There is increasing demand from both developing country governments and international development partners to be able to measure various aspects of democracy, human rights and governance at the national and sub-national level. For UNDP and partner countries, governance assessments can be catalysts for nationally driven reform, especially if configured and undertaken through inclusive and consultative processes.
Donor driven governance assessments do not necessarily emphasize the role of national partners in the assessment process or provide opportunities for developing national capacities to monitor themselves the quality of governance within their countries. Moreover, co-ordination and lack of harmonisation in countries where there are several governance assessments being undertaken simultaneously, have undermined the commitments that donors have made to the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
Therefore, the 2007 UNDP/CMI Bergen Seminar focused on governance assessments in the context of the Paris Declaration with its focus on national ownership, national capacity development and alignment. It complemented the ongoing OECD/DAC discussions on this issue, by providing an international forum to bring in the voice of developing country partners as well as to expand the focus of governance assessments beyond donor driven approaches to nationally driven governance assessments and assessments based on a peer review mechanism.