Water from the heights, water from the grassroots: the Governance of common dynamics and public services in La Paz-El Alto
In common usage, Governance—as distinct from Good Governance—is often equated with “government” or, more precisely, “the act or process of governing” (Gisselquist, 2012). It is hardly surprising therefore that all the official definitions of Governance refer to the notions of authority, power and rules of the game. Kaufman takes it to mean “the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised” (Kaufmann, Kraay and Zoido-Lobaton, 1999). Girishankar et al. consider that it “refers broadly to the exercise of power through a country’s economic, social, and political Institutions in which institutions represent the organizational rules and routines, formal laws, and informal norms that together shape the incentives of public policymakers, overseers, and providers of public services” (Girishankar, 2002). This is often referred to as “the rules of the game.” Hence the implicit idea that “understanding governance requires an identification of both the rulers and the rules, as well as the various processes by which they are selected, defined, and linked together and with the society generally.” For all this, there is no agreed definition of Governance “that would provide a convenient device for organizing the literature” (Keefer, 2009) as scholars compile dozens of different definitions from as many organizations (Gisselquist, 2012). Among the various alternatives (Weiss, 2000, OECD 2009), international organizations such as the UNDP, IMF, and OECD opt for the relatively state-centric definitions.
Source : AFD Research Paper Series, , Agence franÃ§a ise de dÃ©veloppement, Paris, France