Making Sense of Governance: The Need for Involving Local Stakeholders

Working and discussion papers
January 2003
Goran Hyden, Julius Court and Kenneth Mease

There is no shortage of references to the notion that the quality of governance matters to development. Many observers and analysts believe that it is the main reason for explaining

variations in socio-economic development performance around the world. Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary-General, maintains that good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development. More bluntly, The Economist has noted that of all the ills that kill people, none is as lethal as bad governance. Similar concerns are reflected, for example, in the views people in both developed and developing countries volunteered for Gallups Millenium Survey the largest ever public opinion survey and a study funded by the World Bank featuring voices of the poor in developing countries.

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