The European Union along with international donors considers accountable participatory governance as a key enabler of development. The European Parliament is very supportive of this approach since it is believed this policy should eliminate corruption, improve financial management, enhance transparency and ensure the protection of human rights. The premise is that development aid must be used as an incentive for political reform. Nobody will argue the fact that popular participation in a society's decision-making process has many implications for economic growth and development, human rights, democracy, social capital, decentralized governance, efficiency of resource use, equity and social justice and sustainable use of environmental resources among others.

In order for participation to be effective, however, three enabling arrangements are required which in many developing countries are sadly lacking:

1. There should be a law to allow sustainable participation

2. There should be rules and regulations guiding participation

3. There should be capacity-building efforts of both governments and civil society organizations.

Political commitment and leadership are two additional factors that assist in promoting participatory governance.

Additionally, the roles and responsibilities of Governments and citizens in the participatory processes should be clear. Governments should ensure that structures and processes are in place for timely and adequate participation. That may require the commitment of public officials to engage citizens, impartiality in sharing information and equity for all stakeholders. It is also required to coordinate participatory processes to make them more coherent and efficient. Sufficient resources need to be allocated and periodic evaluations of the different strategies should be conducted.

To tie development aid to good governance requires training and the dissemination of knowledge about institutional and methodological issues as well as the dissemination of inclusive decision-making and best practices.

The EU position that aid only should work in countries that adopt the "right" policies and only be given to those countries creates a serious dilemma because the countries needing aid the most are often precisely those that cannot fulfil these conditionsz, because development and governance are endogenously related. Poverty, corruption and inefficiencies in government management are interdependent. Because underdevelopment and poor governance are two sides of the same coin. It is theoretically flawed to make receipt of development aid conditional on good governance. If countries did not have these governance problems, foreign capital would flow into them more freely, and there would be less need for aid. Indeed aid should be used to help solve such problems. Instead, many countries for example in Africa are told by international donors (EU, World Bank etc.) that they must commit in solving the problem in government first, otherwise aid will not be forthcoming. This partly explains the failure of Western aid in Africa.





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