Under chapter one, it presents background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study (general and specific objectives), research questions, delimitation and limitation of the study, significances of the study, definition of terms and it concludes organization of the paper.
1.0 Background of the Study
Recently the terms of “governance” and “good governance” are being increasingly used in development literature. Governance as a concept is not new; it is as old as human civilization. Because all the interactions and relationships throughout the civilization of society have been supported by the principles of governance. Shortly put, governance is the establishment of policies, and continuous monitoring of their proper implementation, by the members of the governing body of an organization. It includes the mechanisms required to balance the powers of the members (with the associated accountability), and their primary duty of enhancing the prosperity and viability of the organization. Governance refers to the exercise of economic, political and administrative authorities to manage affairs of a country at all levels (UNDP, 1997).
The concept of good governance centers on the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses in general. When governance is able to attain/meet the intended objectives, it is said to be ‘good governance.’ Good governance is a continual process in carrying out all the economic, social and political matters of a given society. Good governance refers to the ability to deliver goods and services to the society using appropriate principles. In general, good governance as a quality may refer to a political system in which all activities are done transparently, political leaders at all levels are held accountable, all citizens are treated equally and fairly, rule of law is respected and the people participate actively, reaching consensus oriented, Effectiveness and efficiency. Good governance is an indeterminate term used in the international development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources. Governance is all about “the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)” (World Bank, 1998).
Governance can be good or bad: Bad governance refers to any malpractices, poor services and maladministration which may result from:- denial of human rights, administrative inefficiency, lack of proper legal and policy frameworks, wastage of human and natural resources, environmental problems like pollution and lack of having sustainable development. Generally, bad governance is regarded as one of the root causes of all evils within society (World Bank, 2000).
Somaliland’s upper house of parliament, also known as the ‘House of Elders’, passed a bill on November 6, 2012 to uphold the powers of the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission. Likewise, the lower house of parliament, also known as the ‘House of Representatives’, passed the bill itself in mid-October 2012. The bill was crucial because the commission, which was established informally in 2010, was hobbled by a lack of enforcement power, inability to implement good governance principles. Since its establishment, the Good Governance and Anti-Corruption commission is pursuing a hard work on how to uplift all evil practices against good governance, whilst the constitution grants legitimacy on Good Governance and Anti-Corruption commission to set the foundation of how to implement good governance (GG ;ACC, 2012).
Municipality in Somaliland is a part of government dealing with local matters concerning the residents of cities. Municipalities undertake its work through local councils and financed by a mix of local taxes. Municipalities are closer and accessible to every citizen since they are assigned to deal with local level matters. The Municipality council is the main representative body at the local level, and its decisions directly affect the welfare of citizens and local communities. However, the dual accountability to which the municipality council is subjected has been questioned by some for relegating community accountability to a secondary level, thereby undermining communities’ needs and interests. It has been argued that such dual accountability also limits the independence of the local council, implying that the autonomy of the municipality is not fully respected and sometimes abuses power (SLNEC, 2012). In a study carried out in 2013, about 44 % of local residents interviewed believed that mechanisms for local accountability were ineffective and inefficient while about 36 % believed that they were effective and efficient (APD, 2013).
Currently the Somaliland government planned its 5 year plan/growth and calls it ‘Somaliland National Development Plan II, 2017-2021′. The objective of the plan is to achieving rapid economic growth and sustainable development. To this end, the Ministry of National Planning and Development (MoNPD) in fulfilling its mandate has developed for the second time, a five year (2017-2021) National Development Plan (NDP II) for Somaliland that focuses on rapid economic growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction. To achieve this plan, the role of good governance in improving service delivery is significant because, without implementing good governance, it is difficult to bring sustainable economic development of the country due to the fact that implementing good governance has positive contribution on the economic and political development of the country (MoNPLD, 2017). It means that many international institutions and scholars acknowledged that good governance can enhance both growth and development. UN (2004), Kjaer (2004), Yvnne (2010), Munshi and Abraham (2004) all indicated that good governance can create conducive environment for economic development. In this regard, for Somaliland, good governance is not luxury of making choice rather it is seen as a positive step that aims at lifting up the country out of social economic and backwardness crisis (UNDP, 2000).
The aim of Good Governance in the Public Sector is to encourage better service delivery and improved accountability by establishing a benchmark for good governance in the public sector. The function of good governance in the municipality is to ensure that entities act in the public interest at all times (Institute of Local Government Studies, 2000).
Although good governance is becoming one of the primary issues in the country and one of the pillars of NDP II, implementing it, however, appears to be difficult. This is a common phenomenon in all municipalities of the country. Las’Anod city Municipality, as part of the country, faces similar problems of implementing good governance due to several problems. This study intends to assess the implementation of good governance in the municipality and identify the major and obvious challenges impeding its implementation. To reverse this situation and bring good governance’s role to the frontline of the development of the city, the assessment of the implementation of good governance becomes essential.
To this end, the study will be different from previous studies in many aspects like that the previously conducted researches on the same topic did not cultivate deeply to identify the status of good governance in the municipality and also did not include the leadership officials in their studies. So this study will include residents of the city villages, leadership officials like mayor and the employees in the municipality.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The problem under investigation is the assessment of the implementation of good governance in Las’Anod Municipality, Somaliland. On re-assertion of its independence in 1991, Somaliland started to rebuild its local democracy. Article 22 of the Somaliland National Charter 1993 emphasized the importance of the need to build democratic local councils in all the districts and the regions and this was echoed in the 1997 Interim Constitution – the provisions relating to local government are now set out in Article 109 to 112 of the Somaliland Constitution which was adopted in 2000. Prior to the 2002 Regions and Districts Law, the main Law which governed local authorities in Somaliland was the Law on the Structure of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Administration of the Regions and Districts 1993. The first direct elections of district councils throughout Somaliland (since the mid-1960s) were held in December 2002. Although these elections took place everywhere, the lack demarcation of boundaries of the smaller Grade D districts meant that no councils were elected for them and their mayors are still appointed directly by the Minister of Interior. The next (postponed) elections held in 2012 (SLNEC).
The municipalities are the basic units of government in Somaliland. They are elected by the people for a five-year term. Current councils of Las’Anod Municipality were elected in November, 2012. They are 21 councils. Their core function is to provide basic services to the community. Municipality’s core functions at the local level is to communicate with residential and business customers about issues of trash pickup, police and fire emergencies, road construction, environmental services, urban planning and regulatory enforcement, local public works and housing utility service and billing inquiries, firefighting.
According to research conducted in 2012, the residents of city municipalities are complaining that the municipalities facing lack of commitment towards activities in the city, the mayors of the cities and their councils are not handling residents’ grievances and complaints, trash collecting system is not good since there are lots of rubbish and broken drainages all over the city. A number of challenges are prevalent in Las’Anod municipality when it comes to the implementation of good governance. Some of these challenges include; lack of/poor service delivery (water, sanitation, lighting system, plantation), inadequate housing, cutting crimes, evictions, high levels of unemployment, ineffective and inefficiency public bureaucracy, lack of effective communication with communities, lack of effective leadership in the municipality, corruption, nepotism, maladministration and financial mismanagement.
As a student of leadership and good governance, I will look at several angles on how Las’Anod municipality implements good governance. The principles of good governance are 8 in number and they are: participation, responsibility, accountability, transparency, effectiveness and efficiency, consensus oriented, rule of law, equity and inclusiveness.
Somaliland as a whole encounters difficult in implementing good governance and especially Las’Anod Municipality has lots of pitfalls towards the running-off these pillars. We all know that the fundamental function of good governance in the public sector is to ensure that entities achieve their intended outcomes while acting in the public interest at all times. Good governance tied to: –? achieving intended outcomes –? acting in the public interest at all times. According to a research, Las’Anod Municipality commits serious actions that are contrary to the public interest including but not limited to fraud, theft of city assets, waste mismanagement of City resources or assets in a wilful, intentional or negligent manner that contravenes a City policy or direction by Council and there are also breach of Public trust, there is no equal employment opportunity when the municipality hires new workers, the tax collected from the local residents is not visible in the city since the roads are not built up to the standards, health situation is not improved and also the citizen participation is totally missing.
Somaliland has opted for a decentralized governance system where the constitution gives districts the primary responsibility for service delivery. However, the process of decentralization is in early stages and central government ministries are still in control of most of the public service provisions at the local level. But the government is fully committed to decentralization and devolution of authority and operations (Interpeace Organization and SLNEC, 2008).
The success of development and democratic governance depends on both a robust state and an active, capable and healthy civil society. Only a strong and capable civil society can play a collaborative rather than competitive role, be an interlocutor with governments and other partners and also play a watchdog role in the development process. Civic engagement is especially key to the work in strengthening responsive, responsible and more accountable governance institutions and practices (UNDP, 2010). However, the ‘good governance’ agenda which dominated development thinking and practice on governance since the 1990s has come under intensive scrutiny, and today many practitioners, academic and policy makers recognize that it has its limits. Some have talked for example of “good enough governance” recognizing that institutions and, most importantly, the rules of the game underpinning them, adapt to different contexts rather than a fixed template for governance (ODI, 2014).
According to research done by APD, 2015, Las’Anod municipality encounters some obstacles in the implementation of good governance inefficient bureaucracy and poor public service delivery. The government undertook reforms in order to correct the mismanagement existing in administrations and to record the exact number of civil servants in the country. The Somaliland municipality Reform is based on decentralisation, better governance and local economic development. The Somaliland constitution and Law No. 23, lays down the legal framework for decentralization and provides sufficient room for decentralized service delivery. Decentralization Policy describes the process for decentralized service delivery. The objective of these reform is: to improve the provision and effectiveness of the public services, resource allocation and transparent and accountable administration at local level.
A lot of researches has been conducted to assess the implementation of good governance in the municipality but did not meet its intended goals due to several reasons. Therefore, it triggered the researcher to conduct this study and assess the genuine status of good governance in Las’Anod municipality since previous studies did not result enough outcomes. The study to be different from others’ will combine the leadership of the city municipality, the residents and the employees.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The broad general purpose of this study is to assess the implementation of good governance and to indicate the major challenges hindering the implementation of good governance in Las’Anod municipality, Somaliland.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study has both general and specific objectives:
1.3.1 General Objective
The general objective of the study is to assess the implementation of good governance in Las’Anod Municipality, Somaliland, and identify major challenges deterring the implementation of good governance.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
? To identify the status of good governance in Las’Anod Municipality
? To investigate major challenges those impede the implementation of good governance in the Municipality of Las’Anod.
? To deeply examine the role of community participation and employees in kicking off good governance practice in the Municipality.
? To identify the role of employees in assisting the municipality efforts in promoting good governance
1.4 Research Questions
1) To what extent good governance is implemented in the municipality?
2) To what extent the residents of the city are satisfied with the services delivered by the municipality?
3) What are the apparent factors that impede the implementation of good governance in the municipality?
4) What are the possible measures to be taken by the municipality to improve public services delivery and how it can take corrective means to implement good governance in the municipality?
1.5 Delimitation of the Study
This part of the study highlights factors that affect the study over which the researcher generally has some degree of control. Good governance is a macro-issue that needs to be studied in detail. This study has been conducted in Las’Anod Municipality, Sool region. This specific place was selected due to different reasons. First, the Municipality has many customers and where there many complaints are rising. Second, the researcher has familiarity with the municipality’s governance and believes that he will get enough information about the topic under study.
Good governance principles are many and wide in their scope. So, to study in detail it needs resource and ample time. Due to this reason, it is difficult to include all principles of good governance in the study. Therefore, the study was limited to some selected principles of good governance, and they are: participation, accountability, transparency, responsibility, efficiency and effectiveness and finally equity and inclusiveness in the municipality deliverables.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
Although this research will be carefully prepared, I am still aware of its limitations and shortcomings, so as a researcher, I tried to jump over it and convinced the officials, the residents and the employees who will take part the study and understand them the benefits and importance of the study to the municipality, leadership all over the system. Some of the limitations include:
Some of the respondents are not willing to give information about the implementation of good governance in the municipality due to some reasons which include the sensitive nature of the topic, scariness to fire and lost their positions and also keeping the secret and confidentiality. To overcome this challenge the researcher convinced them the importance of the study to the municipality and the outcome of the study will be used purely for academic and confidentiality will be highly guaranteed.
Since the questionnaire and interview are written in English language there may be a gap in knowledge to some non-English speakers, the researcher translated both questionnaire and interview questions into Somali language. Some of the respondents are giving inaccurate information and worried about the confidentiality of the data they provided. The researcher lastly persuaded them that the purpose of the study is purely for academic and the confidentiality will be highly guaranteed.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The foremost purpose of the research is for completion of my Master’s degree in Leadership and Good Governance. It is a foundation stone for continuing my further education. It also affixes a significant element to the academic sphere. So the assessment of the implementation of good governance in Somaliland and especially Las’Anod municipality has the following major benefits:
Benefits to Municipality: developing a better understanding of good governance how to make municipality effectiveness and also promoting good governance after the assessment. The study will explain the extent of good governance practice at the municipality, thus, it allows government institutions, beneficiaries, NGOs and other stakeholders to know the level of good governance at the municipality, and also it allows government units to take action in improving the status of good governance and finally to make judgments and decisions in the future. The study will help the officials and authority of the municipality to know and understand the extent of good governance at the municipality, how they can improve the service delivery, how can they overcome the barriers that hamper the implementation of good governance in the municipality.
Academic Benefits: It adds knowledge to individuals who are interested in doing further research in this area of interest. It is expected to open a discussion and research interests in good governance area.
Policy Benefits: It will assist policy makers a good image and well-illustrated study while setting up municipality level policies and procedures. Thus it will allow them to simply identify the status of good governance practice in the municipality.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Governance: International agencies such as UNDP, the World Bank, the OECD and Development Assistance Committee (DAC) (1998: 138) define governance as the exercise of authority or power in order to manage a country’s economic, political and administrative affairs. The 2009 Global Monitoring Report sees governance as ‘power relationships,’ ‘formal and informal processes of formulating policies and allocating resources,’ ‘processes of decision-making’ and ‘mechanisms for holding governments at any level accountable.’
Good Governance: Many of the elements and principles underlying “good governance” have become an integral part of the meaning of “governance”. John Healey and Mark Robinson (2011) define “good governance” as follows: “It implies a high level of organizational effectiveness in relation to policy-formulation and the policies actually pursued, especially in the conduct of economic policy and its contribution to growth, stability and popular welfare. Good governance also implies accountability, transparency, participation, openness and the rule of law. It does not necessarily presuppose a value judgment, for example, a healthy respect for civil and political liberties, although good government tends to be a prerequisite for political legitimacy”.
Municipality: Municipality is defined as an urban unit of local government. A municipality is a political subdivision of a state within which a municipal corporation has been established to provide general local government for a specific population concentration in a defined area. In Somaliland, the municipalities are the basic units of government. They are elected by the people for a five-year term.