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1.0 Background of the Study
Recently the terms of “governance” and “good governance” are being increasingly used in development literature. Governance as a concept is not new; it is as old as human civilization. Because all the interactions and relationships throughout the civilization of society have been supported by the principles of governance. Shortly put, governance is the establishment of policies, and continuous monitoring of their proper implementation, by the members of the governing body of an organization. It includes the mechanisms required to balance the powers of the members (with the associated accountability), and their primary duty of enhancing the prosperity and viability of the organization. Governance refers to the exercise of economic, political and administrative authorities to manage affairs of a country at all levels (UNDP, 1997).
The concept of good governance centers on the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses in general. When governance is able to attain/meet the intended objectives, it is said to be ‘good governance.’ Good governance is a continual process in carrying out all the economic, social and political matters of a given society. Good governance refers to the ability to deliver goods and services to the society using appropriate principles. In general, good governance as a quality may refer to a political system in which all activities are done transparently, political leaders at all levels are held accountable, all citizens are treated equally and fairly, rule of law is respected and the people participate actively, reaching consensus oriented, Effectiveness and efficiency. Good governance is an indeterminate term used in the international development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources. Governance is all about “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)” (World Bank, 1998).
Governance can be good or bad: Bad governance refers to any malpractices, poor services and maladministration which may result from:- denial of human rights, administrative inefficiency, lack of proper legal and policy frameworks, wastage of human and natural resources, environmental problems like pollution and lack of having sustainable development. Generally, bad governance is regarded as one of the root causes of all evils within society (World Bank, 2000).
Somaliland’s upper house of parliament, also known as the ‘House of Elders’, passed a bill on November 6, 2012 to uphold the powers of the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission. Likewise, the lower house of parliament, also known as the ‘House of Representatives’, passed the bill itself in mid-October 2012. The bill was crucial because the commission, which was established informally in 2010, was hobbled by a lack of enforcement power, inability to implement good governance principles. Since its establishment, the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption commission is pursuing a hard work on how to uplift all evil practices against good governance, whilst the constitution grants legitimacy on Good Governance and Anti-Corruption commission to set the foundation of how to implement good governance (GG ;ACC, 2012).
Municipality in Somaliland is a part of government dealing with local matters concerning the residents of cities. Municipalities undertake its work through local councils and financed by a mix of local taxes. Municipalities are closer and accessible to every citizen since they are assigned to deal with local level matters. The Municipality council is the main representative body at the local level, and its decisions directly affect the welfare of citizens and local communities. However, the dual accountability to which the municipality council is subjected has been questioned by some for relegating community accountability to a secondary level, thereby undermining communities’ needs and interests. It has been argued that such dual accountability also limits the independence of the local council, implying that the autonomy of the municipality is not fully respected and sometimes abuses power (SLNEC, 2012). In a study carried out in 2013, about 44 % of local residents interviewed believed that mechanisms for local accountability were ineffective and inefficient while about 36 % believed that they were effective and efficient (APD, 2013).
Currently the Somaliland government planned its 5 year plan/growth and calls it ‘Somaliland National Development Plan II, 2017-2021’. The objective of the plan is to achieving rapid economic growth and sustainable development. To this end, the Ministry of National Planning and Development (MoNPD) in fulfilling its mandate has developed for the second time, a five year (2017-2021) National Development Plan (NDP II) for Somaliland that focuses on rapid economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. To achieve this plan, the role of good governance in improving service delivery is significant because, without implementing good governance, it is difficult to bring sustainable economic development of the country due to the fact that implementing good governance has positive contribution on the economic and political development of the country (MoNPLD, 2017). It means that many international institutions and scholars acknowledged that good governance can enhance both growth and development. UN (2004), Kjaer (2004), Yvnne (2010), Munshi and Abraham (2004) all indicated that good governance can create conducive environment for economic development. In this regard, for Somaliland, good governance is not luxury of making choice rather it is seen as a positive step that aims at lifting up the country out of social economic and backwardness crisis (UNDP, 2000).
The aim of Good Governance in the Public Sector is to encourage better service delivery and improved accountability by establishing a benchmark for good governance in the public sector. The function of good governance in the municipality is to ensure that entities act in the public interest at all times (Institute of Local Government Studies, 2000).
Although good governance is becoming one of the primary issues in the country and one of the pillars of NDP II, implementing it, however, appears to be difficult. This is a common phenomenon in all municipalities of the country. Las’Anod city Municipality, as part of the country, faces similar problems of implementing good governance due to several problems. This study intends to assess the implementation of good governance in the municipality and identify the major and obvious challenges impeding its implementation. To reverse this situation and bring good governance’s role to the frontline of the development of the city, the assessment of the implementation of good governance becomes essential.
To this end, the study will be different from previous studies in many aspects like that the previously conducted researches on the same topic did not cultivate deeply to identify the status of good governance in the municipality and also did not include the leadership officials in their studies. So this study will include residents of the city villages, leadership officials like mayor and the employees in the municipality.