Below are articles for further reading, with brief synopsis for each. Click the titles to go directly to the article (opens in a new window).
Fight against corruption needs grassroots support to have bite by Astrid Zweynert. A report analysing the impact that the UNCAC is actually having, and highlighting the need for local action also.
Unearth the Truth - Tearfund has just released its latest report, Unearth the Truth: making extractive industries work for all. The report highlights the need for oil, gas and mining companies to report on their payments to foreign governments, both at a country and project level. This will better enable citizens to hold governments to account. To read a summary of the report click here, or to read the entire report click here
Justifying Advocacy - A Biblical and Theological rationale for speaking the truth to power on behalf of the vulnerable -The John Saunders Lecture 2011 Presented by Rev Dr Andrew Sloane, Lecturer in Old Testament and Christian Thought. Morling College, Sydney
Rethinking Governance to Fight Corruption by Sue Unsworth Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2007:7)
This brief explores the underlying factors for poor governance and high levels of corruption in so many developing countries, and the political processes involved in building more effective and accountable public institutions. It argues that the key to more effective anti-corruption strategies is to think differently about governance.
DFID asserts that achieving good governance in the public sector requires three things …
1. State Capability
2. State Accountability
3. State Responsiveness
Source: The Governance, Development and Democratic Politics: DFID’s work in building more effective states
Making Sense of the MDGs in Dialogue Development, 2008, 51, (220–227) © 2008 Society for International Development 1011-6370/08
Why is good governance not included as one of the MDG goals? Are the MDG targets applicable at the country level or are they measured globally across all countries? This paper explores these and other questions relating to the MDGs. Vandermoortele concludes that there is a need for a new partnership between the rich and the poor, one that is based on ‘ideas changing minds’ rather than on ‘money changing hands’ because a partnership that is primarily based on money is inherently unequal.
The following four questions are answered in this paper.
Question 1: Are global targets new?
Question 2: Why do the MDGs cover the period 1990–2015?
Question 3: Why are some aspects not included in the MDGs?
Question 4: Why are the targets not uniform?
Good Governance and the MDGs: Contradictory or Complementary? Alejandro Bendaña, former Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United Nations, in Focus on the Global South, October 12, 2004
Bendaña argues in his essay that there are two fundamentally conflicting understandings of good governance. On one hand there is the people-centered approach to governance democracy and the possibilities of genuine development, including the attainment of the MDGs, and on the other a market-centered approach to governance that seeks to reduce the state and society to be servants at the service of the market.
“While the adoption of official good governance models is overtly political acts, there is a refusal to recognize their outcomes in political terms. Stated in other words, we witness an attempt to depoliticize development and governance, reframing these as largely technical problems with technical solutions, denying the structural and political roots of conflicts. Separating the notion of governance from democracy is not simply inaccurate, it is dangerous.”
Dispelling Corruption Myths: What Works and What Doesn’t Aleksandr Shkolnikov and Andrew Wilson, CIPE
Published by the ‘Center for International Private Enterprise’, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Corruption undermines equal opportunity and citizens’ participation in democracy. From a business perspective corruption reduces competitiveness and hinders investment. Aleksandr and Andrew argue that government alone cannot bring about anti-corruption reforms, business must get involved. It is impossible to address the institutional nature and underlying causes of corruption without the full participation of civil society.
“Failure to address the root causes of corruption, such as unclear rules and regulations and weak enforcement, ultimately undermines the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives.”
From Corruption to Good Governance, published by Justice and International Mission (JIM) Unit, Uniting Church in Australia.
This report by the Uniting Church of Australia focuses on Australia’s performance in tackling global corruption and makes recommendations for promoting good governance. It makes an argument that poverty eradication must tackle the problem of systemic corruption in the global South, and that some businesses and government in the global North reward and benefit from corruption in developing countries. Making overseas aid for poverty reduction more effective requires broad ranging efforts to promote better governance at every level.
In particular section 3 deals with the theology of good governance.
“The prophets called on those in positions of power and authority to behave in accordance with God’s law and not to oppress the poor and defenseless.”
“While lecturing developing countries about corruption, wealthy countries often play a role in fostering, rewarding and benefiting from corruption in developing countries. Eliminating corruption globally will require significant effort by all countries.”
Theology and International Development Paula Clifford Christian Aid Report, April 2010
This recent paper by Christian Aid, expounds on a relational theology of development. Starting from the story of creation to the consummation of history, it argues that God is restoring the broken relationship between rich and poor, women and men, people and state, even people and creation. Clifford argues that for the restoration of relationships to happen, it requires advocacy and efforts to change social structures. This relational theology approach to development avoids the two extremes of purely helping individuals (eg. eat food and drink clean water) or merely trying to change socio-political structures. The paper is about providing the theological basis for ‘exposing the scandal of poverty and of giving prophetic expression to the biblical vision of a new earth.’
“While the Old Testament writers, in particular, frequently use legal justice as a rich source of metaphor, ‘justice’ in the Bible is more commonly used outside the context of a court of law, to refer to how we behave towards one another.”
Governance For Human Flourishing Graham Gordon Human Flourishing Project, Briefing Paper 4
A theological understanding of the relationship between human flourishing and governance from a UK perspective.
Government, Global Poverty and God's Mission in the World: An Evangelical Declaration Bread for the World, Wheaton College & Micah Challenge, 2010
The Evangelical Declaration captures many of our shared convictions about the proper role of government in empowering those who live in poverty. We hope the declaration booklet serves as a catalyst for continued dialogue on this important subject.