Good governance versus development

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THE term good governance became popular in the early 1990s when it was employed with reference to economic and social development. The World Bank introduced the concept in 1992 as part of its lending requirements to be fulfilled by borrowing nations. It is worth noting here in this juncture that the World Bank, in its report on Sub-Saharan Africa, suggested that the programmes of fiscal adjustment and investment in that region were being rendered ineffective by a crisis of governance. This being so, if Myanmar has to receive loans, it is of vital importance to fulfil the World Bank’s lending requirements, which include good governance.
Seeking governance for development requires anti-corruption measures, promoting accountability and making transactions more transparent. In addition, the rule of law, freedom of the press and effective bureaucratic machinery contribute towards development. Good governance is referred to changes in the public sector. Beside the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also require the borrowing nations to fulfil the lending requirements; they require good governance of the developing countries that want to receive their financial assistance.
Good governance represents a retreat from a development policy constructed almost on the basis of market economy. The World Bank and IMF have shifted from aiding the projects that might stimulate the growth to a policy of financing structural readjustment programmes. The idea is that growth can be best served by a stable macro-economic environment and the spread of free market.
In a nutshell, it would not be improper to say that despite the notion of good governance’s focusing on the interaction between the state and society, its origin lies in economic concerns. In the opinion of aid donors, the development depends upon the issues and ways of governance. The Global New Light of Myanmar would, therefore, like to urge all stakeholders to be aware of the purpose of governance—to promote development.

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