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Reflective Marker Two:  On Governance in ‘Developed’ Countries

Rich country as described in Week 9 is a country that has demographically and technologically evolved into a highly developed and capital-intensive economy. Besides that, governance was described as behaviour as well as processes that impact how countries exercise power in terms of accountability, honesty, consistency, effectiveness, and participation. I have noted that, most rich countries became wealthy after their governments became accountable in ending poverty as well as promoting human rights. Most poor countries are emulating the rich countries, whereby people have started demanding for democracy in attempt to get rid of unaccountable leaders as well as end oppressive regimes. With regard to Public Administration Reform, I agree that the governments’ ability to realize their social and economic goals with the limited resources relies on the focus as well as efficiency of the government. Undeniably, public administration institutions in the rich countries have been the keystone of reform. The success of development and reform efforts in rich countries is attributed mainly to these institutions’ efficiency, professionalism, transparency and flexibility. This is evident in New Zealand, which following the implementation of the 1980s reform, the state services became more responsive, productive and efficient. In view of this, I think that success in public administration reforms in rich countries has resulted in improved and effective governance in those countries.

materialised mainly in the 1980s advocating for broad economic liberalization policies; for instance, deregulation and privatization with the intention of enhancing the private sector role in the country’s economy.
The neoliberalism impetus came from the desire of avoiding economic failures such as that observed in the1930s, which are mainly brought about by poor economic policies. Evidently, privatization as discussed in Week 10 has resulted in freer markets. In Rich countries, especially UK privatization has shaped governance enabling the countries to be competent, productive and accountable. Proponents of privatization argue that it has led to improved efficiency, increased revenue, and no interference from the government. Rich countries have been under challenge from what many believe as lack of legitimacy. I agree that the forces of marketisation, globalisation as well as the revolution of information indicate that an emerging model of distributed governance is displacing the model of centralized government utilized in most rich countries. For this reason, a sophisticated accountability model recognizing other forms of accountability has been espoused so as to confront the intricacy of the 21st century governance. Governments have created contractual arrangement with the private sector partners (PPPs). The majority of rich governments have realised that their tax base single-handedly cannot finance the growing need for improved infrastructure. Therefore, PPPs are utilized to overcome such challenges.

Many rich countries have adopted E-Government so as to offer efficient management as well as dissemination of information to the public. E-Government has resulted in E-Democracy, which incorporates
community participation and engagement principles as discussed in week 11. Good governance can only be attained through accountability and transparency, and both of these can be achieved if citizens participate in the process of governance. Besides that, I think the allowing the public to debate about the government programs has resulted in increased or compliance by legislators; thus, leading to good governance. In view of week 11 discussions, E-democracy can be subdivided into E-Participation and E-voting, whereby both concentrate on using information technology to strengthen the democratic decision making mechanisms. Even though, online participants can be well politically active and well-educated, I think going online independently does not amount to a democratic process that is more inclusive. Therefore, e-democracy and e-governance have resulted in public participation in developed countries.

In view of Week 12, I agree that governance can be improved by decentralisation, whereby government is made more responsive and accountable to the governed. Thanks to decentralisation, rich countries have been able to decentred and devolved political administrative more effective. Across rich countries, decentralisation is mainly motivated by the search for improve governance. Basically, local governance as well as decentralisation has since 1980s been identified as the main element of democratic governance, because they provide offer an atmosphere wherein service delivery and decision making is brought nearer the people. New Localism as discussed in Week 12 goes beyond the institutions of local government. Rather it focuses on the active participation by the public, which is realised through a local governance system. Basically, New Localism is fortified by principles associated with participation, accountability, efficiency, fairness, innovation as well as diversification. In UK, for instance, new localism has been applied for a decade or so to devolve powers to local governments, which consequently devolve to small governance bodies resulting in participation and strengthened democracy. Regrettably, regionalism has resulted in many challenges for rich countries, especially in Europe.

Public Administration and governance are crucial enabling factors in the process of sustainable development, poverty reduction and attaining the Millennium Development Goals. Human life in developed countries have been improved by putting much emphasis on these broad goals, but globalization continue posing more challenges as well as offering opportunities; thus, creating the need for improved public administration and governance. In view of week 13, I think applications for social computing can improve transparency of the government processes and services considering that public-sector information can be gathered, structure, and distributed easily. I think in the future, social computing will enable the public to hold individuals serving in the public sector into account. Furthermore, application of social computing will improve the personalisation as well as accessibility of a number of public services and will also improve public value production. In view of the global challenges to governance, I think that supporting the current international institutions is crucial for putting true global governance into practice. Currently, international institutions such as the United Nations, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, IMF and the Group of Twentyseem too ineffectual as well as slow in tackling the existing global challenges. For this reason, I think the institutions’ guiding principles should be reviewed and the current frameworks be exploited properly.


Week 9, 2015. Public administration reform in rich countries, PowerPoint slides.

Week 10, 2015. Hollowing out the State?
PowerPoint slides.

Week 11, 2015. Global Challenges in Governance, PowerPoint slides.

Week 12, 2015. Decentralization in ‘Rich’ Countries, PowerPoint slides.

Week 13, 2015. PowerPoint slides.