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News New EC Publication on Sector Governance and IRC course anouncement

The structure of the document is as follows:

  • Chapter 1 sets the scene for dealing with governance in sectors, explaining why governance is crucial for sustainable sector development and how the concept is applied by the EC.
  • Chapter 2 tries to capture the essence of the EC's experience so far in dealing with governance at sector level. It identifies some of the main challenges for future EC sector support strategies.

The three remaining chapters build on this agenda.

  • Chapter 3 sets out where to start and what to aim for in order to address governance better and thereby enhance the quality and impact of EC support strategies at sector level. This includes the adoption of a realistic and incremental governance approach.
  • Chapter 4 then examines the ways and means to organize the process of analyzing governance at sector level and offers a basic model, as well as a set of practical steps to carry out such an analysis.
  • Chapter 5 focuses on how to cross the bridge from analysis to action. It proposes a set of operational guidelines and possible actions to support governance improvements in the various sectors.

The European Commission (EC) and EU Member States invest a considerable amount of aid in various sectors. These include e.g. health, water and sanitation, education, and transport. In recent years, other sectors of intervention have come to the forefront, attracting growing levels of support (e.g. forestry, mining, migration and security sector reform). Getting results in all these policy areas is critical to make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Yet ensuring sustainable results with sector aid is a challenging task.

Often the issue is not a lack of good ideas and funding, but political constraints and institutional issues in and beyond the sector, or what are broadly termed ‘governance' issues. Sector programmes sometimes face challenges because the governance environment is not conducive to them. It is therefore becoming a key consideration for EC sector specialists to ensure that governance is adequately addressed in their sector. Some sector specialists claim that ‘70 % of what we are doing in our sector is actually related to governance'.

Building on existing sector experience, this document seeks to offer guidance to EC sector specialists on how to address governance in sector operations in a more systematic and comprehensive way. Its objectives are twofold:

(i) to strengthen the understanding of governance issues at sector level; and

(ii) to increase the capacity of EC staff at Headquarters and in Delegations to analyze and address governance in EC support to various sectors.

Register now for the IRC course on Strengthening Transparancy, Integrity and Accountability: Preventing Corruption in Water, 21 - 23 September 2009 in The Hague, more information is available on the website at


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information IRC
Keyword(s) governance
Geographical coverage International
News date 02/06/2009
Working language(s) ENGLISH