What makes good governance? #2 in series: Why transparency in governance is so important

By: ALICE RUBBRA


posted on: April 19th, 2017

TRANSPARENCY IS JUST ONE WAY TO LOOK AT GOVERNANCE

There are many different ways to look at what makes good or bad governance. People from all over the world judge governance differently. Below is just one way you can look at and judge governance. Anyone can have governance when they are in charge, for example like a business. Think about whether there are other things that people can judge governance on.

WHAT IS TRANSPARENCY?

Transparency means making something clear to understand and see. Transparency can be applied to governments, companies and local businesses such as farms. When a government is transparent, it means that the people of a country understand the laws that are passed by the government and that the actions of the government are open for everyone to see.

Transparency is important to stop corruption. Many nations in Sub-Saharan Africa such as Botswana are working to improve transparency in government. This transparency can help create elections that are not corrupted and allow every person’s vote to be counted as equal. The reason why Botswana scores well in transparency is because of ideas to work with the people rather than just the government. Public education on transparency and anti-corruption has helped Botswana hugely.

WHY IS TRANSPARENCY IMPORTANT?

As the work in Botswana shows, being able to understand what a government does and why it does it is very important. It is important because being able to see what the government does means people can understand what laws there are and how they affect their lives. Without transparency in governance, people are not connected to the people that have power. This means that the people in power are not held to account by the people they govern. With no one checking what they do or understanding what they do, a government can do things that harm a population.

WHEN IS A GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENT?

Governments all over the world can have different levels of transparency. Many governments will publish the laws they have passed on the news. The news can often be accessed by the internet and if you want to check what a government from any country has done recently, you can often search the internet. In doing this you are holding that government accountable for what they do. If lots of people know what a government does, then people will become more educated about how the government works.

Corruption can come in many forms. It can be about the government not seeing everyone’s vote as equal, or it can be about a business not being fair to all its customers. A big example of corruption is in international football. The International Federation of Football Association has been said to allow bribery. Countries wanting to hold the World Cup were allowed to pay large amounts of money to be the host of the games. Because of the news putting the story on the internet, this corruption was seen by the public and this is helping towards stopping corruption in the future. This is an example of how transparency can help make governance fairer for everyone.

HOW TRANSPARENCY CAN HELP YOU

Understanding how the government works also helps your business, because you will understand how processes such as the law works. Understanding the law means you can make sure every part of your business is legal. Having this support means your business will be more sustainable.

Transparency is about understanding how laws work and why those with governance act in certain ways. Transparency is just one way to look at governance. It is up to everyone to decide what they think the best way to look at governance is as there is no best or worst.

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