The term is used extensively and in many contexts, but there is not a full consensus on

what it entails. The term has become especially important after the end of the cold

war, when its usage was revitalized by large donor agencies (the World Bank, IMF,

etc.), who began basing decisions and evaluations regarding developing countries and

countries of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, among other things, on

indicators, related to governance.

Governance refers to the lateral and inter-institutional relations in administration in the

context of the decline of sovereignty, the decreasing importance of jurisdictional

borders and a general institutional fragmentation (1). The United Nations Development

Programme (UNDP) in its 1997 policy paper, defined governance as “the exercise of

economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all

levels. It comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions, through which

citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their

obligations and mediate their differences” (2). Governance refers to sustaining

coordination and coherence among a wide variety of actors with different purposes and

objectives (3). Such actors may include political actors and institutions, interest groups,

civil society, non-governmental and transnational organizations. In this respect

governance is broader than government.(4)


(1) Frederickson, H.G. and Kefin B. Smith, The Public Administration Theory Primer,

Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 2003

(2) United Nations Development Programme, Governance for sustainable human

development, UNDP policy document, New York, 1997

(3) Pierre, Jon, Debating Governance: Authority, Steering and Democracy, Oxford

University Press, 2000

(4) United Nations Economic and Social Council, Definition of basic concepts and

terminologies in governance and public administration, UNESC Report, E/C.16/2006/4


Also see “Participatory Governance”

MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Engaging all of Europe in shaping a desirable and sustainable future
Expect the unexpected and know how to respond
Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Solutions to improve CBRNe resilience
Network for Communicable Disease Control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Countries
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
Strengthening of the national surveillance system for communicable diseases
Surveillance of vaccine preventable hepatitis
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
European network for highly infectious disease
Dedicated surveillance network for surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases in the EU
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Addressing chronic diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Get involved in the responsible marine research and innovation
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Promote vaccinations among migrant population in Europe
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improve the quality of indoor air, keeping it free from radon
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Investigating how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence