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United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM)


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An Introduction to Governance, Good Governance and the process of Engendering
         Economic Governance

Table of Contents
Definition of Governance, Good Governance and a Proposed Framework for Good Governance
From another point of View: UNDP work on Governance
Engendering Economic Governance
Special Issues

Definition of Governance, Good Governance and a Proposed Framework for Good Governance
Governance is the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to manage a nation's affairs. It is the complex mechanisms, processes, relationships and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their rights and obligations and mediate their differences. Governance encompasses every institutions and organization in the society, from the family to the state and embraces all methods - good and bad - that societies use to distribute power and manage public resources and problems. Good governance is therefore a subset of governance, wherein public resources and problems are managed effectively, efficiently and in response to critical needs of society. Effective democratic forms of governance rely on public participation, accountability and transparency

A broad conceptual framework for good governance, whether in political or economic decision-making includes six components:
1. Leaders/Decision makers
Since women often lack access to the traditional sources of knowledge, capacity-building and experience (mentoring) that generate men leaders, leadership training is especially important for women. This is especially the case in relation to economic decision-making, where women tend to believe -sometimes mistakenly - that male leaders are better equipped with technical understanding of the relevant issues.
2. Constituencies:
Active and empowered constituencies must be aware of and able to exercise their basic human rights, as well as sufficiently informed about issues and supported by access to relevant information in order to develop a clear agenda.
3. An Agenda:
Women's leadership has sometimes been unfocused and support from the constituency lacking because of the lack of an agreed agenda on which both can focus. This is a particular gap for economic governance, where both women leaders and the women's constituency often feel that they lack technical understanding of the issues.
4. Institutions:
The institutions of governance must be generally open to public scrutiny and subject to accountability through a democratic political system.
5. Information:
"Good" decisions can only be made if both decision makers and their constituencies have access and are able to make appropriate use of "good" information.
6. Accountability Processes:
nstitutionalized monitoring and accountability mechanisms enable constituencies to hold their leaders and Government to account.

From another point of View: UNDP work on Governance
Governance can be seen as the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country's affairs at all levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences.

Good governance is, among other things, participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective and equitable, and promotes the rule of law fairly. Good governance ensures that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development resources, and that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus among the three stakeholders the state, private sector and civil society. All three stakeholders are critical for sustaining
human development: the state creates a conducive political and legal environment; the
private sector generates jobs and income; and civil society facilitates political and social interaction. With the advent of globalization and the integration of economies, the state's task is also to find a balance between taking advantage of emerging market opportunities and providing a secure and stable social and economic environment domestically.

UNDP identifies nine core characteristics covering eight key urban issues which measure good governance.
Core characteristics of good governance
1) Participation
All men and women should have a voice in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate intermediate institutions that represent their interests. Such broad participation is built on freedom of association and speech, as well as capacities to participate constructively
2) Rule of law
Legal frameworks should be fair and enforced impartially, particularly the laws on
human rights
3) Transparency
Transparency is built on the free flow of information. Processes, institutions and information are directly accessible to those concerned with them, and enough information is provided to understand and monitor them
4) Responsiveness
Institutions and processes try to serve all stakeholders
5) Consensus orientation
Good governance mediates differing interests to reach a broad consensus on what is in the best interest of the group and, where possible, on policies and procedures
6) Equity
All men and women have opportunities to improve or maintain their well-being
7) Effectiveness and efficiency
Processes and institutions produce results that meet needs while making the best use of resources
8) Accountability
Decision- makers in government, the private sector and civil society organisations are accountable to the public, as well as to institutional stakeholders. This accountability differs depending on the organisation and whether the decision is internal or external to an organization
9) 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

Engendering Economic Governance
Economic decision-makers must be aware of the need for, and have the technical capacity to incorporate, a gender perspective into policy and programme analysis. The National Women's Machinery and women in politics must be able to participate effectively in dialogues and debates on economic policy.

Active and empowered constituencies must be created and strengthened among women (and men) to advocate and demand accountability from government and political leaders at the national and international levels for the impact of macroeconomic policy on women.
In a globalized world, linkages need to be built and/or strengthened between national and regional NGOs working on women in politics, women in media and women's human rights and those working on women and trade and women and macroeconomic policy issues

The women's economic agenda must be generally understood by leaders and constituencies. Other actors, particularly key government economic agencies and international economic institutions, must also understand and accept the general validity of the conceptual basis of the women's economic agenda.

The institutions of economic governance must be engendered through advocacy and their active involvement in capacity building under the program

Appropriate data - sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics on the differential impact of macroeconomic policies on women and men, particularly in agriculture, especially unpaid farm work and within the informal sector, especially home-based work, sub-contracted homework and street vending. It should also include data on women's and men's differential contributions to the care economy through domestic work, childcare, family care and community activities.

Special Issues

Constraints facing the Implementation of the Engendering of Economic Governance especially in developing countries and North African countries.  under construction

The Egyptian Experiment on “Engendering Economic Governance” under construction
 The History of Gender Discrimination in Egypt and its Indication on Macroeconomic Policy
 Are Egyptian Females Ready for Leadership?
 Capacity Building Programs for the Egyptian Women?
 Programs that are Successfully Implemented in Egypt, and are Specialized on Gender Responsive Budgeting and Gender Performance Auditing.
 What are the Activities of UNIFEM in Egypt .
 What has been Realized?.
 Difficulties Encountered.?
 Future plans?
The Gender Budgeting Work of the National Council for Women (NCW) and  the Public Administration Research and Consultation Centre (PARC) at Cairo University in Egypt (PARC):
The following UNIFEM document reports on the progress of Egypt within the "Strengthening Economic Governance: Applied Gender Analysis to Government" programme. The programme advocates for, and supports the engendering of economic governance and leadership to increase women’s participation in decision-making processes that shape their lives, and to respond to challenges emerging from the processes of globalization and feminized poverty. The report highlights some of the outputs, activities, expected outcomes, lessons learned and monitoring and evaluation findings from Egypt's country initiative.
The document (2005) details the gender budgeting work of the National Council for Women and the Public Administration Research and Consultation Centre (PARC) at Cairo University in Egypt.



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