Commonwealth Good Governance 2011/12

cgg11-coverCommonwealth Good Governance is the comprehensive guide to public sector reform in the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Secretariat, through its Governance & Institutional Development Division (GIDD), helps member countries deliver ‘just and honest government’: the core Commonwealth value that underpins democracy and development.
Commonwealth Good Governance brings together the knowledge and experience of the Secretariat and related agencies such as the Commonwealth Association of Public Administration and Management.

This edition covers:

  • The link between democracy and development
  • Political-administrative relations
  • Leadership in the public sector
  • Strengthening local government
  • Aid & governance
  • Building capacity in national assemblies

The publication also contains 54 governance profiles of member countries.


Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma

The topics covered in this year’s Commonwealth Good Governance are fundamental to the vision of the Commonwealth and to the practical action we take collectively so that the lives of citizens in all our member countries are continuously changed for the better. More…



Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Ransford Smith

I am delighted to launch Commonwealth Good Governance 2011/12. It is produced by the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD), with articles contributed by our staff and by leading governance experts from some of our key partner development institutions. More…


Overview: ‘Just and Honest Government’ – The core Commonwealth value that underpins democracy and development

Max Everest-Phillips, Director, GIDD

This year’s Commonwealth Good Governance explores the complex connection between two pillars of the Commonwealth – democracy and development. More…


Analysing the relationship between democracy and development – Defining basic concepts and assessing key linkages

Alina Rocha Menocal, Politics and Governance Programme at the Overseas Development Institute (UK)

For the Commonwealth Secretariat, democracy and development constitute the two main pillars of support to member countries, and it considers these two processes to be inextricably linked. More…


Creating an enabling environment for development – How the Commonwealth Secretariat is making a difference in the Caribbean region

Joan Nwasike, Adviser (Caribbean), GIDD

How public policy is formulated and implemented is an urgent question for governments everywhere in the developing world (Hill and Hupe, 2009), and small island states in the Caribbean are no exception. More…


Strengthening political-administrative relations – The case of Sierra Leone

Oluwatoyin Job, Adviser (West Africa), GIDD

An efficient and effective public service has generally been recognised as a necessary condition to enable a government to function and deliver on its mandates (Manning, 2011). More…


No time for complacency – Getting governance right for the development in Africa

David Booth, Africa Power and Politics Programme

The era of pessimism about development in Africa is over. Almost everywhere, and not least in Commonwealth Africa, there is a degree of buoyancy about economic and political prospects that has not been seen since the end of the 1970s. More…


Leadership and the institutions of governance – The new frontier in the politics of development

Adrian Leftwich, Research Director, Developmental Leadership Program

Progress in understanding and promoting effective governance for development is stalled at a critical frontier. It is the frontier where a focus on the formal institutions of governance ends, and where engagement with domestic political processes that shape developmental institutions begins. More…


The democratic developmental state – Wishful thinking or direction of travel?

Duncan Green, Head of Research, Oxfam GB

The success of state-led development in East Asia, and the problems of market-led deregulation in Africa and Latin America (not to mention Europe and North America), has revived interest in the concept of the ‘developmental state’. More…


State-building and development: getting beyond capacity

Graham Teskey, Senior Adviser, World Bank

The development community has a long, if somewhat unsuccessful, history of working on issues of capacity development, whereas the focus on state-building is more recent. More…


Supporting Sierra Leone’s Public Service Commission – How the Commonwealth Secretariat has made a difference

Oluwatoyin Job, Adviser (West Africa), GIDD

Public Service Commissions (PSCs) are often a crucial component in attempts to reform the public sector, especially in the developing world. More…


Leadership Excellence – Meeting the challenge of good governance in public service

David Waung (CEO) and David Menyah (Manager, Programme Development), CAPAM

At the 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago, Commonwealth presidents, prime ministers and senior politicians reiterated their commitment to a set of core values that articulates the strategic objectives of governments and defines their covenant with the citizens that they serve. More…


The Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) – Strengthening local democratic government to deliver development

Carl Wright, Secretary-General, CLGF

In his address to delegates at CLFG’s 2011 conference in Cardiff, Wales, the Commonwealth Secretary-General H.E. Kamalesh Sharma highlighted the fact that the Commonwealth prizes local democracy: ‘Our lives are lived locally, our governments are experienced locally. For most people, local government is their first and perhaps only contact with the authorities in their country.’ More…


Working for better governance: a personal view

Peter Owen

There is no shortage of material making the connection between good governance and development. It is fairly easy to show that rich countries on the whole have higher scores on most of the indicators used to track governance. More…


Strengthening the capacity of Commonwealth parliaments through South-South co-operation – The Parliamentary Internship Programme in Sri Lanka

Mohammad Jasimuddin, Adviser (Asia Region), GIDD

Sri Lanka has recently emerged from a civil war that lasted 25 years. One of the legacies of the conflict has been an increasing centralisation of power in the hands of the executive and the weakening of the legislature, even though the country is formally a parliamentary democracy. More…


Can we make a difference? – A donor perspective on governance and development

Andrew Preston, Senior Governance Adviser, UN & Commonwealth Department, DFID

When friends and acquaintances casually ask me about the Department for International Development (DFID) and my work, it is easy to explain DFID’s role in international development and why I think this is worthwhile. More…