Governance en de Schaduwzijde van Ontwikkeling : Een sociaal-geografische studie naar de toepassing van het governance concept in het Lesotho Highlands Water Project

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The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is one of Africa’s largest infrastructural projects. It is initiated by two countries; Lesotho and South Africa. It aims to transfer water to the Gauteng region in South Africa. One of its sub-goals is promoting general development in the Highlands of Lesotho. The project includes six large dams. Therefore it is part of the international discussion on large dams. This discussion examines the question whether the macro-economic profits justify the local social-economic and ecological losses. This thesis elaborates on that, by focussing on the local impact of the LHWP. An adequate steering of the project is needed to minimize the negative impact. In this context the governance concept is relevant. Governance is defined as the process and the institutions by which authority is implemented. Governance, in this thesis, is used in the context of the development-discourse. It refers to a complex situation whereby multilateral agencies participate in the decision-making process. It also means that people get more bottom-up (political) control. The underlying assumption is that development, after all, is the product of what people decide to do to improve their livelihoods. Thus, the governance concept used within the development-discourse, implicates that when governance is properly implemented it provides people more control on their daily lives and therefore it contributes to development. The development context automatically gives governance a normative value. To underline this fact, the concept is linked to the good governance principle. Good governance is seen as the latest development instrument. The content of the principle is not clear. Usually an extensive description is given, like the following: Good governance is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen