Governance matters

How are political processes to be made more transparent, participatory and accountable? What are the ways of making sure that the voices of all, especially of those on the margins of society, have a say in shaping the governance structures so essential to human dignity? 

These were questions that arose at the seminar on governance, democracy and participation held in Spain, from 11-14 November. From 16 Jesuit social centres in the four corners of the world, 25 participants, all actively engaged in building a more democratic world, travelled to Loyola to reflect on these issues, get to know each other, and most importantly, to assess the feasibility of working together towards these goals. 

One of the objectives of the seminar, which was organised by Alboan with the support of the Social Justice Secretariat and sponsored by the Loyola Province, was to re-launch the Governance Working Group of the International Jesuit Network for Development (IJND). Four concrete projects based on a shared understanding that the people themselves should take centre stage were identified for joint implementation. These are: a systematic organising of grassroots narratives on governance issues in time for the Millennium Development Goals evaluation scheduled for September 2005; a seminar on training methodologies for people’s participation that includes the spiritual dimension; a project on budget control and monitoring of state interventions; and forming a conceptual framework of governance that starts from narratives and best-practices.

To learn more about these initiatives and the group, contact Miguel Gonzalez, Alboan, Coordinator of the working group: m.gonzalez@alboan.org