Good governance and market-based reforms: a study of Bangladesh

AuthorKen Coghill,Fara Azmat
Publication Date01 Dec 2005
Good governance and market-based reforms: a study of
Fara Azmat and Ken Coghill
‘Good governance’ is increasingly regarded as pivotal to development in develop-
ing countries. The six indicators recognized as the most effective measurement
tools of ‘good governance’ across the world are: voice and accountability; political
stability and absence of violence; government effectiveness; regulatory quality;
rule of law and control of corruption (Kaufmann, Kraay and Lobaton, 2003: 8–9).
This paper investigates how lack of ‘good governance’ affects the success and
sustainability of the market-based reforms undertaken in the agriculture sector of
Bangladesh. The reforms have been associated with increased food grain produc-
tion, improved food security conditions and easy access by farmers to agricultural
inputs. However, a significant problem has arisen recently: the sale of low quality
and underweight agricultural inputs sometimes at higher prices has become
common. Not only is this problem undermining the positive impact of the reforms,
it is also threatening their sustainability. The paper argues that the problems
with regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption — indicators of good
governance — are the underlying reasons for this problem. In the context of
increasing pressures from donors to pursue market-based reforms, this paper
stresses the need for integrated governance linking government, business and
civil society as paramount for promoting good governance for the success and
sustainability of the reforms.
Ken Coghill is Co-Director, Monash Governance Research Unit. Dr Coghill’s research interests include
integrated governance — the inter-relationships between state, market and civil society as they affect
governance. Fara Azmat is a PhD candidate in the Department of Management, Monash University
Vic 3800, Australia. Ms. Azmat is investigating the effects of market-based reforms to the agricultural
inputs sector of Bangladesh.
Copyright © 2005 IIAS, SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi)
Vol 71(4):625–638 [DOI:10.1177/0020852305059602]
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