Characteristics of Good Governance

  • Participation
    All men and women should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their interests. Such broad participation is built on freedom of association and speech, as well as capacities to participate constructively.

  • Rule of law
    Legal frameworks should be fair and enforced impartially, particularly the laws on human rights.

  • Transparency
    Transparency is built on the free flow of information. Processes, institutions and information are directly accessible to those concerned with them, and enough information is provided to understand and monitor them.

  • Responsiveness
    Institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders.

  • Consensus orientation
    Good governance mediates differing interests to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interests of the group and,. where possible, on policies and procedures.

  • Equity
    All men and women have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being.

  • Effectiveness and efficiency
    Processes and institutions produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources.

  • Accountability
    Decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society organisations are accountable to the public, as well as to institutional stakeholders. This accountability differs depending on the organisations and whether the decision is internal or external to an organisation.

  • Strategic vision
    Leaders and the public have a broad and long-term perspective on good governance and human development, along with a sense of what is needed for such development. There is also an understanding of the historical, cultural and social complexities in which that perspective is grounded.

UNDP (1997) Governance for Sustainable Human Development. United Nations Development Programme
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