A subjective view of governance indicators

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7 September 2015
By CEE-M

Governance indicators are increasingly used in the analysis of the relationship between socio-economic performances and institutional characteristics. The interest for these indicators result from experiences gained through economic stabilization programs whose scope was in some cases limited by institutional constraints. Similarly, the increase in international investment flows also explains the craze for governance indicators, which allow to prioritize risks. The objective of this study is both to identify the dimensions of governance which are crucial for people considering their perceptions of these different dimensions and compare these results with other assessments produced in the literature. Governance indicators treated in the literature are most often expert’s statements and tend not to integrate population perceptions. Local sources surveyed are most often individuals socio economically privileged. The absence of good or bad governance theory leads to the fact that the normative standards of governance assessment are most often based on macroeconomic performance. Governance indicators presented here come from a survey on the perception of governance through a representative sample of 837 people in various districts of Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania. A multi dimensional analysis has allowed us to select the most structural variables and to build nine socio-economic and institutional governance indicators based on perceptions of the efficiency of the government in education, health, inequality, tax, culture and leisure, trust in government, justice, security and the media. Among these nine indicators, confidence in justice is the indicator that contributes most to the explanation of differences in perception of governance. Priority areas for the polled were respectively : education, health and unemployment. Political parties received the lowest level of confidence among the people. Public cleaning up system, public administration and employment of graduates are the three areas that collected the lowest level of satisfaction. On freedom of expression, the socio-professional groups that expressed their satisfaction are business leaders, high ranking civil servants and retirees. Those who reported being not at all satisfied are: people with no activity, workers and employees. Workers, unemployed and retirees are those who have the feeling to be the least listened to by the authorities.