The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project attempts to measure governance by synthesizing the views and reports of diverse sources, including Economist Intelligence Unit, Latinobarometro, Afrobarometer, World Economic Forum, Freedom House, Gallup World Poll, Bertelsmann Transformation Index, Institutional Profile Database by French Government Agencies, OECD Development Center African Economic Outlook, Global Integrity Index, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy in Asia, and Reporters without Borders, among others.
Governance is defined by the WGI authors as the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.
This year’s study is the seventh update of the WGI, a decade-long effort by the researchers to build and update the most comprehensive cross-country set of governance indicators currently available. The newly released set of the six updated aggregate indicators, as well as data from the underlying sources, are at www.govindicators.org.
Over 2002-2007, the Indicators show sharp improvements in governance, along with reversals. Examples include strong improvements in Voice and Accountability in countries such as Ukraine and Haiti; improvements in Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism in Argentina; and improvements in Control of Corruption in Georgia and Tanzania.
But despite governance gains in some countries, overall quality of governance around the world has not improved much over the past decade.
Good governance has also been found to significantly enhance the effectiveness of development assistance in general, and of World Bank-funded projects in particular.
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