Summer School: Dilemmas of Good Governance in Post Conflict Peace Building

by: Binod Kumar Paudel

Good governance is directly linked with state fragility, in which local and international actors play crucial role. The session primarily focused on the DIEs approach on state fragility, which aimed to identify the groups and patterns of state. The report aggregated data and grouped the countries but did not rank them. Meanwhile, dealing with fragility situations requires multidimensional information and a simple structure in order to be specific enough and display patterns respectively.

Authority, capacity and legitimacy are mentioned as the three notions that were used to define/identify state fragility. These notions always relate society with the state.

The group work to formulate policy in order to establish good governance in fragile states gave much focus to the importance of accountability. Time frame is a must to make an institution accountable, though it will not be practical for the process where as it works effectively for actions. Further, the role of international community/donors was criticized for their tricky practices regarding timeframes.

Fragmentation, conflict of objects and limited knowledge about impact were identified as the major challenges of good governance. Fragmentation in the bureaucracy is the major challenge due to divergent thinking and working mechanisms between already existing and new bureaucrats.  Similarly, the clash of two competing goals where achievement of one goal is impaired by the other leads to conflict. Furthermore, limited knowledge about the pattern of successful establishment of good governance and impact of foreign aid and/or government support in fragile state leads to lack of transparency. In addition, lack of monitoring and rigorous evaluation were identified as the reasons for limited knowledge about impact.

The session concluded with a view that fragility is a long term process and identifying a country/state as a fragile is a complex task as indicators are related with other countries.