Theory and Practice of Good Governance in Bangladesh

Good governance has become much talked- about issue of the day and principal concern of aid agencies, governments, researchers, academicians especially in the developing countries like Bangladesh. It is comparatively a recent phenomenon of discussion which draws upon the concepts from several disciplines such as politics, economics, publicadministration, law and so on. Good governance is now understood to include a wide range of ways in
which the whole structure of a society affecting the access of its members to basic opportunities and capabilities. As elsewhere in the Third World, in the recent times, issues of governance, good governance and poor governance have drawn the attention from all the quarters of people in Bangladesh. She has been facing virus of poor or malgovernance which is visible in every arena of public life. Against this backdrop, this study attempts to evaluate the overall state of governance in Bangladesh with the focus on poor governance. It also analyzes the bottlenecks in the path of good governance in Bangladesh. Finally, this paper suggests a set of measures to be undertaken in an effort to establish good governance in Bangladesh.

Good governance is an umbrella concept that covers a set of things of human life depending on the person concerned and his understanding of reality. Good governance means the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resource for the development in an efficient and transparent way. It has now become a fashionable term in the contemporary global politics and economy that ensure goodness and quality in governance and raising its level. In the recent times particularly from the second half of 1980s, the issue of governance and good governance has been emerged at the forefront of global agenda for development. Quality of governance is being considered as the principal prerequisite for solving many problems and for the socio- economic development in the developing countries. This is due to fact that in spite of having abundant resource, manpower, institutions etc, the major objective of economic growth and human development is not taking place in some countries to confront problems of poverty, civil strife, community development and above all the provision of basic services essential for the well-being of society. That’s why several international organizations like World Bank, UNDP, IMF and a good number of NGO’s have started emphasizing good governance as a precondition of delivery of their services and funds. The UNDPhas put stress on good governance for human development; the IMF on participatory governance and other organizations have given definitions of their own along with parameters to change the quantity and quality of governance. Bangladesh like other developing countries has been marked by the failure of public sector to meet the demand of its citizens, ineffective public services, and unfavorable environment for the proper growth of private sector, leadership crisis, lack of transparency and accountability in administration, ineffective political institutions and so on. For such poor performance in governance mechanisms, effective democratic governance continued to be the elusive golden deer that the nation doggedly sought but could not find. Against this backdrop, it is essential to examine how far Bangladesh lag behind the good governance. In this context, the focus of the present paper is to critically analyze the current state of governance and also to sketch out the impediments on the way of good governance in Bangladesh. This paper consists of nine chapters. Following the introductory chapter, the chapter two develops a conceptual framework on governance and good governance. Chapters three attempts to analyze the concept of good governance and its institutional parameters and chapter four describes the non-institutional parameters of good governance. The concept of Leadership and its role in good governance has been analyzed in the chapter five. Chapter six evaluates the current state of governance of Bangladesh focusing on poor governance and also analyzes the major hindrances in the path of establishing good governance in Bangladesh. Chapter seven analyze the data and information provided by the respondents selected for this study. Chapter eight summarizes the total findings of the study. Concluding remarks are made in the final chapter nine and based on the findings of the study, a set of recommendations have been provided for the improvement of the quality of governance in Bangladesh.