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2 Governance is about people…. It’s about the processes, relationships, institutions & structures… by which a group of people… organise themselves to collectively represent their rights & interests, and make & enforce decisions about how to get things done What is Governance?

3  Fundamentally about the scope and exercise of power & control  More about processes than structure  Not static – it evolves & changes  A product of culturally-based values & traditions Indigenous community governance takes place within wider governance arrangements Governance is….

4  Wadeye (NT)  Anmatjerre (NT)  Yirrkala (NT)  Maningrida (NT)  Fitzroy Crossing & Kurungul (WA)  Noongar (WA)  Wiluna (WA)  Coen (QLD)  Torres Strait Islands (QLD)  Yarnteen (NSW)  Policy communities (WA & NT & Aust) The Case Studies

5 WHAT MATTERS? The diversity of governance models… No single model - But common guiding principles: Local solutions reflect local conditions & histories Representation & structures based in relationships: strengths & challenges ‘Hub & spokes’ governance, families of organisations Dispersed regionalism & regional confederations: inter- dependent social layers Negotiation of subsidiarity + scale

6 WHAT MATTERS? The Extent of Power and Control… People’s participation in governance is greatest when they feel they have a real stake in their organisations - when they have real power over real resources, and can make decisions about the things that are of immediate concern to them  Poor education & health undermines participation  Unilateral intervention undermines participation  Local control generates capacity development  Local control generates legitimacy

7 WHAT MATTERS? Leadership, leadership, leadership…….  Hierarchies & networks of leaders  Enabling vs disabling leadership, and the governance culture  Difference between leadership and power  Concepts and styles of leadership differ cross- culturally = Support leadership development = Invest in succession planning

8 Governance Institutions … Building a “governance culture” in organisations  Creating own rules, policies, plans, procedures  Mediating internal disputes  Setting own direction and agenda  Getting ‘cultural match’ in the institutions = Institutional Capacity

9 WHAT MATTERS? Effectiveness/Practical Capacity  Different views about evaluating effectiveness  Agreement about: delivery of services, financial management and accountability  Indigenous emphasis on communication, consultation, transparency with members/clients  Governments’ emphasis on risk avoidance, micro- management, reporting upwards i.e. tensions over outputs/processes/accountabilities

10 WHAT MATTERS? Cultural Match & Legitimacy …. What matters is that contemporary authority is exercised, decisions made, and things are done in ways that win the support, participation and trust of the people and which get things done.  More complex cultural match issues in Australia  Legitimacy plus practical capacity - role of culture in these  Relationships first: the ‘right’ people to talk, lead, make decisions – negotiating representation is complex = Need time/flexibility to innovate and experiment

11 WHAT MATTERS? Cultural Concepts Differ  Language of governance embedded in western culture/knowledge system  Leadership and succession – cultural processes  World views & assumptions about ‘good life’ differ  Key issue is informed choice and control  Failure of outsiders to take these issues into account will undermine success

12 Socio-Economic Development  Range of ‘capital’ required for socio-economic development (e.g. infrastructure, human, natural)  Strategic governance enables combinations of capital, and generates new ‘capital’  Success is associated with: an Indigenous-driven vision of development linkages with & support from public and/or private sector institutions access to research/knowledge/technology and strong, stable governance & management.

13 Capacity Development  Capacity development occurs within a system  Includes individual, organisations, institutions, inter-organisational and ‘governance environment’  More focus on governance environment needed  Indigenous people have to ‘own’ and direct the process of developing their capacity  Governance capacity development is about cultural match and legitimacy  Most effective using place-based methodology.

14 WHAT MATTERS? The Workload of Community Governance:  Multiple functions  Major administrative workload  Locked into grant-hunting & short-term ‘projects’  High ‘upwards accountability’ workload, reporting demands  High turnover of staff, managers, CEOs  Multiple demands – community & external = Government funding models are not working to support good governance - coherent planning, capacity development, and downwards accountability.

15 WHAT MATTERS? The Wider Governance Environment…. ‘ The surrounding systems, things, players, conditions, networks and webs of relationships within which Indigenous community governance operates’  The dimensions - Individual, organisation, community, regional, state and national  Policy, political, legal, economic, cultural systems  The effectiveness of community governance is directly linked to whether there is an enabling or disabling environment

16 WHAT MATTERS? For Strong Governance ….. On the ground - support:  Genuine decision-making authority & local control  Cultural legitimacy of representation & decisions  Enabling leadership & management  Investing in emerging leaders  Building internal ‘governance culture’  Ongoing, place-based capacity development

17 For Strong Governance ….. The Enabling Environment:  Building the capacity of government & public sector  A cohesive policy framework for governance  A lead government agency with mandate  Integrated funding agreements for governance  A developmental approach to building governance  A ‘whole of community’ partnership model  Delivering on “two way” accountability


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