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World Governance Assessment

Summary: The World Governance Assessment (WGA) is a global, collaborative effort to improve the assessment and analysis of governance.

Main Points: WGA Phase 1 (2000-2002) was a pilot study in 16 countries to gauge perceptions of governance in 6 arenas. Phase 2 (2005-2007) used an improved methodology and surveyed perceptions in 10 countries.

The pilot phase was carried out from 2000 to 2002. The survey focused on three main questions: How can we best measure governance? How does governance performance differ across time and space? Which are the most critical issues of governance?

Phase 2 (2005-2007) built on learning from the pilot phase and assessed governance in 10 countries. Phase 2 occurs at a time when governance has become a central concern in development policy debates and the number of assessment has been growing. WGA offers a unique, perceptions based take on the issues.

The WGA framework disaggregated the governance realm into six arenas and identified indictors based on widely held "principles" of good governance: participation, fairness, decency, accountability, transparency and efficiency (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Summary of indicators used in the World Governance Assessment.

Principle / Arena













Civil society

Freedom of association

Society free from discrimination

Freedom of expression

Respect for governing rules

Freedom of the media

Input in policy making

Political society

Legislature representative of society

Policy reflective of public preferences

Peaceful competition for political power

Legislators accountable to public

Transparency of political parties

Legislative function affecting policy


Intra- governmental consultation

Adequate standard of living for citizens

Personal security of citizens

Security forces subordinated to civilian government

Government provide accurate information

Best use of available resources


Higher civil servants part of policy- making

Equal access to public services

Civil servants respectful towards citizens

Civil servants accountable for their actions

Clear decision- making process

Merit-based system for recruitment

Economic society

Consultation with the private sector

Regulations equally applied to all firms

Governmentís respect for property rights

Regulating private sector in the public interest

Transparency in formulating economic policy

Obtaining licenses free from corruption


Non-formal processes of conflict resolution

Equal access to justice for all citizens


human rights incorporated in national legal practice

Judicial officers held accountable

Clarity in administering justice


Efficiency of the judicial system

 Access to database:

Source: World Governance Assessment, January 2000 to December 2007, 2013

Page Created By:  Madina Junussova. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases. This material does not necessarily reflect the official view of the publishing organization.

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