Good Governance

Mercy Corps' Governance Approach video provides a general explanation of the Mercy Corps governance approach, including basic concepts and the framework on which it is based. It lays out the theory of change and provides further insights on our strategy and tactics for the promotion of good governance. The video is available in French and with Spanish, Arabic and Myanmar language subtitles.

To support communities grappling with world’s most complex, interconnected and intensifying problems—from protracted conflict and famine to failed markets and climate change—Mercy Corps believes we must tackle the governance barriers that underpin these challenges. Weak governance is one of the biggest roadblocks to effective, lasting development in the transitioning and fragile environments where we work. It compounds natural resource degradation, inhibits economic growth, perpetuates gender inequalities, alienates youth and ignites conflict, among other impacts. In these contexts, governance institutions often lack the incentives, capacity and budgets to provide communities with the services foundational to sustainable and equitable development. Citizens lack access to basic information about their rights and responsibilities, and ineffective accountability and transparency mechanisms exacerbate grievances, encourage corruption and foster disengagement and distrust in decision-making processes.

Increasing evidence links good governance to successful peace and development outcomes, and at a time when there are limited resources available to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, it is essential that we renew our efforts to promote good governance.

With these challenges in mind, Mercy Corps’ good governance approach focuses on advancing four outcomes:

  • We empower and engage citizens by informing and mobilizing communities, and promoting citizen participation in governance processes;
  • We enhance the capacity, networks and inclusivity of local organizations to support a skilled and connected civil society;
  • We strengthen accountability mechanisms and support governance institutions in meaningfully engaging citizens to promote more responsive and accountable decision-makers; and
  • We strengthen relationship building, constructive deliberation and increased trust by facilitating frequent and repeated interaction between diverse communities and sectors to address public challenges.

By elevating the voices of vulnerable communities and increasing their inclusion in decision-making, while simultaneously promoting responsiveness and accountability from governance institutions, we ensure governance processes are more equitable and effective. This approach creates a foundation for communities and institutions to tackle the underlying causes of the world’s toughest challenges, working collaboratively to build secure, productive and just communities.

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