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Good Governance

How resilient are your communities? Does your local council engage effectively with local people? How sustainable is your health and wellbeing strategy? How well does your local council work in partnership with local business to create employment?

If you do not know the answer to these questions the Governance Audit developed by Governance International shows you where the 'red light' is blinking and points out innovative solutions to priority issues.  


“We-Think only works under certain conditions…It is not all or nothing but a matter of degree: from No We-think at one end of the spectrum, where traditional, closed and hierarchical models of organisation still make sense, to Full We-Think at the other end, with the likes of Linux and Wikepedia. In the middle, there will be lots of opportunities to blend some of these ingredients in different ways.” .

Charles Leadbeater, We-Think

For Governance International, collaborative governance is about public services agreeing a new set of ‘rules of the game’ with other organisations, communities and service users – and, of course, sticking to them. This is the key to success in partnerships with other organisations and in co-production with service users and communities.

The principles of collaborative governance are not written in stone. They differ from situation to situation. In deciding the ‘rules of the game’ for working with particular partners, public service organisations have to be clear what they want to focus upon. Is it transparency? Accountability? Sustainability? The equalities agenda? Engagement? Collaborative governance has to balance these principles – some are more important than others at particular times in particular places. Making these strategic choices is key to good governance, but this has to be done with all key stakeholders involved.

An example of such mutually negotiated ‘rules of collaboration’ is the Solihull Environment Champions Charter which states what the council will do for engaged citizens – and, of course, vice versa, namely how it expects citizens to behave when working with the council. Similarly, in Mannheim the city council and its ‘engagement champions’ have agreed how they will collaborate in a multi-million Euro regeneration project and set them out clearly in a so-called ‘White Book’.

How we can help you to make good governance real?

  •  ‘Making it Better’ Labs with service providers, commissioners and representatives of the third sector and communities to improve existing forms of collaboration. Read more about how we did this in a recent project with Argyll and Bute council.

  • Governance Audits with your key partners to identify the strengths you can build on and areas where you should be improving.

  • National and international research and identify good practice on specific governance issues.

Our Expertise

The Governance International Team has led on a number of high-profile public governance projects, including:

  • Designing, proto-typing and rolling-out Governance Audits in a number of local councils in Europe, including Calderdale Council, the City of Ulm, the Swiss Town Council of Baar and the City of Barcelona.

  • Concept paper of the Good Governance Certificate ELoGE of the Council of Europe to adapt it to Baden-Wuerttemberg

  • Research on ‘Sustainability Indicators’ for the Spanish EU Presidency. The full report can be accessed by clicking here.

  • Peer assessment of the public governance of the region of Tuscany commissioned by the OECD.

Good practice cases

Have a look into our Good Governance case study section, which provides inspiring good practice cases how you can put social inclusion and other governance principles into practice. 

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