aimed goals' activities and the type of support required and so on. 3. Providers are eligible to build a strategic planning for perfect governance if they are to have, at a minimum, the following: • A clear organizational structure. • Having adequate human capacity to achieve their goals to their target. 4. The working parties should have to develop the desire and interest in networking and cooperation with a partner.

Namika Raby from
Thu, January 17, 2013 at 11.40 pm

Thanks for a comprehensive definition. Strengthening farmer capacity for sustainable management of irrigation (95% of water resources in irrigation according to the quiz posted, poverty levels in irrigated agriculture is at 70% and at least 50% or more of the poor are women) needs to look at governance as an institutional issue by enhancing capacity of agencies, NGOs and farmers for joint management in large irrigation systems which is where most of the need is felt. This requires policy and political will which comes and goes, witness the Sri Lankan experience of introducing farmer companies building upon framer organizations preceded by necessary legal changes from the community side but no corresponding organizational change from the agencies critical to the success of this program. The farmer company approach (I have studied one pilot system in Sri Lanka systematically with qualitative and quantitative data over ten years until 20010) was a missed opportunity for  income generation, water resource management, gender and income generation, diversified agriculture, private -public partnerships, and environmental sustainability to mention a few benefits. The addition to the values chain by the farmer company during this period in Ridi Bendi Ela Sri Lanka was incomparable. Transparancy and accountability, clear structures and goals, the culture of accessibility (I am an anthropologist with a long history of training, research, and consulting in irrigation  management) and how to coordinate management for success, particularly at the meaningful organizational entity beyond the irrigation system ( in Sri Lanka it is the administrative district) are challenges to be overcome in this context.

samira musayeva from
Tue, January 15, 2013 at 01.43 pm

We have discussed this question (What should be the governance building blocks for a post-2015 agenda?mong colleagues in the UNCITRAL secretariat and not surprisingly being lawyers we formulated something in the legal field: societies that cannot respect and enforce legal relationships cannot develop.  Enabling environment (laws, institutions, skills (education and training) and practice) is necessary.  

This sounded to us like an obvious governance building block (be it for past, present or for a post-2015 agenda), without which, to put it quite simply as an example, no finance for sustained development can be mobilized.  MDGs do not touch this area, Target 8.A is oly remotely relevant.  Would be interesting to hear the reaction to this suggestion.


Anonymous from
Thu, January 10, 2013 at 06.01 pm

L bonne gouvernance relève d'un état de droit qui respecte les avis des hommes et des femmes pour décider de leur avenir  de la gestion de leurs ressources et de leurs bonnes répartitions

Avoir accès aux médias pour faire connaitre ses opinions avoir accès à l'information scientifique pour gérer et manager les ressources 

Anonymous from
Thu, December 27, 2012 at 09.52 am

One might think that the governance reflects MDG’s but If you go into the depth to study the content of the curriculum in the educational system, one can see that it is not the case. This can go under the category of   "Face Validity".


  • The curriculum objectives state to what extent governance is approaching the MDG's. Any educational system is set up on a certain number of goals and objectives. To change any educational system or amend it in order to meet certain criteria, the goals and objectives should be changed.
  • The approaches (methods) of education play a big role in stretched learning which is a major factor for the sustainability of the MDG's that goes beyond knowledge and require the level of Skills and Values.
  • A “Monitoring and Evaluation" system can assure the efficiency of education to reach the Intended learning outcomes. An objective and functional structure should be established for quality assurance.
  • Non formal education can be a separate approach or combined with the scientific technical education.
  • The educational system should focus more on teaching skills and values rather than only knowledge.
  • The budget spent on the ES should be transparent and equal division among schools should be done.
  • Trainings on methods of education and managing behavioral issues in constructive approaches should be conducted.
  • Hidden curriculums should be included in the monitoring and evaluation process to ensure
  • A global networking to exchange skills and experiences can enhance the quality of education and decrease any unexpected learning outcomes (indoctrination) .


Anonymous from
Wed, December 26, 2012 at 06.25 am

Dear Friends & colleagues!


I would like to share following event information .


Warm regards.



Dr. Anil Pratap Singh,

Secretary & CEO,

Global Science Academy (GSA),

Basti-272 001 India.

Telephone Nos. +91-5542-247186, 287060

Mobile No. 9336785696,

Email: globalaps@rediffmail.com 


You can also logon to our website: www.gsaindia.org.in



National Civil-Society Deliberation cum Seminar on “Perspectives of CSOs on New Framework for Development Post-2015”


With the history of nearly two decades of our dedicated service to the science, environment, society and humanity, the Global Science Academy (GSA) – as a potential CSO stakeholder, is organizing the National Civil-Society Deliberation cum Seminar on “Perspectives of CSOs on New Framework for Development Post-2015” at Basti, Uttar Pradesh (India) on 28th January 2013. This is the event which incorporates the context of international campaign for The World We Want Beyond 2015. GSA has also created certain platforms for Online-discussions on issues pertaining “Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Beyond “

CSO, ‘Global Science Academy’ (GSA) having nearly two decades of its experience on spectrum of topics pertaining to health as well as topics covered through Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Further, the representation of the United Nations (UN) in India not only supported the Global Science Academy (GSA) towards its attendance at regional (Asia-Pacific) and international High-level Meetings (HLMs) on the Millennium Development Goals topic but also financially sponsored its event. As pioneers in the field, the agency- Global Science Academy (GSA) has also organized several such events (It is recommended to logon to our website: www.gsaindia.org.in and also search through Google to read the mention of our dedicated in context of health as well as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  Global Science Academy (GSA) is voracious organizer of events like conferences, consultations, seminars, symposia, workshops, rallies etc. GSA has been actively engaged in follow-up activities pertaining implementation of regional framework for action in Asia-Pacific region and identified shortfalls in the mechanisms in setting out global goals and explored synergies of efforts between professionals at organizational as well as individual levels that could better be intensified in context of MDGs.

The purpose of the consultation is to bring together participation from a wide variety of interests to capture voices from civil societies and conscious citizen in the international campaign on Post-2015.

Topics proposed to be discussed in technical sessions include:

  1. Civil-Society Perspectives on New Framework for Development Post-2015

  2. Role of CSOs in Improving  the Living Standard for the Poor

  3. CSOs’  Environmental Sustainability  Agenda under Post-2015 Development Goals in India

  4. Issues & Concerns of CSOs  in Making Societies Healthier  Beyond 2015

  5. CSOs Role in Reducing Violence and Protecting Human Rights after 2015

  6. Agenda on Gender Equality Beyond 2015


We have the great pleasure in extending a cordial invitation to you to attend and actively contribute in this National Civil-Society Deliberation cum Seminar on “Perspectives of CSOs on New Framework for Development Post-2015” at Basti, Uttar Pradesh (India) on 28th January 2013.



This national event is open for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)  but policy makers, donors, banks, industry associations, academicians, consultants in debating issues, corporate, social scientists as well as medical professionals, laboratories, scientists and research scholars, government, colleges/ universities, research and development organizations, public sector undertakings, journalists, drug manufacturing companies, lawyers, social-workers etc. can also participate and contribute.


Submission of Abstract:

GSA intended to publish abstract compendium of ideas, facts and figures which will be received through this call for contribution and required to be submitted latest by 22nd January 2013. You can submit your abstracts (not more than two) by email attachment to: globalaps@rediffmail.com. Please mention “Perspectives of CSOs Post-2015” in the space provided for Subject while submitting the abstract(s). While submitting your abstract, please adhere to following:

a)       Individual author can submit a maximum of two abstracts only,

b)       Abstract should not exceed one page in length. Use font size 12 in Times New Roman,

c)       Use single spacing throughout not exceeding 300 words including title, name(s) of author(s) and affiliation(s). Make title as concise as possible,

d)       Indicate by (*) presenting author(s),

e)        Indicate four keywords describing key advances identified,

f)         Abstracts should be sent along with registration fee and contact details.


a)       Registration: 24th  January 2013

 (N.B.: There will be limited number of spot registrations with additional charges)

b)       Abstract Submission: 22nd  January 2013

c)       Notification of Acceptance: 24th January 2013

Registration Fee:

a)       GSA Members: Rs. 800/- (or US $ 20)

b)       Non-Members:: Rs. 1000/- (or US $ 25)

Registration will include refreshment & working Lunch in addition to Conference Kit.

(N.B.: Non-attending individuals can also send their Contributions for getting it published in Abstract Compendium by paying a nominal charge of Rs. 200/- (or US $ 10) and are requested to send their Contributions latest by 22nd January 2013). All the contributions are intended to be widely circulated and to be aired through websites of GSA and others.



Accommodation can be arranged for the participants in three Hotels in the city. One can contact these hotels directly at following contact Nos.:


Name of Hotel

Contact No.

Hotel Suyash Palace

+91-5542-283194, 284418

Hotel Prakash

+91-5542-288301, 288302

Hotel Maharaja

+91-5542-324389, +91-9559966188


Organizing Committee can also help in getting hotel reservations for participants in above hotels.


Donations & Sponsorships:

Support is solicited in the form of raising financial contributions i.e. donations and sponsorships as well as advertising in printed version of “Abstract Compendium”.

Donors, sponsors and advertisers will have their mention not only in printed version of “Abstract Compendium” but also the same will be aired to our organizational website too. Since the GSA website has its internet mediated communication (IMC) -Forum as well as Blog where our financial contributors will definitely be highlighted with due emphasis of their support.

Advertising tariffs:

a)       Quarter Page: Rs. 800/- (or US $ 20)

b)       Half Page: Rs. 1500/- (or US $ 40)

c)       Full Page: Rs.  2000/- (or US $ 50)

d)       Inside Cover(s): Rs. 2500/- (or US $ 60)

e)       Back Cover(1): Rs. 5000/- (or US $ 100)

Mode of Payment:

Registration Fees/Donations/Sponsorships/Advertisement tariffs could be submitted through Demand Draft (in Indian Rupees or US Dollars) in the name of GLOBAL SCIENCE ACADEMY payable at Basti or pay through Bank Transfer. The details for Bank Transfers are as follows:

Name of Bank: BANK OF BARODA

Address: Basti Branch, Purani Basti, Basti-272 002 (UP) India



Account No.: 12080100001714

Place & Climate:                                                

Basti is well connected by Rail and Road transport networks. The nearest air-port is Gorakhpur being at 70 kilometers from Basti while Lucknow Air-port is approximately 200 kilometers. During January, the climate will be cold.


For further information contact:

Dr. Anil Pratap Singh,

Organizing Chairman &

Secretary & CEO,  

Global Science Academy (GSA),

Basti-272 001 India.

Tele-fax No. +91-5542-247186

Mobile Nos. 9336785696

Email: globalaps@rediffmail.com


Website: www.gsaindia.org.in 


Vanessa Sedletzki from
Mon, December 24, 2012 at 10.57 am

Dear Colleagues,

As this consultation has emphasized, inclusion and equity considerations are pivotal dimensions of good governance – one that addresses specifically the human rights of the most marginalized.  An equitable and sustainable post-2015 development agenda focused on governance needs to recognize that children are key stakeholders, in both the immediate and long term, and take into account the multiple layers of discrimination children can experience in governance processes – based on age, gender, disability, ethnic or indigenous origin among others. Taking governance lens on the rights of children shows that governments’ action – or failure to act –decides whether a child can go to school, drink and use clean water, and grow up protected from exploitation and from risks brought by climate change. Yet, child rights are rarely placed in the broader context of governance, and conversely, governance rarely looks specifically at children as stakeholders.

Incorporating children’s rights in the thinking on governance post-2015 would be a step towards recognizing that whatever positive changes are made to governance contexts, they will not automatically trickle down to children.

With this in mind, UNICEF Office of Research Innocenti has been developing a body of knowledge on children’s rights and governance, in order to advance the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and foster fully inclusive governance approaches. While this research initiative is in progress, we would like to share some preliminary conclusions that emerged from initial work and could inform discussions.

In light of the guiding questions, we are posting this contribution to Phase I of the discussion – but the last section is more focused on accountability considerations.

 1)       Children’s rights and good governance are closely interrelated.

(Reference: UNICEF, Save the Children, OECD, Child Rights and Governance Roundtable – Report and conclusions, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2011, http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/674)

The principles on which good governance rests underpin the linkages between governance and child rights.

- Responsiveness and transparency: All policy issues defined through governance affect children. Children are affected by any action (and inaction) of the State. Issues as diverse as taxation, corruption, privatization, and business practices are all core elements of governance with major consequences for the realization of children’s rights.

- Responsibility: Governance embraces the multiplicity of duty-bearers and the importance of systems. Similarly, the realization of children’s rights implies a holistic approach to policy-making and relies on multiple duty-bearers.

- Accountability: Governance is a promising avenue to address the implementation challenge of the CRC. While significant progress has been made in the adoption of laws and policies for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), these are poorly enforced due to the lack of effective institutions, services and adequate resources, combined with an absence of political will and efficient leadership.

 - Efficiency and effectiveness: Children’s rights give a raison d’être to governance. The centrality of children in society should constitute a major objective for governance efforts. Therefore, children’s rights represent a standard against which the quality of governance can be assessed.

- Equity: Children’s rights ensure that governance is comprehensive. Good governance will remain incomplete if it bypasses children, who usually represent a third to a half of developing countries’ population. Attention to children’s rights helps governance efforts focus on the most marginalized and excluded as well as identify and address the root causes of discrimination for equitable and inclusive outcomes. It also sheds light on children’s specific experiences and issues.

- Inclusion and participation: Children’s rights guide governance processes. The demand-side of governance implies empowering rights’ holders to claim their rights and hold the government accountable for its actions. A child rights approach to governance therefore offers guidance to recognize, nurture and build on children’s capacities as social agents whose voices can inform governance processes.

 2)      For the public sector, there are specific challenges in good governance for children’s rights

(Reference: B. Guy Peters, Governance and the Rights of Children – Policy, implementation and monitoring, Office of Research Working Paper, UNICEF Office of Research and Programme Division, 2012 http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/665 )

Taking a governance lens to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child enables to highlight a number of specific challenges, which include:

 - Children as a relatively powerless group in the political process.  Politicians may want to consider the rights of children but are also aware that they do not vote, whereas other groups with claims to specific rights do. Children are often considered as lacking experience and expertise and can easily be dismissed as active participants. Developing specialized institutions is one important way to deal with children’s rights.

 - Coordinating all the various dimensions of a complex set of issues. The breadth of the CRC means that a wide range of policy areas need to be integrated and coordinated to implement the treaty as a whole. To fulfil all the goals of the Convention requires a wide range of government departments and programmes and these must be made to work together. Even if there is an organization responsible for this coordination the integration of services remains a formidable task. Without creating coherence among programmes there is little if any hope of providing what children require.

 - With policies with the greatest relevance to children’s rights administered by sub-national governments, vertical coordination, among various levels of governments is critical to successfully implementing the CRC.

 - Implementing programmes for children’s rights requires the involvement of civil society organizations. One challenge is ensuring that their goals and perspectives and those of governments are somewhat harmonized. Families, along with the entire environment of the child, also have a role to play.

 - Finding the organizational conditions that can be most conducive to ensuring the rights of children. Government machinery can be complex and seemingly may matter little for the implementation of programmes. However, structure does matter. If nothing else structures can express the priorities of a political system. Creating an organization dedicated to a specific purpose, such as the protection of the rights of children, is a strong signal to society of the importance of this activity. Further, a dedicated organization is more likely to focus its attention on that policy area alone, and to work assiduously to pursue those goals.

 - Finally, there is the challenge of independent evaluation and assessment of the performance of governments in protecting the rights of children. Monitoring rights-based policies is perhaps more demanding than is monitoring more tangible services. Definition of policy goals and criteria for rights implementation need to be understood within specific contexts.   The implementation process is important but it is also crucial to evaluate the performance of programmes and their effects on the lives of children. This may be done within government itself and perhaps even by the organizations who were themselves responsible for the implementation. Independent monitoring mechanisms, such as ombudspersons, commissioners and national human rights institutions are also essential (see UNICEF Office of Research, Championing Children's Rights: A global study of independent human rights institutions for children, 2012 http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/669)

 As the research on public sector reform for children progresses through field work in various countries, we hope to build further evidence on how to address some of these challenges.

 3)      Exploring ways to building child-responsive accountability

(Reference: Lene Thu Phuong Nguyen, Child-Responsive Accountability: Lessons from social accountability, Office of Research Working Paper, UNICEF Office of Research, 2013 forthcoming)

With the recognition that accountability provides the critical link between good governance and human rights, UNICEF Office of Research has sought to link accountability lessons to the case of children.

Doing so has raised questions of how to overcome the challenges manifested in various experiences of social accountability work – which are compounded by children’s political and social status – and thus their limited ability to participate in public and political processes. Some key initial conclusions are:

-          Child participation needs to go hand in hand with their representation by adults. Empowering children as rights-holders and creating opportunities for their participation in governance processes is essential and in itself a realization of their rights. Children can meaningfully contribute to their communities, including through initiatives for disaster risk management. At the same time, the reality and scope of most government processes and policy-making precludes children’s direct participation. In this context, children necessarily depend on adults to exact and enforce accountability for child rights. The emphasis is therefore on ensuring that that representation is informed by consultations with children.

 -          Enforcing accountability requires taking steps beyond monitoring and building evidence. Much of social accountability work focuses on generating evidence through engaging communities in monitoring. But citizens’ strengthened demand and their feedback is oftentimes only one among other factors that influence the power-holders’ decisions and actions. In this sense, more evidence does not by itself lead to greater accountability. Equally important is bridging the distance created by administrative and political processes between those who seek accountability, in this case children’s representatives, and those from whom it is sought.

 -          Any accountability work has to be mindful of the existing informal sources of accountability, and social dynamics. Against the conventional definitions of accountability used by international development practitioners, there are local understandings of what makes local leaders accountable. These are in turn shaped by informal institutions, including social norms and traditions that create alternative sources of power and legitimacy. Service-providers and local state officials are themselves members of the community - as are children and their representatives. Formal accountability mechanisms should be introduced cautiously not to disrupt the social fabric.

 -          Problems that manifest themselves at the local level can’t always be solved or attributed to local government. Social accountability as well as child rights work focus on the local government as the locus of service provision. Therefore, while policies that impact on child rights are executed by the local government, the national political context better explains the workings of local accountability. Though children and their rights are rarely thought of in political terms, child rights practitioners and advocates who seek to promote child-responsive accountability need to be able to discern the political context.

The post-2015 agenda with respect to governance needs to recognize that:

- Children are full citizens yet the ways in which they can engage in governance processes are different from other marginalized groups due to their political status as “minors”. Governance processes therefore need to be adapted to allow for participation of children and due consideration of child rights issues.

- The public sector has a specific responsibility to make children’s rights, including the rights of the most marginalized children, a priority on the policy agenda, and translate that priority into concrete implementation strategies and structures with relevant leverage and political clout.

- Governance indicators should include child specific indicators that enable to assess the quality and effectiveness of governance processes for children.

- Accountability mechanisms need to both involve children and be fully responsive to children’s rights.

 Vanessa Sedletzki
Child Rights Specialist, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti






Anonymous from
Mon, December 24, 2012 at 03.17 pm

Hello Vanessa


I simply had to reply to your posting and congratulate you.  Children are not parental assets nor state assets, they are little human beings and your posting emphasized this ethos in so many ways.

UNICEF as an organisation achieves so much for our world children and your efforts are recognised, trusted and valued.

Regards, AL Budd (UK)



Pricilla Nakyazze from
Sun, December 23, 2012 at 11.52 am

In Uganda development is severely affected by poor governance and accountability. The resources allocated do not reach the people intended. Accountability is also the only way to fight corruption and increase transparency in civil society and non state actors. The courts of law for example have to play their role in dealing with corrupt officials who feed themselves on millions of donor funds meant for malaria in Uganda while 400 children continue to die a day. The legislature needs to play its role.

If governance and accountability are in place citizens would have access to good quality basic services like education and hospitals which foster development because the funds may be available but are mismanaged. Also priorities of the people would be meant because there would be a bottom up approach. It is also the role of the government to ensure that resources have been well utilized and hold the ministries or providers accountable.

In the context of local government, accountability becomes critical since local authorities are closer to the citizens and the central governments channels services to the citizens through them. Their performance or lack of it therefore impacts directly. Many services such as education, health and social services are delivered at the local level and affect the poor hence stronger accountability and increased oversight provides a better institutional framework for effective delivery of such public services aiming at reducing poverty and promoting shared growth


Governance and accountability will best be integrated at all levels with equal and fair representation of all people. Elected local councillors should represent the interests of the local citizens so that citizen preferences are ultimately reflected in the policies made.

Decentralization is the best approach to service delivery. Decentralization is often recommended as a means of enacting and deepening democratic governance for the reason that it can improve participation; as government is closer to the people hence the citizens are more likely, able and empowered to participate  and government is therefore held to better account.

Building blocks should include

Corruption at all levels should be eliminated by a transparent judicial system.

Decentralization is the best approach to service delivery.

Gender equality should be at the fore front of good governance. Also other vulnerable groups like the gays, poor and disabled should be given fair representation.

Free and fair elections.

There should be a way to check that citizens receiving good quality services and resources are well utilized


Anonymous from
Mon, December 24, 2012 at 05.25 pm

The building blocks to my mind sholud include the followings:

1. political will and committiment from the political leaders and the bureaucrats in the office.

2. transparency and accountability

3. abolishing private schools .

4. rebost educational system global in approach.

5. citizens vigilence.

Anonymous from
Fri, December 21, 2012 at 03.44 am

Global governance

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Global governance or world governance is the political interaction of transnational actors aimed at solving problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power of enforcing compliance. The modern question of world governance exists in the context of globalization. In response to the acceleration of interdependence on a worldwide scale, both between human societies and between humankind and the biosphere, world governance designates regulations intended for the global scale.



The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of a very long period of international history based on a policy of balance of powers. Since this historic event, the planet has entered a phase of geostrategic breakdown. The national-security model, for example, while still in place for most governments, is gradually giving way to an emerging collective conscience that extends beyond the restricted framework it represents.[1]

The question of world governance did not arise until the early 1990s.[citation needed] Up until then, the term "interdependence" had been used to designate the management of relations among states. The post-Cold War world of the 1990s saw a new paradigm emerge based on a number of issues:

  • The growing idea of globalization as a significant theme and the subsequent weakening of nation-states, points to a prospect of transferring to a global level of regulatory instruments. Upon the model that regulation was no longer working effectively at the national or regional levels.
  • An intensification of environmental concerns, which received multilateral endorsement at the Rio Earth Summit (1992). The Summit issues, relating to the climate and biodiversity, symbolized a new approach that was soon to be expressed conceptually by the term Global Commons.
  • The emergence of conflicts over standards: trade and the environment, trade and property rights, trade and public health. These conflicts continued the traditional debate over the social effects of macroeconomic stabilization policies, and raised the question of arbitration among equally legitimate objectives in a compartmentalized governance system where the major areas of interdependence are each entrusted to a specialized international institution. Although often limited in scope, these conflicts are nevertheless symbolically powerful, as they raise the question of the principles and institutions of arbitration.
  • An increased questioning of international standards and institutions by developing countries, which, having entered the global economy, find it hard to accept that industrialized countries hold onto power and give preference to their own interests. The challenge also comes from civil society, which considers that the international governance system has become the real seat of power and which rejects both its principles and procedures. Although these two lines of criticism often have conflicting beliefs and goals, they have been known to join in order to oppose the dominance of developed countries and major institutions, as demonstrated symbolically by the failure of the World Trade Organization 1999 Ministerial Conference in Seattle.[2]


In a simple and broad-based definition of world governance, the term is used to designate all regulations intended for organization & centralization of human societies on a global scale.[3]

Traditionally, government has been associated with "governing," or with political authority, institutions, and, ultimately, control. Governance however denotes formal political institutions that aim to coordinate and control independent social relations, and that have the ability to enforce, by force, their decisions. However, authors like James Rosenau[4] have also used "governance" to denote the regulation of interdependent relations in the absence of an overarching political authority, such as in the international system. Some now speak of the development of "global public policy".[5]

Adil Najam, a scholar on the subject at Boston University and now at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy has defined global governance simply as "the management of global processes in the absence of global government."[6] According to Thomas G. Weiss, director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center (CUNY) and editor (2000–05) of the journal Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations, "'Global governance'—which can be good, bad, or indifferent—refers to concrete cooperative problem-solving arrangements, many of which increasingly involve not only the United Nations of states but also 'other UNs,' namely international secretariats and other non-state actors."[7]

These "cooperative problem-solving arrangements" may be formal, taking the shape of laws or formally constituted institutions for a variety of actors (such as state authorities, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector entities, other civil society actors, and individuals) to manage collective affairs.[8] They may also be informal (as in the case of practices or guidelines) or ad hoc entities (as in the case of coalitions).[9]

Thus, global governance may be defined as "the complex of formal and informal institutions, mechanisms, relationships, and processes between and among states, markets, citizens and organizations, both inter- and non-governmental, through which collective interests on the global plane are articulated, Duties, obligations and privileges are established, and differences are mediated through educated professionals."[10]

Titus Alexander, author of Unravelling Global Apartheid, an Overview of World Politics, has described the current institutions of global governance as a system of global apartheid, with numerous parallels with minority rule in the formal and informal structures of South Africa before 1991.[11]


There are those who believe that world architecture depends on establishing a system of world governance. However, the equation is currently becoming far more complicated: Whereas the process used to be about regulating and limiting the individual power of states to avoid disturbing or overturning the status quo, the issue for today's world governance is to have a collective influence on the world's destiny by establishing a system for regulating the many interactions that lie beyond the province of state action. The political homogenization of the planet that has followed the advent of what is known as liberal democracy in its many forms should make it easier to establish a world governance system that goes beyond market laissez-faire and the democratic peace originally formulated by Immanuel Kant, which constitutes a sort of geopolitical laissez-faire.

Another view regarding the establishment of global governance is based on the difficulties to achieve equitable development at the world scale. "To secure for all human beings in all parts of the world the conditions allowing a decent and meaningful life requires enormous human energies and far-reaching changes in policies. The task is all the more demanding as the world faces numerous other problems, each related to or even part of the development challenge, each similarly pressing, and each calling for the same urgent attention. But, as Arnold Toynbee has said, 'Our age is the first generation since the dawn of history in which mankind dares to believe it practical to make the benefits of civilization available to the whole human race'."[12]


Because of the heterogeneity of preferences, which are enduring despite globalization, are often perceived as an implacable homogenization process. Americans and Europeans provide a good example of this point: on some issues they have differing common grounds in which the division between the public and private spheres still exist. Tolerance for inequalities and the growing demand for redistribution, attitudes toward risk, and over property rights vs human rights, set the stage. In certain cases, globalization even serves to accentuate differences rather than as a force for homogenization. Responsibility must play its part with respect to regional and International governments, when balancing the needs of its citizenry.

With the growing emergence of a global civic awareness, comes opposition to globalization and its effects. A rapidly growing number of movements and organizations have taken the debate to the international level. Although it may have limitations, this trend is one response to the increasing importance of world issues, that effect the planet.

Crisis of purpose

Pierre Jacquet, Jean Pisani-Ferry, and Laurence Tubiana argue that "[t]o ensure that decisions taken for international integration are sustainable, it is important that populations see the benefits, that states agree on their goals and that the institutions governing the process are seen as legitimate. These three conditions are only partially being met."

The authors refer to a "crisis of purpose" and international institutions suffering from "imbalance" and inadequacy. They believe that for these institutions, "a gap has been created between the nature of the problems that need tackling and an institutional architecture which does not reflect the hierarchy of today's problems. For example, the environment has become a subject of major concern and central negotiation, but it does not have the institutional support that is compatible with its importance."[13]

World government

Global governance is not world government, and even less democratic globalization. In fact, global governance would not be necessary, were there a world government. Domestic governments have monopolies on the use of force—the power of enforcement. Global governance refers to the political interaction that is required to solve problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power to enforce compliance. Problems arise, and networks of actors are constructed to deal with them in the absence of an international analogue to a domestic government. This system has been termed disaggregated sovereignty.

Consensus example

Improved global problem solving need not involve the establishment of additional powerful formal global institutions. It does involve building consensus on norms and practices. One such area, currently under construction, is the development and improvement of accountability mechanisms. For example, the UN Global Compact brings together companies, UN agencies, labor organizations, and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. Participation is entirely voluntary, and there is no enforcement of the principles by an outside regulatory body. Companies adhere to these practices both because they make economic sense, and because stakeholders, especially shareholders, can monitor their compliance easily. Mechanisms such as the Global Compact can improve the ability of affected individuals and populations to hold companies accountable. However, corporations participating in the UN Global Compact have been criticized for their merely minimal standards, the absence of sanction-and-control measures, their lack of commitment to social and ecological standards, minimal acceptance among corporations around the world, and the high cost involved in reporting annually to small and medium-sized business[14]


Expansion of normative mechanisms and globalization of institutions

One of the effects of globalization is the increasing numbers of rules placed upon businesses, in the global market-place. Jan Aart Scholte asserts, however, that these changes are inadequate to meet the needs: "Along with the general intensified globalization of social relations in contemporary history has come an unprecedented expansion of regulatory apparatuses that cover planetary jurisdictions and constituencies. On the whole, however, this global governance remains weak relative to pressing current needs for global public policy. Shortfalls in moral standing, legal foundations, material delivery, democratic credentials and charismatic leadership have together generated large legitimacy deficits in existing global regimes."[15]

On another level, there is need to set up, in all spheres, an increasing number of networks and institutions operating on a global scale. Proposals and initiatives have been developed at various sources: political parties,[16] unions,[17] regional authorities,[18] and members of parliament in sovereign states.[19]

Formulation and objectives

One of the conditions for building a world democratic governance should be the development of platforms for citizen dialog on the legal formulation of world governance and the harmonization of objectives.

This legal formulation could take the form of a Global Constitution. According to Pierre Calame and Gustavo Marin, "[a] Global Constitution resulting from a process for the institution of a global community will act as the common reference for establishing the order of rights and duties applicable to United Nations agencies and to the other multilateral institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization."[20] As for formulating objectives, the necessary but insufficient ambition of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which aim to safeguard humankind and the planet, and the huge difficulties in implementing them, illustrates the inadequacy of institutional initiatives that do not have popular support for having failed to invite citizens to take part in the elaboration process.

Furthermore, the Global Constitution "must clearly express a limited number of overall objectives that are to be the basis of global governance and are to guide the common action of the U.N. agencies and the multilateral institutions, where the specific role of each of these is subordinated to the pursuit of these common objectives."[20]

Calame proposes the following objectives:

  1. instituting the conditions for sustainable development
  2. reducing inequalities
  3. establishing lasting peace while respecting diversity.[21]

Reforming international institutions

Is the UN capable of taking on the heavy responsibility of managing the planet's serious problems? More specifically, can the UN reform itself in such a way as to be able to meet this challenge? At a time when the financial crisis of 2008 is raising the same questions posed by the climate disasters of previous years regarding the unpredictable consequences of disastrous human management, can international financial institutions be reformed in such a way as to go back to their original task, which was to provide financial help to countries in need?

Lack of political will and citizen involvement at the international level has also brought about the submission of international institutions to the "neoliberal" agenda, particularly financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Pierre Calame gives an account of this development,[22] while Joseph E. Stiglitz points out that the need for international institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO has never been so great, but people's trust in them has never been so low.[23]

One of the key aspects of the United Nations reform is the problem of the representativeness of the General Assembly. The Assembly operates on the principle of "one state, one vote," so that states of hugely varying sizes have the same impact on the vote, which distorts representativeness and results in a major loss of credibility. Accordingly, "the General Assembly has lost any real capacity to influence. This means that the mechanisms for action and consultation organized by rich countries have the leading role."[22]

Gustave Massiah advocates defining and implementing a radical reform of the UN. The author proposes building new foundations that can provide the basis for global democracy and the creation of a Global Social Contract, rooted in the respect and protection of civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as in the recognition of the strategic role of international law.[24] The Brussels based Global Governance Institute is dedicated to a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable global order.[25]


In its initial phase, world governance was able to draw on themes inherited from geopolitics and the theory of international relations, such as peace, defense, geostrategy, diplomatic relations, and trade relations. But as globalization progresses and the number of interdependences increases, the global level is also highly relevant to a far wider range of subjects. Following are a number of examples.

Environmental governance and managing the planet

"The crisis brought about by the accelerated pace and the probably irreversible character of the impact of human activities on nature requires collective answers from governments and citizens. Nature ignores political and social barriers, and the global dimension of the crisis cancels the effects of any action initiated unilaterally by state governments or sectoral institutions, however powerful they may be. Climate change, ocean and air pollution, nuclear risks and those related to genetic manipulation, the reduction and extinction of resources and biodiversity, and above all a development model that remains largely unquestioned globally are all among the various manifestations of this accelerated and probably irreversible impact.

This impact is the factor, in the framework of globalization, that most challenges a system of states competing with each other to the exclusion of all others: among the different fields of global governance, environmental management is the most wanting in urgent answers to the crisis in the form of collective actions by the whole of the human community. At the same time, these actions should help to model and strengthen the progressive building of this community."[26]

Proposals in this area have discussed the issue of how collective environmental action is possible. Many multilateral, environment-related agreements have been forged in the past 30 years, but their implementation remains difficult. There is also some discussion on the possibility of setting up an international organization that would centralize all the issues related to international environmental protection, such as the proposed World Environment Organization (WEO). The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) could play this role, but it is a small-scale organization with a limited mandate. The question has given rise to two opposite views: the European Union, especially France and Germany, along with a number of NGOs, is in favor of creating a WEO; the United Kingdom, the USA, and most developing countries prefer opting for voluntary initiatives.[27]

The International Institute for Sustainable Development proposes a "reform agenda" for global environmental governance. The main argument is that there seems to exist an unspoken but powerful consensus on the essential objectives of a system of global environmental governance. These goals would require top-quality leadership, a strong environmental policy based on knowledge, effective cohesion and coordination, good management of the institutions constituting the environmental governance system, and spreading environmental concerns and actions to other areas of international policy and action.[28]

A World Environment Organisation

The focus of environmental issues shifted to climate change from 1992 onwards.[29] Due to the transboundary nature of climate change, various calls have been made for a World Environment Organisation (WEO) (sometimes referred to as a Global Environment Organisation) [30] to tackle this global problem on a global scale. At present, a single worldwide governing body with the powers to develop and enforce environmental policy does not exist.[31] The idea for the creation of a WEO was discussed thirty years ago[32] but is receiving fresh attention in the light of arguably disappointing outcomes from recent, ‘environmental mega-conferences’[33](e.g.Rio Summit and Earth Summit 2002).

Current global environmental governance

International environmental organisations do exist. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), created in 1972, coordinates the environmental activity of countries in the UN. UNEP and similar international environmental organisations are seen as not up to the task. They are criticised as being institutionally weak, fragmented, lacking in standing and providing non-optimal environmental protection.[34] It has been stated that the current decentralised, poorly funded and strictly intergovernmental regime for global environmental issues is sub-standard.[35] However, the creation of a WEO may threaten to undermine some of the more effective aspects of contemporary global environmental governance;[36] notably its fragmented nature, from which flexibility stems.[31] This also allows responses to be more effective and links to be forged across different domains.[31] Even though the environment and climate change are framed as global issues, Levin states that ‘it is precisely at this level that government institutions are least effective and trust most delicate’[37] while Oberthur and Gehring argue that it would offer little more than institutional restructuring for its own sake.[38]

A World Environment Organisation and the World Trade Organisation

Many proposals for the creation of a WEO have emerged from the trade and environment debate.[39] It has been argued that instead of creating a WEO to safeguard the environment, environmental issues should be directly incorporated into the World Trade Organisation (WTO).[40] The WTO has “had success in integrating trade agreements and opening up markets because it is able to apply legal pressure to nation states and resolve disputes”.[39] Greece and Germany are currently in discussion about the possibility of solar energy being used to repay some of Greece’s debt after their economy crashed in 2010.[41] This exchange of resources, if it is accepted, is an example of increased international cooperation and an instance where the WTO could embrace energy trade agreements. If the future holds similar trade agreements, then an environmental branch of the WTO would surely be necessary. However critics of a WTO/WEO arrangement say that this would neither concentrate on more directly addressing underlying market failures, nor greatly improve rule-making.[35]

The creation of a new agency, whether it be linked to the WTO or not, has now been endorsed by Renato Ruggiero, the former head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as by the new WTO director-designate, Supachai Panitchpakdi.[39] The debate over a global institutional framework for environmental issues will undoubtedly rumble on but at present there is little support for any one proposal.[31]

Governance of the economy and of globalization

The 2008 financial crisis exploded, once again, the myth that the all-powerful free-market forces will correct all serious financial malfunctioning on their own, as well as belief in the presumed independence of the economy. Lacking in transparency and far from democratic, international financial institutions have proven incapable of handling the market's critical breakdown.

Free-market economy is incapable of meeting the population's needs on its own. Without regulation and without consideration of social and environmental externalities, free-market capitalism turns into an uncontrollable machine that produces more and more wealth concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, leading the global community into a head-on collision with disaster and chaos. Its capacity to produce is not in doubt: the problem is absence of redistribution, which is the result of absence of political and citizen will to change the rules of the game.

Nonetheless, the debate on the failings of the system has begun to turn in the academic world into solution seeking, which is a step in the right direction. According to Tubiana and Severino, "refocusing the doctrine of international cooperation on the concept of public goods offers the possibility . . . of breaking the deadlock in international negotiations on development, with the perception of shared interests breathing new life into an international solidarity that is running out of steam."[42]

Stiglitz, on his part, argues that a number of global public goods should be produced and supplied to the populations, but they are not, and a number of global externalities should be taken into consideration, but they are not. On the other hand, he contends, the international stage is often used to find solutions to completely unrelated problems under the protection of opacity and secrecy, which would be impossible in a national democratic framework.[43]

On the subject of international trade, Susan George states that ". . . in a rational world, it would be possible to construct a trading system serving the needs of people in both North and South. . . . Under such a system, crushing third world debt and the devastating structural adjustment policies applied by the World Bank and the IMF would have been unthinkable, although the system would not have abolished capitalism."[44]

Political and institutional governance

Building a responsible world governance that would make it possible to adapt the political organization of society to globalization implies establishing a democratic political legitimacy at every level: local, national, regional and global.

Obtaining this legitimacy requires rethinking and reforming, all at the same time:

  • the fuzzy maze of various international organizations, instituted mostly in the wake of World War II; what is needed is a system of international organizations with greater resources and a greater intervention capacity, more transparent, fairer, and more democratic;
  • the Westphalian system, the very nature of states along with the role they play with regard to the other institutions, and their relations to each other; states will have to share part of their sovereignty with institutions and bodies at other territorial levels, and all with have to begin a major process to deepen democracy and make their organization more responsible;
  • the meaning of citizen sovereignty in the different government systems and the role of citizens as political protagonists; there is a need to rethink the meaning of political representation and participation and to sow the seeds of a radical change of consciousness that will make it possible to move in the direction of a situation in which citizens, in practice, will play the leading role at every scale.

The political aspect of world governance is discussed in greater detail in the section Problems of World Governance and Principles of Governance

Governance of peace, security, and conflict resolution

Armed conflicts have changed in form and intensity since the Berlin wall came down in 1989. The events of 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and repeated terrorist attacks all show that conflicts can become lethal for the entire world, well beyond the belligerents directly involved. The leaders of a handful of major powers, starting with the biggest of all, the United States, have used war as a means of resolving conflicts and may well continue to do so. If many in the United States believe that fundamentalist Muslim networks are likely to continue to launch attacks, in Europe nationalist movements have proved to be the most persistent terrorist threat.[45]

At the same time, civil wars continue to break out across the world, particularly in areas where civil and human rights are not respected, such as Central and Eastern Africa and the Middle East. These and other regions remain deeply entrenched in permanent crises, hampered by authoritarian regimes, many of them being supported by the United States, reducing entire swathes of the population to wretched living conditions. The wars and conflicts we are faced with have a variety of causes: economic inequality, social conflict, religious sectarianism, Western imperialism, colonial legacies, disputes over territory and over control of basic resources such as water or land. They are all illustrations a deep-rooted crisis of world governance.

The resulting bellicose climate imbues international relations with competitive nationalism and contributes, in rich and poor countries alike, to increasing military budgets, siphoning off huge sums of public money to the benefit of the arms industry and military-oriented scientific innovation, hence fueling global insecurity. Of these enormous sums, a fraction would be enough to provide a permanent solution for the basic needs of the planet's population hence practically eliminating the causes of war and terrorism.

Andrée Michel argues that the arms race is not only proceeding with greater vigor, it is the surest means for Western countries to maintain their hegemony over countries of the South. Following the break-up of the Eastern bloc countries, she maintains, a strategy for the manipulation of the masses was set up with a permanent invention of an enemy (currently incarnated by Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and North Korea) and by kindling fear and hate of others to justify perpetuating the Military-industrial Complex and arms sales. The author also recalls that the "Big Five" at the UN who have the veto right are responsible for 85% of arms sales around the world.[46]

Proposals for the governance of peace, security, and conflict resolution begin by addressing prevention of the causes of conflicts, whether economic, social, religious, political, or territorial. This requires assigning more resources to improving people's living conditions—health, accommodation, food, and work—and to education, including education in the values of peace, social justice, and unity and diversity as two sides of the same coin representing the global village.

Resources for peace could be obtained by regulating, or even reducing military budgets, which have done nothing but rise in the past recent years. This process could go hand in hand with plans for global disarmament and the conversion of arms industries, applied proportionally to all countries, including the major powers. Unfortunately, the warlike climate of the last decade has served to relegate all plans for global disarmament, even in civil-society debates, and to pigeonhole them as a long-term goal or even a Utopian vision. This is definitely a setback for the cause of peace and for humankind, but it is far from being a permanent obstacle.

International institutions also have a role to play in resolving armed conflicts. Small international rapid deployment units could intervene in these with an exclusive mandate granted by a reformed and democratic United Nations system or by relevant regional authorities such as the European Union. These units could be formed specifically for each conflict, using armies from several countries as was the case when the UNIFIL was reinforced during the 2006 Lebanon War. On the other hand, no national army would be authorized to intervene unilaterally outside its territory without a UN or regional mandate.

Another issue that is worth addressing concerns the legitimate conditions for the use of force and conduct during war. Jean-Réné Bachelet offers an answer with the conceptualization of a military ethics corresponding to the need for a "principle of humanity." The author defines this principle as follows: "All human beings, whatever their race, nationality, gender, age, opinion, or religion, belong to one same humanity, and every individual has an inalienable right to respect for his life, integrity, and dignity."[47]

Governance of science, education, information, and communications

The World Trade Organization's (WTO) agenda of liberalizing public goods and services are related to culture, science, education, health, living organisms, information, and communication.[48] This plan has been only partially offset by the alter-globalization movement, starting with the events that took place at the 1999 Seattle meeting, and on a totally different and probably far more influential scale in the medium and long term, by the astounding explosion of collaborative practices on the Internet. However, lacking political and widespread citizen support as well as sufficient resources, civil society has not so far been able to develop and disseminate alternative plans for society as a whole on a global scale, even though plenty of proposals and initiatives have been developed, some more successful than others, to build a fairer, more responsible, and more solidarity-based world in all of these areas.

Above all, each country tries to impose their values and collective prefereences within international institutions such like WTO or UNESCO, particulalry in the Medias sector. This is an excellent opportunity to promote their soft power, for instance with the promotion of the cinema[49]

As far as science is concerned, "[r]esearch increasingly bows to the needs of financial markets, turning competence and knowledge into commodities, making employment flexible and informal, and establishing contracts based on goals and profits for the benefit of private interests in compliance with the competition principle. The directions that research has taken in the past two decades and the changes it has undergone have drastically removed it from its initial mission (producing competence and knowledge, maintaining independence) with no questioning of its current and future missions. Despite the progress, or perhaps even as its consequence, humankind continues to face critical problems: poverty and hunger are yet to be vanquished, nuclear arms are proliferating, environmental disasters are on the rise, social injustice is growing, and so on.

Neoliberal commercialization of the commons favors the interests of pharmaceutical companies instead of the patients', of food-processing companies instead of the farmers' and consumers'. Public research policies have done nothing but support this process of economic profitability, where research results are increasingly judged by the financial markets. The system of systematically patenting knowledge and living organisms is thus being imposed throughout the planet through the 1994 WTO agreements on intellectual property. Research in many areas is now being directed by private companies."[50]

On the global level, "[i]nstitutions dominating a specific sector also, at every level, present the risk of reliance on technical bodies that use their own references and deliberate in an isolated environment. This process can be observed with the 'community of patents' that promotes the patenting of living organisms, as well as with authorities controlling nuclear energy. This inward-looking approach is all the more dangerous that communities of experts are, in all complex technical and legal spheres, increasingly dominated by the major economic organizations that finance research and development." [22]

On the other hand, several innovative experiments have emerged in the sphere of science, such as: conscience clauses and citizens' panels as a tool for democratizing the production system: science shops and community-based research. Politically committed scientists are also increasingly organizing at the global level.[51]

As far as education is concerned, the effect of commoditization can be seen in the serious tightening of education budgets, which has an impact on the quality of general education as a public service. The Global Future Online report reminds us that ". . . at the half-way point towards 2015 (author's note: the deadline for the Millennium Goals), the gaps are daunting: 80 million children (44 million of them girls) are out of school, with marginalized groups (26 million disabled and 30 million conflict-affected children) continuing to be excluded. And while universal access is critical, it must be coupled with improved learning outcomes—in particular, children achieving the basic literacy, numeracy and life skills essential for poverty reduction."[52]

In addition to making the current educational system available universally, there is also a call to improve the system and adapt it to the speed of changes in a complex and unpredictable world. On this point, Edgar Morin asserts that we must "[r]ethink our way of organizing knowledge. This means breaking down the traditional barriers between disciplines and designing new ways to reconnect that which has been torn apart." The UNESCO report drawn up by Morin contains "seven principles for education of the future": detecting the error and illusion that have always parasitized the human spirit and human behavior; making knowledge relevant, i.e. a way of thinking that makes distinctions and connections; teaching the human condition; teaching terrestrial identity; facing human and scientific uncertainties and teaching strategies to deal with them; teaching understanding of the self and of others, and an ethics for humankind.[53]

The exponential growth of new technologies, the Internet in particular, has gone hand in hand with the development over the last decade of a global community producing and exchanging goods. This development is permanently altering the shape of the entertainment, publishing, and music and media industries, among others. It is also influencing the social behavior of increasing numbers of people, along with the way in which institutions, businesses, and civil society are organized. Peer-to-peer communities and collective knowledge-building projects such as Wikipedia have involved millions of users around the world. There are even more innovative initiatives, such as alternatives to private copyright such as Creative Commons, cyber democracy practices, and a real possibility of developing them on the sectoral, regional, and global levels.

Regional views

Regional players, whether regional conglomerates such as Mercosur and the European Union, or major countries seen as key regional players such as China, the United States, and India, are taking a growing interest in world governance. Examples of discussion of this issue can be found in the works of: Martina Timmermann et al., Institutionalizing Northeast Asia: Regional Steps toward Global Governance;[54] Douglas Lewis, Global Governance and the Quest for Justice - Volume I: International and Regional Organizations;[55] Olav Schram Stokke, "Examining the Consequences of International Regimes," which discusses Northern, or Arctic region building in the context of international relations;[56] Jeffery Hart and Joan Edelman Spero, "Globalization and Global Governance in the 21st Century," which discusses the push of countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India, China, Taiwan, and South Korea, "important regional players" seeking "a seat at the table of global decision-making";[57] Dr. Frank Altemöller, “International Trade: Challenges for Regional and Global Governance: A comparison between Regional Integration Models in Eastern Europe and Africa – and the role of the WTO”,[58] and many others.

Interdependence among countries and regions hardly being refutable today, regional integration is increasingly seen not only as a process in itself, but also in its relation to the rest of the world, sometimes turning questions like "What can the world bring to my country or region?" into "What can my country or region bring to the rest of the world?" Following are a few examples of how regional players are dealing with these questions.


Often seen as a problem to be solved rather than a people or region with an opinion to express on international policy, Africans and Africa draw on a philosophical tradition of community and social solidarity that can serve as inspiration to the rest of the world and contribute to building world governance. One example is given by Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gathseni when he reminds us of the relevance of the Ubuntu concept, which stresses the interdependence of human beings.[59]

African civil society has thus begun to draw up proposals for governance of the continent, which factor in all of the dimensions: local, African, and global. Examples include proposals by the network "Dialogues sur la gouvernance en Afrique" for "the construction of a local legitimate governance," state reform "capable of meeting the continent's development challenges," and "effective regional governance to put an end to Africa's marginalization."[60]

United States

Foreign-policy proposals announced by the recently re-elected President Barack Obama include restoring the Global Poverty Act, which aims to contribute to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals to reduce by half the world population living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. Foreign aid is expected to double to 50 billion dollars.[61] The money will be used to help build educated and healthy communities, reduce poverty and improve the population's health.[62]

In terms of international institutions, The White House Web site advocates reform of the World Bank and the IMF, without going into any detail.[63]

Below are further points in the Obama-Biden plan for foreign policy directly related to world governance:[64]

  • strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty;
  • global de-nuclearization in several stages including stepping up cooperation with Russia to significantly reduce stocks of nuclear arms in both countries;
  • revision of the culture of secrecy: institution of a National Declassification Center to make declassification secure but routine, efficient, and cost-effective;
  • increase in global funds for AIDS, TB and malaria. Eradication of malaria-related deaths by 2015 by making medicines and mosquito nets far more widely available;
  • increase in aid for children and maternal health as well as access to reproductive health-care programs;
  • creation of a 2-billion-dollar global fund for education. Increased funds for providing access to drinking water and sanitation;
  • other similarly large-scale measures covering agriculture, small- and medium-sized enterprises and support for a model of international trade that fosters job creation and improves the quality of life in poor countries;
  • in terms of energy and global warming, Obama advocates a) an 80% reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 b) investing 150 billion dollars in alternative energies over the next 10 years and c) creating a Global Energy Forum capable of initiating a new generation of climate protocols.

Latin America

The 21st century has seen the arrival of a new and diverse generation of left-wing governments in Latin America. This has opened the door to initiatives to launch political and governance renewal. A number of these initiatives are significant for the way they redefine the role of the state by drawing on citizen participation, and can thus serve as a model for a future world governance built first and foremost on the voice of the people. The constituent assemblies in Ecuador and Bolivia are fundamental examples of this phenomenon.

In Ecuador, social and indigenous movements were behind the discussions that began in 1990 on setting up a constituent assembly.[65] In the wake of Rafael Correa's arrival at the head of the country in November 2006, widespread popular action with the slogan "que se vayan todos" (let them all go away) succeeded in getting all the political parties of congress to accept a convocation for a referendum on setting up the assembly.

In April 2007, Rafael Correa's government organized a consultation with the people to approve setting up a constituent assembly. Once it was approved, 130 members of the assembly were elected in September, including 100 provincial members, 24 national members and 6 for migrants in Europe, Latin America and the USA. The assembly was officially established in November. Assembly members belonged to traditional political parties as well as the new social movements. In July 2008, the assembly completed the text for the new constitution and in September 2008 there was a referendum to approve it. Approval for the new text won out, with 63.9% of votes for compared to 28.1% of votes against and a 24.3% abstention rate.[66]

The new constitution establishes the rule of law on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights (ESCER). It transforms the legal model of the social state subject to the rule of law into a "constitution of guaranteed well-being" (Constitución del bienestar garantizado) inspired by the ancestral community ideology of "good living" propounded by the Quechuas of the past, as well as by 21st century socialist ideology. The constitution promotes the concept of food sovereignty by establishing a protectionist system that favors domestic production and trade. It also develops a model of public aid for education, health, infrastructures and other services.

In addition, it adds to the three traditional powers, a fourth power called the Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control, made up of former constitutional control bodies and social movements, and mandated to assess whether public policies are constitutional or not.

The new Bolivian constitution was approved on 25 January 2009 by referendum, with 61.4% votes in favor, 38.6% against and a 90.2% turnout. The proposed constitution was prepared by a constituent assembly that did not only reflect the interests of political parties and the elite, but also represented the indigenous peoples and social movements. As in Ecuador, the proclamation of a constituent assembly was demanded by the people, starting in 1990 at a gathering of indigenous peoples from the entire country, continuing with the indigenous marches in the early 2000s and then with the Program Unity Pact (Pacto de Unidad Programático) established by family farmers and indigenous people in September 2004 in Santa Cruz.[67]

The constitution recognizes the autonomy of indigenous peoples, the existence of a specific indigenous legal system, exclusive ownership of forest resources by each community and a quota of indigenous members of parliament. It grants autonomy to counties, which have the right to manage their natural resources and elect their representatives directly. The latifundio system has been outlawed, with maximum ownership of 5,000 hectares allowed per person. Access to water and sanitation are covered by the constitution as human rights that the state has to guarantee, as well as other basic services such as electricity, gas, postal services, and telecommunications that can be provided by either the state or contracting companies. The new constitution also establishes a social and community economic model made up of public, private, and social organizations, and cooperatives. It guarantees private initiative and freedom of enterprise, and assigns public organizations the task of managing natural resources and related processes as well as developing public services covered by the constitution. National and cooperative investment is favored over private and international investment. The "unitary plurinational" state of Bolivia has 36 official indigenous languages along with Spanish. Natural resources belong to the people and are administered by the state. The form of democracy in place is no longer considered as exclusively representative and/or based on parties. Thus, "the people deliberate and exercise government via their representatives and the constituent assembly, the citizen legislative initiative and the referendum . . ."[68] and "popular representation is exercised via the political parties, citizen groups, and indigenous peoples."[69] This way, "political parties, and/or citizen groups and/or indigenous peoples can present candidates directly for the offices of president, vice-president, senator, house representative, constituent-assembly member, councilor, mayor, and municipal agent. The same conditions apply legally to all. . . ."[70]

Also in Latin America: "Amazonia . . . is an enormous biodiversity reservoir and a major climate-regulation agent for the planet but is being ravaged and deteriorated at an accelerated pace; it is a territory almost entirely devoid of governance, but also a breeding place of grassroots organization initiatives.".[71] "Amazonia can be the fertile field of a true school of 'good' governance if it is looked after as a common and valuable good, first by Brazilians (65% of Amazonia is within Brazilian borders) and the people of the South American countries surrounding it, but also by all the Earth's inhabitants."[72] Accordingly, "[f]rom a world-governance perspective, [Amazonia] is in a way an enormous laboratory. Among other things, Amazonia enables a detailed examination of the negative effects of productivism and of the different forms of environmental packaging it can hide behind, including 'sustainable development.' Galloping urbanization, Human Rights violations, the many different types of conflicts (14 different types of conflicts have been identified within the hundreds of cases observed in Amazonia), protection of indigenous populations and their active participation in local governance: these are among the many Amazonian challenges also affecting the planet as a whole, not to mention the environment. The hosts of local initiatives, including among the indigenous populations, are however what may be most interesting in Amazonia in that they testify to the real, concrete possibility of a different form of organization that combines a healthy local economy, good social cohesion, and a true model of sustainable development—this time not disguised as something else. All of this makes Amazonia 'a territory of solutions.'"[73]

According to Arnaud Blin, the Amazonian problem helps to define certain fundamental questions on the future of humankind. First, there is the question of social justice: "[H]ow do we build a new model of civilization that promotes social justice? How do we set up a new social architecture that allows us to live together?" The author goes on to refer to concepts such as the concept of "people's territory " or even "life territory" rooted in the indigenous tradition and serving to challenge private property and social injustice. He then suggests that the emerging concept of the "responsibility to protect," following up on the "right of humanitarian intervention" and until now used to try to protect populations endangered by civil wars, could also be applied to populations threatened by economic predation and to environmental protection.[74]


The growing interest in world governance in Asia represents an alternative approach to official messages, dominated by states' nationalist visions. An initiative to develop proposals for world governance took place in Shanghai in 2006, attended by young people from every continent. The initiative produced ideas and projects that can be classified as two types: the first and more traditional type, covering the creation of a number of new institutions such as an International Emissions Organization,[75] and a second more innovative type based on organizing network-based systems. For example, a system of cooperative control on a worldwide level among states [76] and self-organization of civil society into networks using new technologies, a process that should serve to set up a Global Calling-for-Help Center or a new model based on citizens who communicate freely, share information, hold discussions, and seek consensus-based solutions.[77] They would use the Internet and the media, working within several types of organizations: universities, NGOs, local volunteers and civil-society groups.[78]

Given the demographic importance of the continent, the development of discussion on governance and practices in Asia at the regional level, as well as global-level proposals, will be decisive in the years ahead in the strengthening of global dialog among all sorts of stakeholders, a dialog that should produce a fairer world order.


According to Michel Rocard, Europe does not have a shared vision, but a collective history that allows Europeans to opt for projects for gradual political construction such as the European Union. Drawing on this observation, Rocard conceives of a European perspective that supports the development of three strategies for constructing world governance: reforming the UN, drawing up international treaties to serve as the main source of global regulations, and "the progressive penetration of the international scene by justice."[79]

Rocard considers that there are a number of "great questions of the present days" including recognition by all nations of the International Criminal Court, the option of an international police force authorized to arrest international criminals, and the institution of judicial procedures to deal with tax havens, massively polluting activities, and states supporting terrorist activities. He also outlines "new problems" that should foster debate in the years to come on questions such as a project for a Declaration of Interdependence, how to re-equilibrate world trade and WTO activities, and how to create world regulations for managing collective goods (air, drinking water, oil, etc.) and services (education, health, etc.).[80]

Martin Ortega similarly suggests that the European Union should make a more substantial contribution to global governance, particularly through concerted action in international bodies. European states, for instance, should reach an agreement on the reform of the United Nations Security Council.[81]

In 2011, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), an inter-institutional pilot project of the European Union which aims to assist EU policy formulation through the identification and critical analysis of long-term global trends, highlighted the importance of expanding global governance over the next 20 years.[82]

Stakeholders' views

It is too soon to give a general account of the view of world-governance stakeholders, although interest in world governance is on the rise on the regional level, and we will certainly see different types of stakeholders and social sectors working to varying degrees at the international level and taking a stand on the issue in the years to come.

Institutional and state stakeholders

Members of parliament

The World Parliamentary Forum, open to members of parliament from all nations and held every year at the same time as the World Social Forum, drew up a declaration at the sixth forum in Caracas in 2006. The declaration contains a series of proposals that express participants' opinion on the changes referred to.[83]


The International Alliance of Military for Peace and Security is a platform of expression and discussion of ideas and positions on various topics affecting security and stability, the goal of which is to "discuss issues of security and defense, as well as ways of promoting a new 'Consciousness of Security and Defense' to citizens, which allows them to better understand the risks and opportunities inherent in international relations within a globalizing world and to participate actively in the definition of conditions to ensure the stability of international relations and peace." The Alliance is made up of members of the military and other people interested in issues related to human security.

Some of the member organizations of the Alliance of Military have drawn up a Charter for the Promotion of an "European Security and Defence Awareness. This document is written for public opinion and formulates objectives, tasks, and the conditions for adhering to and setting up European-level reinforced military cooperation. One of the Alliance's key goals is to promote the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) to a broader public, without wishing to call into question transatlantic partnership and the role of the UN. The actions of national governments and European institutions in the areas of security and defense must be founded on the adherence of European citizens.

Regional organizations

The European Commission referred to global governance in its White Paper on European Governance. It contends that the search for better global governance draws on the same set of shared challenges humanity is currently facing. These challenges can be summed up by a series of goals: sustainable development, security, peace and equity (in the sense of "fairness").[84]

Non-state stakeholders

The freedom of thought enjoyed by non-state stakeholders enables them to formulate truly alternative ideas on world-governance issues, but they have taken little or no advantage of this opportunity.

Pierre Calame believes that "[n]on-state actors have always played an essential role in global regulation, but their role will grow considerably in this, the beginning of the twenty-first Century . . . Non-state actors play a key role in world governance in different domains . . . To better understand and develop the non-state actors' role, it should be studied in conjunction with the general principles of governance." "Non-state actors, due to their vocation, size, flexibility, methods of organization and action, interact with states in an equal manner; however this does not mean that their action is better adapted."[85]

One alternative idea encapsulated by many not-for-profit organisations relates to ideas in the 'Human Potential Movement' and might be summarised as a mission statement along these lines: 'To create an accepted framework for all humankind, that is self-regulating and which enables every person to achieve their fullest potential in harmony with the world and its place in existence.'

The use of the word 'humankind' is instead of 'mankind'. There are many examples of the use of the word 'humankind' and possibly therefore of this choice e.g. in the opening narration of the TV series Wonders of the Universe by Professor Brian Cox (physicist).

'Self-regulation' is meant to invoke the concept of regulation which includes rule-making such as laws, and related ideas e.g. legal doctrine as well as other frameworks. However its scope is wider than this and intended to encompass cybernetics which allows for the study of regulation in as many varied contexts as possible from the regulation of gene expression to the Press Complaints Commission for example.


Several stakeholders have produced lists of proposals for a new world governance that is fairer, more responsible, solidarity-based, interconnected and respectful of the planet's diversity. Some examples are given below.

Joseph E. Stiglitz proposes a list of reforms related to the internal organization of international institutions and their external role in the framework of global-governance architecture. He also deals with global taxation, the management of global resources and the environment, the production and protection of global knowledge, and the need for a global legal infrastructure.[86]

A number of other proposals are contained in the World Governance Proposal Paper: giving concrete expression to the principle of responsibility; granting civil society greater involvement in drawing up and implementing international regulations; granting national parliaments greater involvement in drawing up and implementing international regulations; re-equilibrating trade mechanisms and adopting regulations to benefit the southern hemisphere; speeding up the institution of regional bodies; extending and specifying the concept of the commons; redefining proposal and decision-making powers in order to reform the United Nations; developing independent observation, early-warning, and assessment systems; diversifying and stabilizing the basis for financing international collective action; and engaging in a wide-reaching process of consultation, a new Bretton Woods for the United Nations.[87]

This list provides more examples of proposals:

  • the security of societies and its correlation with the need for global reforms——a controlled legally-based economy focused on stability, growth, full employment, and North-South convergence;
  • equal rights for all, implying the institution of a global redistribution process;
  • eradication of poverty in all countries;
  • sustainable development on a global scale as an absolute imperative in political action at all levels;
  • fight against the roots of terrorism and crime;
  • consistent, effective, and fully democratic international institutions;
  • Europe sharing its experience in meeting the challenges of globalization and adopting genuine partnership strategies to build a new form of multilateralism.[88]

Dr. Rajesh Tandon, president of the FIM (Montreal International Forum) and of PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia), prepared a framework document entitled "Democratization of Global Governance for Global Democracy: Civil Society Visions and Strategies (G05) conference." He used the document to present five principles that could provide a basis for civil society actions: "Global institutions and agenda should be subjected to democratic political accountability."

  • Democratic policy at the global level requires legitimacy of popular control through representative and direct mechanisms.
  • Citizen participation in decision making at global levels requires equality of opportunity to all citizens of the world.
  • Multiple spheres of governance, from local to provincial to national to regional and global, should mutually support democratization of decision making at all levels.
  • Global democracy must guarantee that global public goods are equitably accessible to all citizens of the world.[89]

Vijaya Ramachandran, Enrique Rueda-Sabater and Robin Kraft also define principles for representation of nations and populations in the system of global governance. They propose a "Two Percent Club" that would provide for direct representation of nations with at least two percent of global population or global GDP; other nations would be represented within international fora through regional blocs.[90]

Academic tool or discipline

In the light of the unclear meaning of the term "global governance" as a concept in international politics, some authors have proposed to define it not in substantive, but in methdological terms. Global Governance, thus defined, becomes an analytical concept that provides a specific perspective on world politics different from that of conventional international relations[91] theory. Some universities, including those offering courses in international relations, have begun to establish degree programmes in global governance.

See also


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  2. ^ For greater discussion, see: Andreani, Gilles; "Governance global : origines d'une idée"; Politique étrangère, Nº 3, 2001, pp. 549-568.
  3. ^ Forum for a New World Governance (FnWG); Reasons for this Forum for a new World Governance
  4. ^ James Rosenau, "Toward an Ontology for Global Governance," in Martin Hewson and Timothy J. Sinclair (eds.), Approaches to Global Governance Theory (Albany, NY: State University of New York, 1999).
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  13. ^ Pierre Jacquet; Jean Pisani-Ferry; Laurence Tubiana; À la recherche de la gouvernance mondiale
  14. ^ A Global Ethic Now!; UN Global Compact Under Criticism
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  17. ^ Howard, S. (2006), "Organising Globally"
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  19. ^ Lipietz, A. (2005) "À quoi sert le Forum Parlementaire Mondial ?"
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  23. ^ Stiglitz, Joseph E. (2006), "Global public goods and global finance: does global governance ensure that the global public interest is served?", in Jean-Philippe Touffut, (ed.), Advancing Public Goods, Paris, pp. 149/164
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Carolina Pinheiro from
Wed, December 19, 2012 at 11.00 pm

Huairou Commission 

Good governance entails inclusive principles and mechanisms of participation that are able to bring women, especially grassroots women, into decision-making structures. Governments cannot assume that participatory mechanisms are inclusive and able to grasp the needs and ideas of grassroots women. 

 The building blocks for a post-2015 agenda should comprise initiatives to guarantee the full participation and leadership of women. Women’s organizations and social justice groups working for gender equality, human rights and women’s empowerment should be fully supported to meaningfully engage at all levels of consultation. Grassroots women leaders from community-based organizations are key stakeholders in the elaboration of a Post 2015 Development Agenda and should be enabled to negotiate for their own development priorities throughout the process. Their perspectives and experience of the MDGs as well as the developing post 2015 agenda are crucial in the creation of a holistic and relevant agenda for grassroots communities and women.

 It is also important to include indicators of perception to measure the participation of grassroots women in decision-making processes.  For instance: Grassroots women leaders from networks across the world – e.g. Huairou Commission, GROOTS International, Via Campesina etc.- actively participate in online, national, and international consultations, and agree that their points of view have been articulated in high level reports and conclusions.

Anonymous from
Wed, December 19, 2012 at 04.52 pm

Regarding the governance building blocks for the post-2015 agenda – and building on the posting by my colleague Vivek Srivastava from the World Bank -- we need to make sure that we take into account relevant evidence and research on governance that has accumulated over the past ten to fifteen years. This evidence matters for two crucial causal linkages: evidence on how the quality of governance affects development outcomes such as inequality, service delivery, growth, and environmental sustainability, and the evidence on 'what works' with regards to efforts at improving governance, and specific aspects of it. Both of these linkages have proven to pose greater challenges than when the governance agenda first emerged.

There is a broad consensus among practitioners and those analyzing available evidence that improvements in governance contribute to better development outcomes (see for example the evidence revisited by Bluhm and Szirmai (2012); as well as the sweeping historical reviews by Acemoglu and Robinson, and earlier by North, Wallis, and Weingast). However, there are also two fundamental challenges. One is that not all aspects of governance – a broad umbrella term – are equally important for achieving development outcomes. Some research (e.g. by Mustaq Khan; Ha Joon Chang, David Booth et al.) suggests that asking countries to focus on an overly broad agenda of improving governance can do some harm rather than good. Some institutional models developed in countries that are already wealthy may not deliver solutions in environments with very low incomes and resources.

Moreover, there is a real challenge in understanding better how improvements in governance can be achieved. For example, there is a growing body of evidence that supporting countries to develop anti-corruption agencies has not been effective at reducing corruption in many environments (http://www.u4.no/publications/mapping-evidence-gaps-in-anti-corruption-assessing-the-state-of-the-operationally-relevant-evidence-on-donors-actions-and-approaches-to-reducing-corruption/).

Including governance more centrally in the post-2015 framework is crucially important; while this should happen in a way that is cognizant of, and seeks to address these current limitations in the evidence on ‘what matters’ and ‘what works’. As raised by our colleague Vivek Srivastava (see December 18, 2012), greater investments in collecting indicators on governance and public sector performance will be essential to address gaps in knowledge that are fundamental for better guiding development policy and practice.

Clearly, governance matters not only because it contributes to other outcomes, but also because citizens ask to live in societies with fair rules as well as those that are able to solve collective action problems and to provide some protection against shocks. Again, we need to understand better what citizens expect of governments at national and local levels, as well as what they are willing and able to contribute to making better governance happen.

Four suggestions for governance building blocks for the post-2015 agenda flow from these considerations:

(i)            Increasing the transparency of what governments spend public funds on, and what is achieved with those funds in specific sectors such as health, education, transport or energy. This can contribute to greater accountability, combined with a focus on results; while the international community can help governments with the investments needed to track spending and related outcomes.

(ii)           Where MDGs and future development goals are falling short, national governments, development partners and other stakeholders should commit to tracking governance challenges that contribute to these results and to building a compact for addressing these challenges.

(iii)          Development partners should commit to significantly scale up their monitoring of and reporting on what support to institutional building and improving governance is being provided, and to evaluating the outcomes and impacts of these interventions.

(iv)         As part of the post-2015 agenda, a regular global forum should be established that facilitates aggregating and disseminating emerging evidence and results, and that enables discussions. Existing fora are largely focused on anti-corruption. This needs to be broadened to provide a more comprehensive understanding of governance for development.  

Vivek Srivastava from
Tue, December 18, 2012 at 07.06 pm

This is a very interesting and wide ranging discussion and apologies for joining it late. Based on work we currently doing the World Bank, I will focus my comments on the metrics for measuring the quality and strength of public institutions. The institutional arrangements for managing staff and resources within the public sector, and the broader governance environment within which the public sector operates, matter fundamentally for development outcomes. Measuring and tracking the quality and strength of these institutions can enable governments and donors to target reforms and a broader group of stakeholders to monitor their impact. Thus, this discussion has focused mostly on the issue of what to measure and track.  However, designing effective interventions (which is what governments will need to do to achieve their governance goals) requires actionable indicators of the strength of public management systems and of the quality of the governance environment.  If they are to be policy-relevant, the indicators must point to some concrete actions that can be taken.


The “New Consensus on More Effective Institutions for Development” following from the Busan discussions confirms that progress in measuring these public sector and governance institutions is widely recognized as a key development challenge.  Consensus on what indicators should be included and how they should be measured and collected will be key if these are to be included in the psot-2015 framework.


What are public management systems?


“Public management systems” are, in essence, the key management and oversight responsibilities of the core (“upstream”) ministries and agencies at the center of government which have functions that cut across sectors and are broadly seen to matter for “downstream” public sector results and development outcomes. Most would agree that these functions include budgetary and financial management systems, procurement and revenue mobilization systems, and public administration, but whether this is exhaustive and the exact dimensions of these functions could be open to considerable debate.The idea behind defining these upstream management and oversight arrangements as “public management systems” is to create a comprehensive map of the center of government operations that are broadly seen to matter for public sector results and development outcomes. The term “public management system” is meant to provide a common frame of reference that governments, donors and researchers can use both in analytic work and country dialogue.

Broadly, two inter-related sets of actionable indicators can be distinguished – with some inevitable overlap.

  • Indicators of the Strength of Public Management Systems (ISPMS) measure the performance of PSM systems that matter for development outcomes - the “missing middle” of the public sector results chain. The focus is on the executive. [The Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability indicators are an example.]

  • Indicators of the Governance Environment for the Public Sector, or Actionable Governance Indicators (AGI) measure the way in which the public sector is held to account through political institutions and directly by the public.  [Examples are the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI), the Global Integrity Indicators and the Public Accountability Mechanisms (PAM) Indicators.]


The Bank has recently initiated and effort (along with other bilateral partners) to develop a set of Indicators of the Strength of Public Management Systems (ISPMS) and Actionable Governance Indicators (AGIs) from existing sources to be supplemented with new indicators where such indicators are not available. ISPMS measures the strength of public sector management systems by capturing the intermediate results in the middle of the public sector results. AGIs capture actual improvements in the strength of non-executive institutions of accountability (the “governance environment”). Most of the discussion in this forum has focused on the latter.


The threshold for inclusion in ISPMS and AGI datasets is that the indicator captures changes in the performance of the system or in the behavior of the public agents working within it.  Indicators are tested against “utility” criteria (see Table).


Utility criteria

Indicators of the strength of public management systems (ISPMS), measure features of public management which…

Actionable governance indicators (AGIs) measure features of the governance environment which…


Make a difference for development outcomes, and/or inform donor decision-making

Make a difference for development outcomes or are themselves widely seen as an intrinsically valuable outcome and/or inform donor decision-making


Are specific enough to point governments towards policy actions that they can take to achieve an improvement and monitoring reform progress


Capture the functioning or performance of public institutions, avoiding the fashion trap of best practices which encourage mimicry of specific legal, organizational or institutional forms


Can be measured more or less objectively


The utility criteria for ISPMS and AGIs differ significantly in relation to “action-worthiness”: the potential link with development outcomes.  AGIs may identify important areas for work, transparency for example, where there is a wide agreement that it has an intrinsic value (many of the contributions to this forum confirm this view) and so its utility outweighs any limitations to the evidence available concerning its instrumental value.  For ISPMS indicators, the assumed link to development outcome is always critical.


In addition to the “utility” criteria, it will be important that indicators can be collected at regular intervals. Thus an important consideration for any new indicators would the cost and feasibility of regular data collection.


Current status:


ISPMS: The World Bank has recently initiated work on developing ISPMS. The PEFA indicators are among the few ISPMS datasets currently available for a large number of countries – over 130 as of July 2012. But no ISPMS measures with similarly wide coverage exist for other PSM systems, such as for example tax administration, public administration and procurement. These gaps persist because past efforts to fill them have confronted two key problems – the cost of data collection and lack of agreement on what matters for development outcomes and should thus be measured.

AGIs: Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in measuring the governance environment for public accountability.  Datasets such as the BTI track changes in a large number of countries over time. However, similar to ISPMS, there is a persistent lack of actionable indicators that measure the performance of institutions such as the judiciary, legislatures, anticorruption agencies, ombudsman, supreme audit bureaus and other accountability institutions.  The Bank has been working to fill this gap and make publicly available to policy makers and researchers broad Actionable Governance Indicators, as well as creating and launching the AGI Portal and the PAM web.    


Vivek Srivastava

Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network

World Bank

Anonymous from
Tue, December 18, 2012 at 05.35 pm

Some very  important issues have been raised in this discussion.  But what is missing are suggestions for action to ensure that governments are held accountable for ensuring that future development plans are fully inclusive of groups such as disabled people who were not mentioned in MDGs or monitoring criteria or even in UN reports on Education for All, despite the fact that one third of the 61 million children not able to go to school are children with disabilities.  

Mechanisms need to be created from the outset to ensure that governments are held accountable    for ensuring that the next phase of development is based on human rights and on inclusive social development. This means that governments need to be set targets for the inclusion of marginalised minorities and submit regular reports on progress to the UN.  

The UN already has a highly developed mechanism for the monitoring of Conventions but this is hardly mentioned in current discussions on post 2015 developments.   For example, the 126 countries that have so far ratified the 2008 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are now submitting reports to the Disabled Persons Committee of the UN High Commission on Human Rights on actions they have taken to implement each Article of the Convention.   Disabled Persons’ Organisations can submit their own reports which will be taken into account in the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations.  All this is in the public domain so that NGOs can use these UN reports in advocacy for their human rights in their own countries in respect all Conventions (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx).    



Anonymous from
Mon, December 17, 2012 at 06.40 pm

Posted by: Alison Holder, Head of Governance & Rights, Save the Children UK on behalf of Save the Children

Save the Children has considered a number of the questions posed as part of Phase I of the Governance e-Discussion.

Dimensions of governance:

  • To what extent has governance been reflected in the current MDGs? How has the context of governance—including opportunities and challenges—changed since the MDGs were conceived?

Governance in the current MDGs

The MDGs have been successful, lifting 600 million people out of poverty and reducing the number of daily child deaths by 14,000, to give just two examples. We have come a very long way - but there is also far to go. We should build on the strengths of the MDGs: the new framework should remain firmly focussed on human development, it should highlight areas where an international agreement can make a difference, and it should retain a limited number of measureable goals. But to finish the job that was started - to fulfil a promise to eradicate poverty – we need to address some of the challenges we can now perceive from the MDG period. 

In particular, Save the Children believes that the post 2015 framework needs to better confront inequality; include a robust, effective accountability mechanism; be structured in a way that better addresses synergies and systems; be reactive to emerging issues; and focus on improving the long-term sustainability of the natural resource base, upon which human health and prosperity is dependent.

With regards to Governance in particuarl, the United Nations Millennium Declaration explicitly linked the need to strengthen internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms with good governance.  The Declaration recognised that “Success in meeting [the objectives of development and poverty eradication] depends, inter alia, on good governance within each country. It also depends on good governance at the international level and on transparency in the financial, monetary and trading systems.”[1]  It also recognised that “men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. Democratic and participatory governance based on the will of the people best assures these rights.”[2]

When the Declaration was translated into the Millennium Development Goals, however, these explicit commitments to human rights and good governance were somewhat lost.  The MDGs do not explicitly refer to existing international human rights norms and standards, despite that fact that 193 Member states of the United Nations are bound by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and all UN Members are bound by at least one human rights treaty.  As a result, the MDGs have been criticised for having lowered the standard of what States are obliged to deliver on under human rights law.

For example, in taking measures to achieve MDG 2, many Governments have not set targets on other aspects of the right to education, notably that primary education should be free, compulsory and of a certain quality.[3]  And some Governments have interpreted the MDGs in a manner that violates their human rights obligations: In South Africa, for example, the Government interpreted MDG 7; target 7D, relating to the improvement of the lives of slum dwellers, by passing laws allowing forced evictions and slum clearances.[4] 

The issue of inequality - closely related to and dependent upon governance - was also not well-reflected in the current MDGs.  We know that the MDG targets did not require disaggregated data by gender, region or other dimension of inequality, and that this has masked huge disparities between and within countries, as we have shown in a number of recent policy research reports.[5]  This also goes against existing non-discrimination commitments many governments have made, including as signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The income poverty target under MDG 1 is a case in point. Although the number of people living in extreme poverty decreased in all world regions, China alone accounted for 649 million of the 662 million people lifted out of poverty between 1990 and 2008.  When national averages on poverty reduction, hunger, child mortality or education are disaggregated according to income and wealth, we see that in many countries the poorest groups are lagging a long way behind.[6] 

In the 2010 report A Fair Chance At Life Save the Children examined the disparities that lie behind the headline figures on child mortality.  It found that rates of progress differed dramatically according to the wealth quintile of the household in which a child was born. Sadly, unequal progress is the story of many other aspects of child well-being – from nutrition to education – undermining children’s chances to fulfil their potential.[7] 

Changing context of governance

Conflict-affected and fragile states present perhaps the most challenging conditions for open, accountable and inclusive governance – and for the realisation of development goals more broadly. Fragile states account for only one-fifth of the population of developing countries, but they contain a third of those living in extreme poverty, half of children who are not in primary school, and half of children who die before their fifth birthday.[8] Fragile and conflict-affected countries are also those that have made least progress towards the MDGs.[9]

While there is nothing new about the existence of fragile and conflict-affected countries, we arguably now better understand the role that governance plays in development.  For example the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs) that came out of the 2011 High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness identified the foundations needed to make the MDGs achievable in fragile and conflict-affected countries.  These Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs) are

  • Legitimate politics – a state for all

  • Security - safety for all

  • Justice - equity for all

  • Economic Foundations - jobs for all

  • Resources and revenue management - services for all

The identification and prioritisation of these PSGs could change the quality of aid effectiveness in fragile and conflict-affected states. 

The Post 2015 framework needs to consider different governance contexts and make a commitment to the progressive realisation of development goals, even in the most difficult and testing situations.  At the same time, the mix of the goals selected for the post-2015 framework can have an important impact on preventing and reducing conflict and fragility. Of the seven priority issues identified by Saferworld as being important for the reduction of conflict and fragility, four are directly related to more open, accountable and inclusive governance.[10]  The four are:

  • All states are able to manage revenues and perform core functions effectively and accountably.

  • All social groups can participate in the decisions that affect society.

  • All social groups have equal access to justice.

  • All social groups have access to fair, accountable social service delivery. 

All countries – from the most fragile and conflict-affected to those with the most long-standing traditions of democracy – can make improvements in measures of transparency, participation and accountability. To recognise the importance of open government in and of itself and also for sustainable reductions in absolute poverty, several facets of open, accountable and inclusive governance should be included in the MDG successor framework.


  • How do governance and (in)equality, including gender inequality, affect one another?

As recognised by UNESCO’s 2009 report – Overcoming inequality: why governance matters - inequality is linked to wider disparities in the distribution of power, wealth and opportunity: “It is perpetuated by policies that either tolerate or actively exacerbate an unfair distribution of life chances – policies that fuel the transmission of poverty across generations.”[11]

As Save the Children’s recent report on inequality and post 2015[12] demonstrates, strong policy frameworks that uphold the rights of various groups are essential if inequality is to be reduced in a sustainable way.  A related challenge is to ensure that data are collected on a sufficiently disaggregated basis so that inequalities are not hidden and can be addressed.  More specifically, across the eight countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and the UK) we studied, we found that transparency and accountability are essential in the implementation of policies to reduce inequality. 

In Ghana, for instance, the failure of past initiatives (for example, the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries initiative) to improve development in the country’s north (which suffers from vast inequality of outcomes and opportunities when compared with the country’s south) were blamed in part on lack of transparency and accountability in allocating funds.[13]  And the Nigeria case study – a country with very high levels of inequality on a number of dimensions - highlighted the negative impact of corruption on development and points to the vital importance of transparency and accountability in the use of public funds, backed up by strengthened anti-corruption laws, mechanisms and institutions.[14] In China, the case study identified the need to get the balance of incentives right for public sector service-providers and to promote transparency in public sector recruitment as a way to help bring equal access to sought-after jobs.[15]


  • What lessons have emerged regarding the importance of specific components of governance for the achievement and sustainability of the MDGs and other IADGs?

From a children’s rights perspective, it is important for this new framework to be guided by and reaffirm international human rights norms and standards, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and to provide a platform for people to use and claim these rights.  A post-2015 framework should refer to international human rights treaties and use a rights-based approach to development. This includes the UNCRC and its four guiding principles: non-discrimination (Article 2, UNCRC), the best interests of the child (Article 3, UNCRC), the right to life, survival and development (Article 6, UNCRC) and the child’s right to be heard (Article 12, UNCRC). It should also uphold the obligation that States have to take “measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international cooperation” (Article 4, UNCRC).   

Moreover, the new framework should adequately address the principles of universality, interdependence and indivisibility of human rights. It should also uphold the principles of equality and non-discrimination that are human rights obligations binding on States, under the UNCRC and other international human rights treaties. This goes beyond the concept of “equity” that is used in health and development contexts. In practical terms, this requires that each goal in the post-2015 framework should be applicable to the entire population, including non-citizens, and be measured using disaggregated data. Monitoring of the goals should involve reference groups from target populations, including vulnerable groups and children themselves.  SCI’s forthcoming report on inequality will address these issues in detail.           

In addition to monitoring outputs, the new framework should include an element of monitoring policy effort and resource allocation, as well as a formal accountability and reporting mechanism that invites input on progress from States as well as from other stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society.

The General Measures of Implementation of the UNCRC provide a good starting point for identifying some of the specific components of governance that are important for the achievement and sustainability of the MDGs, especially those pertaining to children.  These measures are the toolbox for promising efforts to make substantive rights a reality for children and lessons from these can be applied to the post 2015 framework more broadly:[16] 

  • examine and amend laws

  • allocate resources

  • coordinate measures

  • raise awareness and build capacity

  • systematically collect data and carefully monitor the implementation process and

  • arrange for an independent assessment of progress made


  • Why is governance relevant for the achievement and sustainability of development priorities?

“We have been equipped with leadership qualities that we need in the future, and we have been moulded into responsible citizens. I learnt to be positive in whatever I want to achieve in my life. There exist no more limits. Children are now being engaged in issues to do with the development of our town.”

Donovan, a youth delegate involved in the Zimbabwe Child and Youth Budget Network

According to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “as the systems of democracy, transparency and accountability are strengthened, as their capacity improves, African nations will increasingly acquire the technical skills to take ownership of their development policies.”[17]  Likewise, British Prime Minister David Cameron has emphasised the “golden thread” of conditions that enable open economies and open societies to thrive, including the rule of law, the absence of conflict and corruption, and the presence of property rights and strong institutions. These issues were notable in their absence from the MDGs.

A system of governance that is transparent, encourages participation, and delivers public goods and services effectively is critical to achievement of the MDGs.  Under-provision of essential public goods, for example, has been cited as a factor in making development in Africa slower and more inequitable than it needs to be.[18]  And a World Bank study, for example, pointed out the importance of good governance in helping to deliver a reduction in child mortality (MDG 4):  a 1% increase in spending on health lowers under-five mortality rates by 32% in countries with good governance but has no impact in countries with weak governance.[19] 


  • Feasibility of goals: Would it be desirable or feasible to propose governance goals and targets in specific areas? What are alternative approaches?

More open, accountable and inclusive governance entails at least three things. First, transparency; information about policy-making and budgeting must be available to the public in an accessible format. Second, participation; the public (including marginalised and excluded groups) must have the information, freedom and power to engage in policy-making and budgeting processes. Third, accountability; the government ensures the effective and equitable provision of public goods and the public are able to hold governments and other actors to account. 

We think that it is both desirable and feasible to have governance goals and targets in specific areas, though of course many elements of the governance agenda will also need to mainstreamed through the entire framework (for e.g., health-related goals will need to have elements of “system strengthening” and public goods provision, which will depend on governance).  Save the Children specifically proposes that the post 2015 framework should include a goal of more open, inclusive and accountable governance. In particular, this goal should be underpinned by the following global targets:

  1. Ensure all countries have transparent governance, with open budgeting, freedom of information and comprehensive corporate reporting

  2. Ensure all countries have participatory governance, with greater freedom of speech, press and political choice

  3. Ensure all countries have accountable governance, with commitment to the rule of law, more equitable and effective public services, and reduced corruption


By 2030 governance will be more open, accountable and inclusive


  1. Ensure all countries have transparent governance, with open budgeting, freedom of information and holistic corporate reporting

a) Increase in Open Budget Index score (transparency and participation in public budgeting)

b) Existence of Freedom of Information (FOI) Act

c) 1c Existence of legislation on corporate reporting that requires companies to report on their social and environmental impact, including human rights impact and tax paid

  1. Ensure all countries have participatory governance, with greater freedom of speech, press and political choice

a) Increase in CIRI indicator of freedoms of speech and press

b) Increase in CIRI indicator of freedom of political choice

c) Increase in Rule of Law index score on participation (including of marginalised and vulnerable groups) in governance

  1. Ensure all countries have accountable governance, with commitment to the rule of law, more equitable and effective public services, and reduced corruption

a) Increase in overall Rule of Law index score

b) Improvement in equity and effectiveness of public services (with access to services disaggregated by gender, region, ethnicity, etc.)

c) Reduction in perception of corruption


[1] http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm

[2] http://www.un.org/millennium/declaration/ares552e.htm

[3] Get reference from CRGI paper

[4] OHCHR, Human Rights and the Millennium Development Goals in Practice, A review of country strategies and reporting, 2010: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/HRAndMDGsInPractice.pdf

[5] See Save the Children, Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future, November 2012; Save the Children, An Equal Start: Why gender equality matters for child survival and maternal health, June 2011; Save the Children, A Fair Chance At Life: Why Equity Matters for Child Survival, September 2010

[6] Save the Children, Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future, November 2012

[7] Save the Children, A Fair Chance At Life: Why Equity Matters for Child Survival, September 2010

[8] From DFID, Eliminating World Poverty: Building our Common Future, 2009

[9] ODI, Security: The missing bottom of the Millennium Development Goals?, August 2012

[10] Reference Saferworld paper

[11] UNESCO 2009 EFA,

[12] Save the Children, Born Equal: How reducing inequality could give our children a better future, November 2012

[13] Save the Children, Born Equal

[14] Save the Children, Born Equal

[15] Save the Children, Born Equal

[16]Save the Children, “Governance Fit for Children”

[17] President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2010) ‘Africans must control their own fate’, The Global and Mail, 10 May 2010

[18] Booth, David, “Towards a Theory of Local Governance and Public Goods Provision”, IDS Bulletin, Vol. 42, Issue 2

[19] Rajkumar, A. and Swaroop, V, “Public Spending on outcomes: Does governance matter?”, Journal of Development Economics, 86 (2008), 96-111

Puvan Selvanathan from
Fri, December 14, 2012 at 03.46 pm

Human Rights, Business and Sustainable Development Post-2015


The role of business is a cross-cutting theme relevant to all the nine key issues identified by the Post-2015 task team and to the issues included in the Rio+20 outcome documentThe Future We Want. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the Human Rights Council in June 2011 and constituting an authoritative global standard for states and business on how to manage business impacts on human rights, are particularly instructive when it comes to the issue of governance, which is the subject of this e-discussion.  

Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on business and human rights, Professor John Ruggie, referred to an existing "governance gaps" in the business and human rights arena, allowing corporate-related human rights abuses to occur. In his report to the Human Rights Council in 2008, John Ruggie stated that "the root cause of the business and human rights predicament today lies in the governance gaps created by globalization - between the scope and impact of economic forces and actors, and the capacity of societies to manage their adverse consequences. These governance gaps provide the permissive environment for wrongful acts by companies of all kinds without adequate sanctioning or reparation. How to narrow and ultimately bridge the gaps in relation to human rights is our fundamental challenge" (Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, John Ruggie, Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights, A/HRC/8/5, para. 3)

The UN Guiding Principles provide an internationally endorsed response to bridging such governance gaps. They contain detailed guidance for both states and business enterprises on how to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts, as well as stipulating necessary measures to ensure accountability and redress for business related human rights impacts. Given their comprehensive scope and global support including from the business community itself, they should be a core element in global strategies involving or directed at business to achieve sustainable development objectives rooted in good governance. They should be incorporated as appropriate across all the issue areas identified both in The Future We Want and by the Post-2015 Task Team, including in relation to Governance.

The Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations, which has been mandated by the Human Rights Council to support efforts both globally, regionally and nationally of dissemination and implementation of the UN Guiding Principles. The Working Group considers the embedding of the UN Guiding Principles into global governance frameworks a key strategic objective of its mandate and as a means to achieving implementation of the Principles at the requisite scale. The Post-2015 agenda will in time constitute the most comprehensive global governance framework which is why it is of particular concern to the Working Group that the UN Guiding Principles be adequately reflected, including in relation to governance.

All Post-2015/SDG recommendations addressing the role of business should, at a minimum, be aligned with the Guiding Principles. This implies requiring business to ensure respect for human rights in any efforts relating to sustainable development.


Puvan J Selvanathan, Chair, UN Working Group on the issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Businesses

Anonymous from
Fri, December 14, 2012 at 02.23 pm

in the Post-2015 Development Framework

By Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung

An effective human-right based approach (HRBA) at the heart of the new framework

The current MDG framework has helped increase donor funding and opened up opportunities for advocacy notably on basic social sectors and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights through the Millennium Development Goals 5 and 6 (MDGs). However, the framework has some drawbacks: on the one hand, the lack of a human rights approach and on the other hand, the lack of all development actors’ involvement and the absence of accountability mechanisms. The MDGs are not unreachable but fell short because of unmet commitments, inadequate resources and a lack of focus and accountability. These shortfalls need to be addressed in the next global framework.

Guiding principles:

As DSW, we believe that any future framework should have the broad goal of poverty eradication and reducing inequalities with a human rights-based approach at its heart. To avoid the current gaps, the next framework should be coupled with three general guiding principles: human rights, transparency & accountability, and sustainability.

A human rights approach should encompass gender equality, equity, transparency and non-discrimination of all individuals (children and adolescents, women, sex workers, sexual minorities, drug users, people living with HIV, people living in rural areas, people with disabilities, etc.) in their aspirations to all freedoms. The new framework must take into consideration the needs of these groups.

It must allow the marginalised groups to take part in the development of the new goals, targets and implementation strategy, together with other stakeholders such as civil society and parliamentarians. In addition, accessible and equitable social services and good governance must be at the heart of the framework. This will ensure a larger degree of accountability and ownership – leading to increased sustainability of the framework.

How to ensure accountability of the HRBA:

  1. Human right based approach. The new framework should address poverty eradication not as a mere economic matter but as a holistic deprivation based on a lack of progress in human rights, including Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

A majority of the world’s poor are now living in middle-income countries (MICs) rather than low-income countries (LICs). This is further proof that the post-MDG framework must focus not only on economic development but look at the underlying causes for poverty and mechanisms of underdevelopment, namely the violation of key human rights principles of non-discrimination. There is a need for focusing and strengthening pro-poor and equity policies.

Therefore, emphasis needs to be shifted away from macro-economic indicators to include quality of living, respect of human rights principles, such as the right to freedom and peace but also the right to health according to WHO definition, to education or to control one’s body, including sexual and reproductive health and rights. In the social sectors, quality of services and care (delivered with respect to affordability, accessibility and equity) must furthermore be measured to ensure a rights-based approach.

Moreover, it is essential for the development agenda to be in line with existing international human rights based commitments such as the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agreed in 1994 in Cairo. It is crucial to ensure that the new framework includes all people, also marginalized groups such as youth, disabled, women, ethnic and sexual minorities, drug users, people living with HIV, people living in rural areas, and that their rights are fulfilled.

2. Shared responsibility: It is essential for the success of the development agenda that all actors are bound to the overarching goal of poverty eradication and reducing inequalities through human rights based approach. Universal responsibility also implies the abandonment of the outdated North-South, donor-beneficiary approach. Clarity should be sought on the respective responsibilities of various stakeholders.

Developed countries must look at the situation in their own context to ensure that poverty in all countries is targeted by the new framework. International donors, financial institutions as well as national governments must fulfill commitments which are based on needs and international recommendations: for instance, the 0.7 per cent Gross National Income (GNI) for development by 2015 agreed 40 years ago at the Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development or the G8 commitments at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005 to direct 50 per cent of their ODA increases to sub-Saharan Africa.

State governments will still be the driver of implementing and delivering on development goals. They must also guarantee appropriate and equitable financing, taxation, and funds allocation according to the specific situation in their country and recommendations. For instance, the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health recommends dedicating 0.1 per cent of GNI to health. Partner country commitments such as the 2001 Abuja Declaration where African governments committed to allocating 15 per cent of their national budgets to health shall also be fulfilled. However, the international community should still recognise that even if governments do achieve the Abuja target this will be far from enough to finance a primary health care system as defined by WHO in most countries.

Creating stronger incentives for turning agreements into results will be needed for countries and actors to commit to good governance reforms, including poverty reduction policies. For emerging donors, incentive to commit to the human rights based approach could be done through engagement in more triangular cooperation, i.e. cooperation between established donors, emerging donors and recipient countries. One of the most significant and potentially most welcome by-products of the presence of emerging powers in the development landscape is the opening up of additional policy space for developing countries.[1] This could add to increased ownership of developing countries and provide new ideas on principles around which development cooperation should be framed. However, it is important to remember that democratic ownership is not only about governments but about ownership of all stakeholders.

Civil society and parliaments composed of CSOs, research institutes, etc. are key development actors and should be involved as experts not only in implementing but also in framing the post-MDGs.

Local for-profit private sector development should further be built up by ensuring that the new development agenda promotes projects that have the objective of strengthening and fostering the local private sector. The broader private sector and notably international companies have a role to play in respecting Human rights and improving livelihoods and living conditions in developing countries. However, it should be noted that there are boundaries to the extent to which the private sector can shoulder traditional state tasks, such as access to health and education. Private public partnership should only be focussed on building state capacities – through capacities, knowledge or technology transfer to ensure sustainability.

3. Increased democratic ownership: One way of improving enforcement is thus to support CSO in their advocacy towards country democratic accountability. CSOs can play a crucial role in calling on the decision makers to implement commitments; through shadow reports, advocacy, locally based monitoring and ownership and peer to peer pressure.

In–country democratic processes should be strengthened to ensure mechanisms for holding all development actors; governments, CSOs, private sector, development partners and other actors to account as requested most recently in the Busan Outcome Document. The role of CSOs in developed countries will be to work hand in hand with CSOs in less developed countries under mutual accountability towards the new framework, and where necessary strengthen the capacity of these CSOs to form alliances and networks for doing joint advocacy.

With decentralisation, the decisions are often made at local levels. Civic education and empowering communities and individuals to know and exert their rights are therefore crucial. With our mission of empowering people to know their rights, DSW’s Healthy Action project has been successful in strengthening accountability at district level in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, where decentralisation is increasing. Local communities have gained knowledge about their rights and responsibilities and have used this to take part in health budget processes. District leaders have admitted that they did not know about the needs of community members raised in meetings, showing that it is crucial to have this involvement.[2]

The current framework has been led by a small group of experts and as a consequence has been perceived as donor driven.  This lack of ownership of Southern countries, civil society and other stakeholders such as young people resulted in a lack of proper knowledge and understanding of the MDGs by local people in developing countries. Therefore, the current framework failed to establish a true mutual accountability from the people and to realise a democratic ownership. In order to foster community and marginalised people ownership the framework needs to be universal and transparent. A more inclusive process will improve accountability as a range of actors (upper, middle and low income countries) will feel more ownership of the new framework. Civil society, private sector for profit, local authorities and parliamentarians – but also with representation of the poorest and most marginalised groups - must be involved in developing the framework and that they can use the post-MDGs to hold leaders – domestically, regionally and globally – to account. Accountability systems should be inter-sectoral and grounded in participatory approaches that ensure the meaningful engagement of diverse women’s, youth and other civil society organizations in policy-making and monitoring processes It is not enough to have civil society or parliamentarian participation, but this must be meaningful influence policy outcomes.

 4. Clear and internationally agreed indicators: Measures and mechanisms should be established to track political, programmatic and financial accountability for commitments made and for human rights obligations, at national, regional and global levels. Although policy commitments have been made in various international and national fora, implementation did not always follow in an effective manner because of lack of ownership, political vision or financial resources. MDG5 B – universal access to reproductive health - was highly controversial and was only integrated within the MDG framework in 2007. This demonstrates the lack of priority in the global political context to these issues, although recognised as key in development. In addition, there were no binding commitments, nor follow-up mechanism to address gaps. Accordingly, this goal is now one of the goals furthest from being achieved.

Without explicitly stating that the goals refer to universal rights and equity, there is an imminent risk that vulnerable and marginalised groups will be excluded from targeted interventions. Clear commitments and a universal monitoring framework are crucial to ensure that the new framework is implemented in all countries and make it possible to measure progress and monitor policy outcomes. The Human right based approach indicators could be based on international agreements including signature, compliance and implementation of all governments, and independent evaluation by the UN (such as for instance International Conference on Population and Development on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights).

5. Tiered approach: if the new MDG framework is aiming to reach the most marginalised groups, it should be designed with their involvement to ensure targeted implementation at the regional, national and local levels. Targets and implementation at regional and national levels need to be differentiated and progressive as to establish realistic targets and timeframes that reflect individual countries’ strengths and weaknesses in any given priority area.

 6. Evaluation: particular attention should be paid to data generation, disaggregation and qualitative data.

In the current framework even in countries showing good progress on MDGs, gender, rural, age-disaggregated data when available show existing in-country discrepancies. Yet, the correlations between these factors are essential to a thorough analysis. Therefore analyses should look at inequalities and diversity among population groups, especially to ensure that the poorest and excluded sectors are accessing the policies, laws and services put in place/ Specific monitoring should be established to look at marginalised groups such as rural and slum dwellers populations, including migrant, displaced, conflict-affected, indigenous and minority populations, women, adolescents and youth, and older persons living in poverty. Evaluation of progress must focus on qualitative aspects and impact rather than quantitative measures, including on governance aspects and transparency.

7. Coherence: all actors should implement and monitor Policy Coherence for Development (PCD). For this to happen, policy making processes at all levels need to be open, interlinked and transparent, allowing policy documents, resources allocation, budget documentations and processes to be publicly available and easily monitored.

The post-MDGs links with other international fora or mechanisms must be reflected in the process, and ultimately also in the goals, targets and indicators of this framework. This is true for instance for the current processes on Human rights commitments such as the International Conference on Population and Development, other processes on development framework such as the Sustainable Development Goals (intricately linked notably on the issues of environment, population, health, poverty eradication and inclusive growth) or potential new international mechanism. Some issues have indeed broad impact such as health and SRHR and population dynamics. Health should be approached in all policies (policy or reform that aims to ensure communities are healthy, with integration of public health actions with primary care and healthy public policies in all sectors). Economic, environmental and social conditions, including the equity of these conditions have a tremendous impact on the health of a population. Hence, health can be a powerful benchmark to measure progress in all areas of sustainable development. Similarly some issues are not only one aspect, for instance the SRHR are not only a health issue but also very much link to gender equality and women and youth empowerment.

Likewise, a successful PCD approach in the post 2015 development agenda needs to recognise that population, health and environment are intricately linked as population dynamics and health needs determine – and are determined – by economic and environmental development efforts. Additionally, aspects such as youth and gender should be mainstreamed to guarantee policy coherence to these two key drivers of sustainable development.



Anonymous from
Tue, December 11, 2012 at 02.44 pm

One of the main shortcomings of the MDGs, particularly MDG 8: “Building a global partnership for development”, was the failure to hold donor countries accountable for their actions on aid as well as in a host of other crucial areas of the global economic architecture, such as with sovereign debt, tax, trade and financial regulation. The MDGs to date have done nothing to address the serious accountability deficits in the international economic governance system and how these issues can negatively impact national development efforts in poor countries. But rather than waiting for the donor countries to act, my article highlights how today many social movements and civic efforts around the world which are linking people, organizations and networks in order to mobilize and engage with states and demand actions be taken to provide greater social accountability on all of these macro-level global economic issues. To have any relevance or credibility, those working to build a post-2015 global development framework must acknowledge such trends in civic activism and incorporate this new political reality into any new agreements and goals.

“Social accountability efforts seek better national and global economic governance” by Rick Rowden




Anonymous from
Thu, December 6, 2012 at 09.20 am

Key elements of governance in post-2015 development framework according to ACT Alliance:

ACT Alliance believes governance should embrace inclusive participation and state accountability.  It is about responsive leadership that embraces the values of participation, accountability, equality and respect for the dignity and human rights of all. It is about transparent institutions; equal access to information and remedies; and the rule of law, including an independent judiciary. It is about ensuring democratic ownership of national and global policies and securing that citizens and civil society enjoy their right not only to elect their representatives, but also to participate in the development and monitoring of policies, programmes, services and resources that can impact and change their lives. This cannot be achieved without freedom to express oneself, to associate and to assemble, irrespective of one´s identity and status.

Governance must be based on respect for human rights in general, particularly minority rights and women´s rights. With the increasing role of the private sector in development, governance is also about states ensuring that these private actors comply with human rights standards and facilitate the active participation of communities in decisions affecting their own development. But governance is often colored by unequal relations of power i.e. between state and impoverished/discriminated groups within their territory or control; between the state and the large multi-national companies; and between national states and the international community. In this web of power relationships, referring to and abiding by international standards, particularly human rights standards, is key to holding all actors accountable.

Key elements in the post-2015 development framework for ACT Alliance are:

- Right to participation/to be heard

- Enabling environment for participation

- Accountability, including

                             -Human rights accountability

                             - Rule of law

                             - Accountability of private actors

                             - Democratic ownership

Based on the above, the ACT Alliance calls on governments to:

  • Ensure that explicit reference is made to the particular human right standard and other compliant international standards under each goal/paradigm in the post-2015 development framework. Goal formulation and targets must be in keeping with the content of the particular right. This will facilitate increased accountability and limit the number of competing frameworks against which governments need to report


  • Ensure that inequality and discrimination, including gender inequalities and discrimination, is addressed, as an intrinsic aspect of good governance for poverty eradication. The post-2015 framework must be monitored against disaggregated data and based on context-specific analyses of the groups most excluded


  • Ensure that civil and political rights are also included in the post-2015 framework with concrete targets/indicators. Of particular importance are the right to participate and other related participation rights, access to justice and personal security.  There should be a commitment to monitor the enabling environment for citizen and civil society participation. Reporting on this enabling environment should form part of all future national reports under the new framework. In particular, reports should assess: a) degree to which legislation, including NGO legislation, respects the right to association and assembly; b) degree to which state practice is in keeping with the right to association and assembly; c) degree to which there is an institutionalised and systematic process for seeking input from civil society organisations and citizens in the formulation and monitoring of development policies, programmes and budgetary allocations


  • Ensure that there are measurable targets for monitoring the transparency and accountability of all development donors and actors, including government and private actors. Accountability should be clearly defined to include accountability to human rights standards, including access to effective justice and remedies, complaint mechanisms and information


  • Further implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.  In this regard, the post-2015 framework should monitor the duties of all states to develop strategies, introduce appropriate policies and laws, and ensure redress and compensation for human rights abuses linked to business.  In addition, the new framework should also underscore corporate responsibility to respect human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence and impact assessments on planned and ongoing activities, consulting potentially affected communities as an integral part of these assessments


  • Ensure that policy coherence is secured by increased monitoring and compliance with international human rights standards by all development actors


  • Ensure that democratic ownership of a new global framework is facilitated through the formulation of compliant targets and indicators at the national level.  These national level processes should be carried out with effective and meaningful participation of national parliaments, citizens, civil society organisations and other key stakeholders. Transparency and accountability assessments should be participatory and go beyond issues of capacity, assessing the political dynamics of governance in a particular country
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