The Citizen Handbook
Democracy and Governance
Challenges of Good Governance
Different societies have achieved certain
notable measures of development through completely different governance
approaches. There are some context-specific challenges that can hinder good
governance. They include:
· Destructive conflict – Peace is a necessary pre-condition for good governance. A history of violent conflict fueled by intolerance, beginning particularly in the colonial times, left our country’s government and civil society institutions in ruins. Therefore, it is critical to promote a peaceful coexistence as a basis for governance.
· Lack of democracy – Although democracy is a difficult process that requires watchfulness and support, it is essential to successful good governance. Political leaders at all levels in our country must make democracy a key part of their collective agenda through actions and not just words.
· Weak civil society –a strong relationship must exist between the state and civil society if democracy is to endure and good governance is to prevail. political leaders, however,sometimes view civil society as their competitors and believe they require greater controlfrom the government.
· Discrimination – Good governance cannot thrive without the mainstreaming of women, young people, and both the marginalized and minority sections of society into politics and governance. Excluding these sections of the population from real political power in Kenya, whether at the national, community or household level has ensured wide social, economic, and political inequalities in our country today.
· Weak institutions – Good governance and effective citizen participation requires investment in improving the capacity institutions and citizens. our country needs capacity building and improvement across the whole spectrum of institutions of governance, including the legislature, judiciary, political parties, and human rights commissions. Our citizens must also have their capacities strengthened through delivery of strong social services and universal education, so they can contribute to the governance process.
· Poor ownership – While the fundamentals of good governance are universal, specific institutions and systems of good governance cannot be simply imported. Instead, they must be homegrown and something that is “lived” rather than one that is “received” from others. Therefore, the only way to sustain our country’s reform process towards good governance is if it earns long-term commitment from our political leaders.