Discussion Paper - Governance for Sustainable Development




Discussion Paper - Governance for Sustainable Development

October 29, 2015

There are now widely accepted arguments that governance is of high relevance to the post-2015 development agenda: effective governance institutions and systems that are responsive to public needs deliver essential services and promote inclusive growth, while inclusive political processes ensure citizens can hold public officials to account. In addition, good governance promotes freedom from violence, fear and crime, and helps build peaceful and secure societies with the stability needed to attract and sustain development investments.  A consensus is emerging to accept divergence in the way countries develop and improve their systems of governance, while reaffirming the global norms and standards agreed upon by member states. In practice, improving governance requires action in a wide range of areas, not all of which can be addressed at once, and not all can be subject of a global consensus. The challenge in integrating governance into the post-2015 development framework is to translate experience and evidence from multiple and diverse governance systems into concrete, measurable and broadly acceptable global development goals and targets.


The UNDP Discussion Paper on 'Governance for Sustainable Development' provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities that evolve from the ongoing discussions on how best to integrate governance, rule of law, peace and security priorities into the post-2015 development agenda, and lays out the case for why different aspects of governance, peace and security matter for a universal sustainable development agenda.. From the discussions in the Open Working Group, several broad options are emerging, which are not mutually exclusive: stand-alone goals on governance, rule of law and peaceful and stable societies; and governance as an enabler that is referenced in accompanying text, and is "mainstreamed" across other targets. This paper furthers this discussion with a contributive analysis of these options and their strengths and weaknesses. The paper finally reflects on the challenge of measuring progress.