Public Governance

OECD defines public governance as "the formal and informal arrangements that determine how public decisions are made and how public actions are carried out, from the perspective of maintaining a country’s constitutional values in the face of changing problems, actors and environments" (OECD 2005). Similarly, UNDP argues the "exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels". This understanding includes "mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences” (UNDP 1997). Governance in this context includes the "State, but transcends it by taking in the private sector and civil society. All three are critical for sustaining human development:

  • State creates a conducive political and legal environment
  • Private sector generates jobs and income
  • Civil society facilitates political and social interaction - mobilising groups to participate in economic, social and political activities." (UNDP 1997)

    Source of figure: UNDP

    Good governance therewith promotes constructive interaction among all three actors. (UNDP 1997)

    Related terms: Good Governance


    OECD (2003). Promise and Problems of E-Democracy, Challenges of online citizen engagement, OECD study Available here

    UNDP (1997). United Nations Development Programme, Governance for sustainable human development, UNDP policy document, New York, 1997.

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