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Egypt: a sectoral governance assessment towards better MDGs achievement

Posted date: 
Mon, 01/24/2011
Good Governance and Anti-Corruption measurement research programs are at the core of the Social Contract Centre (SCC)’s efforts to rebuild trust between development stakeholders in Egypt. Within these efforts, one important ongoing activity is the Governance Assessment Framework that aims to develop applied methods for assessing governance in the social sector in Egypt in order to improve service delivery while meeting the MDGs. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that MDG shortfalls are not only to be attributed to insufficient financial amounts, but often linked to governance-related problems[1]. In this perspective, the SCC’s innovative attempt to monitor governance within sectors (sector-based governance) is particularly relevant to MDGs acceleration in Egypt, as well as the improvement of basic service delivery in the country in general. Three pilot sectors were chosen to start developing this approach: education, health, and water and sanitation. With support from UNDP’s Global Programme on Democratic Governance Assessments, the SCC has thus undertaken since mid-2009 this enterprise of applying a governance assessment lens to each of these sectors.
Despite the availability of international models suggesting different viable indicators to measure governance, it is not an easy or straightforward job to come up with a sector-based governance assessment model and one cohesive, integrated, inclusive and above all nationally-owned set of indicators tailored to the Egyptian context.
Towards this end, the SCC’s governance team first explored and reviewed some of the well established international governance models, such as the World Bank Institute’s World Governance Indicators (WGI), the European Union’s Country Governance Profiles (CGP), the USAID’s democracy and governance indicators, the UNHABITAT’s Urban Governance Index (UGI), the UNDP’s governance framework, and the United Nations University’s World Governance Assessment (WGA). The team analyzed these models and identified the components, elements, and areas they share.
The SCC then intended to tailor these components, elements and areas into one inclusive and general governance assessment model or framework that would fit Egypt's economic, political, legal and social backgrounds and realities. The framework takes into consideration multiple stakeholders and focuses on components such as participation, accountability, rule of law, control of corruption, transparency, responsiveness, efficiency, equity and effectiveness with regards to key actors such as government, administration, the judiciary, the political sphere, the economic sphere including private sector, and civil society.
However, before applying such a framework to the three pilot sectors, the SCC found necessary to go through two more preliminary steps aimed at ensuring that the framework was truly nationally-owned, and reflected the reality of Egypt in a more accurate and consistent way: first, a mapping offered substantial information on the three sectors, their complex composition, hierarchies and backgrounds; such information is quite rare and thus useful to the personnel and decision makers involved with these sectors. Besides, in order to set the grounds for a more conscious, inclusive and cohesive set of indicators that responds effectively to Egypt's needs and priorities – thus acting in the spirit of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid effectiveness –, the SCC is now embarking on an extensive consultation process with stakeholders from relevant government line ministries, civil society activists and private sector representatives. The consultation with the respective task forces and working groups will seek to result in the final set of indicators for the sector-based governance assessment.
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 Photo: Social Contract Centre