Bereket Gebru 12-22-17
Lack of good governance related demands by the people have become breeding grounds for social unrest in different parts of the country. Although camouflaged with other issues, the lack of good governance is the fertile soil upon which other political and economic causes of conflict are sewed. Accordingly, what started out as demonstrations have turned into fatal armed engagements with the federal defense force shattering peace and security in the country. There have also been ethnic based conflicts in various parts of the country that have claimed the lives of numerous Ethiopians.
Let’s look into the factors contributing to good governance that unrest suppresses. Various sources indicate that there are eight elements of good governance.
1. Rule of Law
Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced by an impartial regulatory body, for the full protection of stakeholders. Violent unrests are the ideal condition for rule of law to be ignored and organized outlaws to take over posing themselves as a security threat for everyone. The restoration of rule of law is in the interest of the people and thus they should work together with organs of law enforcement and interpretation.
An online source characterizes transparency as meaning information should be provided in easily understandable forms and media; that it should be freely available and directly accessible to those who will be affected by governance policies and practices, as well as the outcomes resulting there from; and that any decisions taken and their enforcement are in compliance with established rules and regulations.
The lack of transparency creates room for people to run wild with possible interpretations of what is going on. Violence is an opportune moment for some shady undertakings. Instead of promoting popular calls for transparency, violence creates a conducive environment for looting.
The same source indicates that good governance requires that organizations and their processes are designed to serve the best interests of stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe. By halting the activities of most organizations, violent unrests clearly elongate the timeframe required for them to be responsive. Considering unrests can also lead to records of all sorts being lost or destroyed, responsiveness becomes a more unattainable thing with violence.
4. Consensus Oriented
Good governance, as explained by the source, requires consultation to understand the different interests of stakeholders in order to reach a broad consensus of what is in the best interest of the entire stakeholder group and how this can be achieved in a sustainable and prudent manner. In addition to its divisive inputs, unrest dismantles the platform for discussion that might lead to consensus. The superiority of emotion over reason during such social upheavals creates the worst scenario for consensus as it leaves people fighting in groups.
5. Equity and Inclusiveness
The source argues that the organization that provides the opportunity for its stakeholders to maintain, enhance, or generally improve their well-being provides the most compelling message regarding its reason for existence and value to society.
Obviously, the major de facto rule of unrest is might is right. Those with the intent and power to go out and loot are going to amass or purge the assets and lives of others. By rewarding the powerful with undue proceeds, unrests leave the merited out.
6. Effectiveness and Efficiency
Good governance means, according to the source, that the processes implemented by the organization to produce favorable results meet the needs of its stakeholders, while making the best use of resources – human, technological, financial, natural and environmental – at its disposal.
By squandering resources, violent unrests lead organizations away from effectiveness and efficiency to a path of destruction. Popular demands for effectiveness and efficiency cannot, therefore, take the route of social unrest.
The source states that accountability is a key tenet of good governance. Who is accountable for what should be documented in policy statements. In general, an organization is accountable to those who will be affected by its decisions or actions as well as the applicable rules of law.
Amid the chaos and mayhem of social unrests, all sorts of illegal acts are committed with the notion of accountability lost in the dust. It is baffling how the same people with legitimate demands of the lack of accountability would resort to scenarios that promote unaccountability even further.
Participation by men and women, goes on the sources, either directly or through legitimate representatives, is a key cornerstone of good governance. Participation needs to be informed and organized, including freedom of expression and assiduous concern for the best interests of the organization and society in general.
The only sort of participation during social unrests is violent. Let alone ensuring popular participation to address social problems, social unrests target those who are concerned enough to engage themselves in finding solutions.
The governmental effort to ensure good governance, therefore, ventures out to realize all these aspects. With each one proving hard to come by, the combined effort to realize good governance is obviously very daunting. Considering the countless positives in our daily lives that good governance could bring, we all need to work hard to coordinate our efforts and work to realize a conducive environment for it to blossom in.