n Journal of Public Administration - Comparisons of the worldwide governance indicators as a tool for measuring governance quality with the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



A nexus between good governance and development exists. However, there is no universal consensus on what constitutes good governance, since its attributes are by no means universally agreed on, because cultural norms and values differ around the world. This has implications for how good governance might be measured and implies that methodologies or tools for measuring governance quality, that are based on Western values, might be inappropriate for measuring African governance. In the Post-Washington Consensus era, with its emphasis on good governance as the foundation of development, measuring governance quality, an inexact science by any standards, is of high interest globally among different stakeholders for different purposes. Alongside the marked interest in good governance is a high demand for methods of measurement, resulting in a proliferation of methodologies and tools. Two main categories of governance indicators exist: facts-based indicators are based on objective facts, can be replicated and are transparent, while composite perceptions-based indicators rely on perceptions of governance quality obtained from experts, business leaders and, sometimes, ordinary people. This article has three foci. First, it examines reasons for heightened interest in measuring governance quality and highlights the merits and demerits of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGIs). Secondly, the article outlines criteria of the WGIs. Thirdly, as a counterpoint to this Western-biased instrument, the article discusses the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance and compares it to the WGIs

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