Governance is a pivotal tool to effectively deliver peace, harmony and welfare to the public at large. Governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Governance can be used in several contexts such as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local governance.
According to UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), good governance has eight major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimised, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
The above stated characteristics must be transformed into effective policies and implementation plans by a responsive government.
Peter Drucker – a globally renowned management Expert of Japanese origin is now the architect of all global management standards. He has propounded the Plan – Do – Check and Act (PDCA cycle) are the four pillars of achieving objectives of any framework effectively.
Planning covers the first phase to be followed by an action plan to implement a scheme or project. The next phase involves checking for flaws in implementation and lastly, the action taken to correct snags in implementation. This cycle alone can ensure that the desired results are achieved in all policies with perfection otherwise they remain mere slogans and do not produce the necessary results and targets. This is usually the fate of policies made in Pakistan as witnessed over the years. In fact, all the phases of PDCA cycle essentially require state-of-the-art professionalism and merit to prevail to meet good governance challenges. The latest national policies on counter terrorism and on handling the energy crises need to be reviewed in light of established global management standards.
In reference to this, the energy policy announced by the Government remained only a policy on paper. It did not follow the PDCA cycle.
Consequently, effective results stated in the objectives have not been achieved so far. The National Action Plan against terrorism is following the global management principles by and large and is providing results. Some examples of practices of good governance have been witnessed during the present Government’s rule.
Islam, introduced and practiced for the first time in human history in the 6th century, showcased the principles of Good Governance when the rest of the world was living in dark ages. This is acknowledged by HG wells in his Book titled – A short History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The Holy Quran lays policy guidance in the following words; “you are the best community ever raised for humanity. You ordain for the good and forbid the evil doings and believe in Allah” – (3:110 The Prophet of Islam (PBUH), in his long years of governance of the Islamic Ummah, followed by the Caliphs, demonstrated golden examples of good governance. This ensured rule by consensus, the welfare of the people, justice and rule of law. The details are available in the Islamic history of that period. The Holy Quran further says “O believers, be maintainers of justice & bearers of Allah, even though it be against yourselves of (your own) parents or near relatives, whether it be (concerning) rich or poor, Allah stands closer to both. So follow not (your) lust lest you deviate (from justice). If you distort or decline (to do justice), Allah indeed is fully informed of whatever your do” – (4:135).