Mercy Corps' Governance Approach video provides a general explanation of the Mercy Corps governance approach, including basic concepts and the framework on which it is based. It lays out the theory of change and provides further insights on our strategy and tactics for the promotion of good governance. The video is available in French and with Spanish, Arabic and Myanmar language subtitles.
To support communities grappling with world’s most complex, interconnected and intensifying problems—from protracted conflict and famine to failed markets and climate change—Mercy Corps believes we must tackle the governance barriers that underpin these challenges. Weak governance is one of the biggest roadblocks to effective, lasting development in the transitioning and fragile environments where we work. It compounds natural resource degradation, inhibits economic growth, perpetuates gender inequalities, alienates youth and ignites conflict, among other impacts. In these contexts, governance institutions often lack the incentives, capacity and budgets to provide communities with the services foundational to sustainable and equitable development. Citizens lack access to basic information about their rights and responsibilities, and ineffective accountability and transparency mechanisms exacerbate grievances, encourage corruption and foster disengagement and distrust in decision-making processes.
Increasing evidence links good governance to successful peace and development outcomes, and at a time when there are limited resources available to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, it is essential that we renew our efforts to promote good governance.
With these challenges in mind, Mercy Corps’ good governance approach focuses on advancing four outcomes:
- We empower and engage citizens by informing and mobilizing communities, and promoting citizen participation in governance processes;
- We enhance the capacity, networks and inclusivity of local organizations to support a skilled and connected civil society;
- We strengthen accountability mechanisms and support governance institutions in meaningfully engaging citizens to promote more responsive and accountable decision-makers; and
- We strengthen relationship building, constructive deliberation and increased trust by facilitating frequent and repeated interaction between diverse communities and sectors to address public challenges.
By elevating the voices of vulnerable communities and increasing their inclusion in decision-making, while simultaneously promoting responsiveness and accountability from governance institutions, we ensure governance processes are more equitable and effective. This approach creates a foundation for communities and institutions to tackle the underlying causes of the world’s toughest challenges, working collaboratively to build secure, productive and just communities.
Iraq: Bridging the Gap
Civil society plays a critical role in ensuring that government is open, participatory and accountable to citizens.
Lebanon: The Role of Municipalities in the Syria Refugee Crisis
Mercy Corps, with funding from the British Embassy in Beirut, conducted extensive assessments of 12 municipalities in Lebanon's "hot spots" to better understand how municipalities are responding to
Lebanon: Political, Economic and Social Instability in Lebanon
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Jordan: Tapped Out: Water scarcity and refugee pressures in Jordan
Jordan, one of the world’s driest countries, is dumping much of its water into the sand. This new report outlines urgent needs and key recommendations to guide immediate and long-term interventions.
Uganda: The Conflict Management System in Karamoja: An Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses
"The Conflict Management System in Karamoja: An assessment of strengths and weaknesses” (April 2013) explores the effectiveness of the conflict management system in northern Uganda’s remote Karamoj
Civic Engagement of Youth in the Middle East and North Africa
In the wake of the Arab Awakening, Mercy Corps and other agencies are grappling with the question: How can the recent surge of self-assertion and of political activism by Arab youth be harnessed to
Libya: Beyong Gaddafi: Libya's Governance Context
More than 6.4 million Libyans are living out a historic transition: emerging from 42 years of harsh authoritarianism towards a democratic state wherein the people are the source of authority.
Mercy Corps' Guide to Good Governance Programming (March 2011)
A framework for good governance programming that reflects Mercy Corps’ Vision for Change and expertise. Core principles with many practical examples from our programs.
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Over the past 30 years, civil war and major social upheaval have shattered and distorted many of southern Sudan’s governance structures.
A Framework for Good Governance
The Governance Framework serves as a tool to help program teams dissect governance approaches and surface programmatic hypotheses or “theories of change.” Through these steps, a program team can de