Everyone is in favour of good governance. But what exactly does it mean? Should it be promoted in order to enhance democracy? Or to create markets? Should we look only at formal institutions or also at civil society?
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to create a more knowledge-oriented organizational culture. But at the same time it is losing its internal capacity for strategic thinking, a crucial attribute in an era of globalization, integrated policy and the politicization of development cooperation.
The Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will not cause markets in the South to be swamped with European imports, as opponents suggest. But they will result in dramatic reductions in government revenues.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the large NGOs have to deal with enormous quantities of information. But the important thing is how they deal with it: knowledge means giving information meaning. At the moment, far too little attention is devoted to translating information systematically into a broad and coherent strategic vision.