Essay on “Good Governance” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations

This is an essay on “GOOD GOVERNANCE” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. In international development, good governance is a way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way. Governance is “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented”. So here is a complete essay on the topic of Good Governance and its major characteristics for CSS, PMS, and All other Judiciary Examinations.

Essay on “Good Governance”

The word derives from Latin origins that suggest the notion of steering. This sense of steering a group or society can be contrasted with the traditional top-down approach of governments driving society or the distinction between the power in contrast to governments power over.

Governance is that separate process or a certain part of management or leadership processes that makes decisions that define expectations, grant power, or verify performance. Frequently a government is established to administer these processes and systems.

Governance is the act of developing and managing consistent, cohesive policies, processes, and decision rights for a given area of responsibility.

As a process, governance may be carried out for any size organization from a single human being to all of humanity, and it may be carried out for any purpose, good or evil, for-profit or not. A reasonable or rational purpose of governance is to see to it (assure), sometimes on behalf of others, that the organization produces a worthwhile pattern of good results while avoiding an undesirable pattern of bad circumstances.

A good government, following this line, could be a set of inter-related positions exercising coercive power that assures, on behalf of those governed, a worthwhile pattern of good results while avoiding an undesirable pattern of bad circumstances, by making decisions that define expectations, grant power, and verify performance.

Politics is a means by which the governance process operates. For example, expectations may be chosen by way of political activity, power may be granted through political action, and performance may be judged through political behavior.

Conceiving governance in this way, one can apply the concept to as large a nation-state as desired, to corporations, to non-profits or NGOs, to partnerships and other associations, to project teams, and to any number of humans engaged in some purposeful activity.

The World Bank defines governance as:

The exercise of political authority and the use of institutional resources to manage society’s prblems and affairs.

Governance is:

the use of institutions, structures of authority, and even collaboration to allocate resources and coordinate or control activity in society or the economy.

The terms governance and good governance are increasingly being used in development literature. Governance describes the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Hereby, public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources, and guarantee the realization of human rights. Good governance accomplishes this in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law.

Good governance defines an ideal that is difficult to achieve in its totality. However, to ensure sustainable human development, actions must be taken to work towards this ideal. Major donors and international financial institutions, like the IMF or World Bank, are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that reforms ensuring good governance are undertaken.

Good Governance & its 8 Major Characteristics

  • participation
  • rule of law
  • transparency
  • responsiveness
  • consensus orientation
  • equity and inclusiveness
  • effectiveness and efficiency
  • accountability
  • Protection of human rights

These characteristics assure that:

  • corruption is minimized
  •  the views of minorities are taken into account and
  • that the voices of the most vulnerable in society
  • are heard in decision-making


  • Participation by both men and women.
  • Participation could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives.
  • Participation also means freedom of association and expression on the one hand and an organized civil society on the other hand.

Rule of law

  • Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially
  • Full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities
  • It also means an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force


  • Decisions are taken and their enforcement is done in a manner that follows rules and regulations.
  • Information is freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement.


  • Institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe.

Consensus orientation

  • Need of mediation of the different interests in society to reach a broad consensus in society on what is in the best interest of the whole community and how this can be achieved.
  • It also requires a long-term perspective for sustainable human development and how to achieve the goals of such development.

Equity and inclusiveness

  • Ensuring that all members of society feel that they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream.
  • This requires all groups, and especially the most vulnerable to have opportunities to maintain or improve their well-being.

Effectiveness and efficiency

  • Processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal.
  • It also means sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.


  • Governmental institutions as well as the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders.
  • In general organizations and institutions are accountable to those who will be affected by decisions or actions.

A basic practical example of good governance would be where a member of a committee. with a vested interest in a topic being discussed at committee, would absent themselves from the discussion and not attempt to exert influence.

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