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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-governance-in-developing-countries/2010-to-2015-government-policy-governance-in-developing-countries
This is a copy of a document that stated a policy of the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. The previous URL of this page was https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/helping-developing-countries-to-be-better-run-and-more-accountable. Current policies can be found at the GOV.UK policies list.
Countries need strong, effective and trustworthy institutions so that they can make political and economic progress, provide services to all and manage disputes peacefully.
Up to 4 billion people in the world can’t access fair and functioning justice systems. Many are also deprived of democratic or accountable systems of government. This means they can’t be protected from violence, claim rights to property or access fair remedies if they are victims of crimes or abuses.
Women and children are especially affected, particularly during or after violent conflict. Women also face particularly high risks of sexual violence.
When people can influence decisions that affect them, through elections or lobbying their MP, for example, their government can work better to address these problems. When institutions work properly the state can provide services that are accessible to all, including health, education and justice; people can speak up if they see a problem or are being treated unfairly and people can make investments and start businesses.
This is crucial for reducing poverty. It is also vital for ensuring that disputes and grievances which can lead to violent conflict are dealt with fairly and peacefully.
A lot of the work that we do to make countries better-run and more accountable involves helping countries to deal with and prevent conflict. We will devote 30% of our aid (known as official development assistance or ODA) to fragile and conflict-affected states by 2014. More information about this is available in our policy on preventing conflict in fragile states.
Improving security and the justice system for poor people
We are working with countries to help make their security and justice systems more effective, responsive and accountable. Security and justice providers can be parts of the state, like the police and the courts system, or informal, community authorities like village chiefs and other traditional leaders.
Helping countries to develop effective democratic systems
We work to support elections and help countries to develop fully functioning democracies including parliaments, civil society, the media and political parties.
We will support 13 countries to hold freer and fairer elections by 2015, covering a total of 300 million voters around the world. In 2013, this will include elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kenya.
We published anti-corruption strategies for all of the countries we work with in January 2013. The strategies explain how, in each country, the Department for International Development (DFID) will safeguard UK taxpayers’ money, deal with corruption and reduce the impact of corruption on development over the next 3 years.
Along with several donors, we funded an evaluation of the anti-corruption work of 5 donors in 5 countries from 2002 to 2009. We published the results of this evaluation in June 2012, and we used the evaluation to help us develop our new anti-corruption strategies.
Public sector reform
We work with countries to help them develop effective public sector organisations. Effective public organisations should ensure equitable distribution of resources and the resolution of grievances, which helps to prevent conflict. Our programmes are based on the specific circumstances and needs in each country.
More information is available in our country operational plans.
We’re working with several other countries and international aid organisations to evaluate public sector reform in developing countries from 2000 to 2010. This will help DFID and other aid organisations to develop more effective ways of supporting public sector reform.
Helping governments to manage public money effectively
DFID spends around £20 million each year on programmes to help poor countries manage public money more effectively by:
- preventing over-spending or over-borrowing
- allocating money and resources according to the government’s priorities
- getting good value for what is spent
We are funding the new International Centre for Tax and Development. The centre receives funding and support from a range of organisations. It was set up in 2010, for 5 years, to carry out research into how tax policies and practices affect development in poorer countries.
We contribute to the work of the Global Forum on Tax Transparency by taking part in peer review exercises and helping countries to meet international tax information standards.
Helping people in developing countries to influence decisions that affect them
We will support 40 million people to have choice and control over their own development and to hold decision-makers to account by 2015.
In every country where we give aid directly to a government, we will spend up to 5% of the allotted aid on accountability. This will be done through projects to help the media to scrutinise the government, or by funding local organisations to feedback directly on government services, depending on what is most appropriate in each country.
Researching the best methods for helping countries to be better-run and more accountable
Remarkably little is known about fundamental governance and social development questions in conflict-affected and fragile states. DFID funds research programmes on governance, conflict and social development. These programmes help us to understand politics, poverty and development in fragile states and those affected by conflict.
Security and justice are recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as basic rights along with health and education.
In 2009 to 2010, we undertook a review of our governance portfolio and the impact of our work between 2004 and 2009 to help poor countries become better-run, more effective and more accountable. This work helped us to develop more effective programmes.