• Service: Advisory
  • Type: KPMG information
  • Date: 1/22/2014

GTF Learning Paper: Communications, Civil Society, and Governance 

Why governance matters: There is a strong correlation between good governance and development. While state effectiveness does not necessarily translate into better development outcomes, it is clear that weak, fragile, or failing states are unlikely to be capable of providing for the welfare of the poor in their countries or stimulating substantive economic growth. Since the late 1990s DFID has acknowledged the importance of understanding the underlying political systems and the institutions – both formal and informal – that support or obstruct pro‐poor change.

There is clear research evidence on the importance of key elements of governance, such as quality of public administration and the rule of law, to growth and the attainment of the MDGs. The evidence also points to the need for governments and citizens to work together to build effective states, to strengthen what is already in place and to develop new institutions where necessary.2 Therefore, it is important to work “both sides of the equation” when implementing governance and social development programmes. This means strengthening the voices, agency, and capacities of citizens on the one hand, while also strengthening the legal frameworks, state institutions, and champions of change on the other.

Governance and Transparency Fund: The ability of citizens to make their voices heard and hold their governments to account is fundamental to good government. Its absence fosters an environment in which corruption can flourish, and citizens are unable to assess the decisions of their leaders, or make informed choices about their elected representatives.

To address some of these issues, in 2007 DFID created a £130 million Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF). The fund has been designed to help citizens hold their governments to account through strengthening the wide range of groups that can empower and support them. It aims to help citizens effectively represent their views and interests and hold governments to account for their actions ‐ at different levels in the governmental system.