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What's behind the demand for governance? An assessment of people's views

Research reports

Written by Alina Rocha Menocal

This paper analyses emerging data from the United Nations' MY World survey of people’s priorities for the future and how they have voted on governance-related issues. We compare this with a review of available evidence from global perception surveys and participatory research on people’s views and experiences relating to governance. As governance consists of a range of different dimensions, a key objective is to understand whether there are some aspects that seem to matter more to people than others, and to identify associated trends. Based on findings emerging from the data, we reflect on what this may imply for governments and for post-2015 development goals.

Key findings include:

People across the world care deeply about governance, but some dimensions of governance emerge as more important to them than others.

People’s top priority is for governments that are honest and effective and can deliver on their needs and expectations. Political freedoms are also important, but remain secondary to concerns about performance and the delivery of goods and services.

A post-2015 framework that responds to these views would focus more on the the capacity of governments to deliver than on specific institutional forms, with targets designed to strengthen performance across other goals.

Gina Bergh, Alina Rocha Menocal and Laura Rodriguez Takeuchi