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One goal of good governance is to enable an organization to do its work and fulfill its mission. Good governance results in organizational effectiveness. A lot of attention has been focussed on good governance practices in the private sector in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. In the corporate world of business, the �bottom line� provides a helpful focus point, but even here there can be difficult questions of judgment as to what constitutes good governance. Current debate about corporate governance is just starting to look at questions about the broader purposes of private corporations. The Institute On Governance has a keen5a75.jpg interest in the connection between the goal of good governance and corporate social responsibility, which seeks to include sustainable development and the need to address the social, economic and environmental impact of various operations. In the public and non-profit sectors, the question of what constitutes good governance is often more complex. This is where the Institute�s particular expertise lies. The focus of our work is better governance for public purpose organizations and for issues of public concern, to benefit citizens and society. In public purpose organizations, good governance is about more than getting the job done. Especially in non-profits, government agencies and the like, where values typically play an important role in determining both organizational purpose and style of operation, process is as important as product. Good governance becomes more than only a means to organizational effectiveness and becomes an end in itself. Good governance is about both achieving desired results and achieving them in the right way. Since the “right way” is largely shaped by the cultural norms and values of the organization, there can be no universal template for good governance. Each organization must tailor its own definition of good governance to suit its needs and values. There is plenty of room for different traditions and values to be accommodated in the definition of good governance. At the same time, all is not relative. There are some universal norms and values that apply across cultural boundaries. The United Nations published a list of characteristics of good governance. They include: * Participation: providing all men and women with a voice in decision-making * Transparency: built on the free flow of information * Responsiveness: of institutions and processes to stakeholders * Consensus orientation: differing interests are mediated to reach a broad consensus on what is in the general interest * Equity: all men and women have opportunities to become involved * Effectiveness and efficiency: processes and institutions produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources * Accountability: of decision-makers to stakeholders * 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. Wednesday August 2, 2006 – 08:02am (CEST) Permanent Link | 0 Comments

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