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The Development and Use of Governance Indicators in Africa: a Comparative Study
Idasa, the European Commission & the UNDP Oslo
Source of the information:
Authors/Editors: Paul Graham, Stefan Gilbert and Karin Alexander, Idasa
Good governance is one of the bedrocks of successful development. The ability to assess governance is therefore important both in terms of how that evidence can be used to influence policy and how policy can, in turn, influence governance outcomes. Assessments are also useful to establish benchmarks, objectives and targets. That said, generic assessment tools can lack national ownership and engagement in the process as well as investment in ensuring a change in outcomes. These tools also rarely include the necessary disaggregation that would capture the impact, experiences and perceptions of marginalised groups in society, especially the poor and women. Finally, such tools usually do not address capacity deficits within developing countries, deficits that impact on the measurement and monitoring of governance.
This research, through country studies conducted by reputable non-state actors, looks at three African countries (Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda) through the lens of questions of governance and the use of governance indicators.
The idea of “evidence-based decision-making” has gained currency on the African continent. The research reveals however that, although the discourse around indicators is present, the implementation of assessments as a tool for decision-making, or as a means of generating relevant information, remains weak.
The outputs of the study are threefold, all of which may be downloaded from links in the right hand column:
The first is a research overview that provides a succinct picture of the study as a whole. The overview uses the study conclusions and lessons learnt to establish a way forward from a policy perspective.
The second output is this synthesis report which considers the case studies through close analysis of the indicators identified, the producers and users of the indicators in the different contexts and, where relevant, the established impact of indicators on decision making. The cases were selected for the access they provided to insights from different stakeholders and sectors. Where possible, they also spoke to different levels of government and to interactions between civil society and government. The report considers these case studies; analyses them within the country context and then where possible across countries.
Finally, the three in-depth country studies can be accessed and read independently.