Definition of Good Governance: History, Objectives, and Its Implementation

Definition of Good Governance – Since the reform era until now, the duties and responsibilities of the government have increased along with the demands from the public for fast, easy, inexpensive and good services. But to make it happen, cooperation between the government, the private sector, and the community is needed.

Therefore, the government is committed to implementing good governance or good governance to overcome various kinds of problems that exist in Indonesia. Good governance is expected to help integrate the roles of the government, government sector and society so that the implementation can be more effective, efficient and accountable.

So what exactly is meant by good governance? Why does it need to be implemented in Indonesia? and How has it been implemented so far? Find the answer below, yes!

Definition of Good Governance

Good governance is basically a concept of government that builds and implements the principles of professionalism, democracy, transparency, efficiency, accountability, effectiveness, excellent service, and can be accepted by all people (Anggara, 2012).

Meanwhile, the World Bank defines good governance as solid, accountable government management, based on efficient market principles, capable of preventing corruption both politically and administratively.

Good governance can also be interpreted as a value that upholds the will of the people and is able to increase the ability of the people to achieve social justice, the goal of independence, and sustainable development.

In other words, good governance can be considered as a government that is professional, effective, efficient, puts the interests of the people first, and is committed to providing the best service and is free from corrupt practices.

You can learn other good governance concepts with interesting analogies from DR. Gradios Nyoman Tio Rae, SH, MH in his book entitled Good Governance and Corruption Eradication.

The concept of good governance that sounds utopian is actually not impossible to realize. However, in practice it requires good cooperation between the three main actors, namely the government, the private sector, and civil society.

Principles of Good Governance

To assess the success of the concept of good governance, we must know the principles behind it. That way, we can use it to measure the government’s performance in managing the government so far. Handayani (2019) explains that the principles of good governance consist of:

Society participation

This is community involvement in decision-making, either directly or through legitimate institutional representation. By paying attention to the voice of the people when making decisions, the government can make policies that are more lively and originate from the locality of its citizens.

Law Supremacy

Law has a very important role in upholding justice and truth, therefore every law made by the government or DPR must be fair, impartial, and also consistent. Good governance is required to apply the law indiscriminately, regardless of position, kinship, or material.


Transparency in good governance can be interpreted as easy access to information about government administration activities for the community. This means that all members of the public can get the latest information that is correct and can be justified easily.


Stakeholders in good governance can be decision makers or program implementers. Therefore, stakeholders are required to go hand in hand with the interests developed by the government and society.

Consensus Oriented

Basically, state, community and government activities are political activities in which there are two main things, namely consensus and conflict. Thus, when making decisions or solving problems, the government must prioritize consensus and then commit to implementing this consensus consistently.

For the Indonesian people themselves, consensus is actually not a new thing, because our nation has always relied on deliberation to reach a consensus when solving a problem.


All citizens must have the same opportunity to achieve their welfare and equal position before the law. This principle of equality plays an important role in triggering the impact of justice and stable economic development because all people have the same rights and opportunities to develop themselves without worrying about being intervened by anyone.

Effectiveness and Efficiency

To carry out programs and policies, the government must adhere to the principles of effectiveness and efficiency. This means that the government must ensure that each program runs according to the provisions that have been made by using the budget according to needs.


All activities related to the public interest must be accountable to the public. In good governance, responsibility and accountability are given to superiors and also the wider community.

As for this accountability, when viewed theoretically, it can be divided into five types, namely:

  1. Organizational accountability
  2. Legal accountability
  3. Political accountability
  4. Professional accountability
  5. Moral accountability
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Strategic Vision

Strategic vision is an attempt to maintain the existence of the state. You do this by designing activities or programs that can help achieve the goals of the country.

This vision can be in the form of a long-term vision or long-term vision which can last up to 25 years. Or it could be a short term vision or short term vision which is only about 5 years.

As explained by Abd. Rohman, S. Sos., MAP and Dr. Willy Tri Hardianto, S.Sos., MM, MAP in the book Bureaucratic Reform and Good Governance. Through this book, the author invites us to re-examine the aspirations of the state in reforming the Indonesian bureaucracy as contained in various existing regulations, to evaluate and seek to revive the spirit of reform for the realization of accountability, equity and quality of public services.

Elements of Good Governance

A good government, according to Anggara (2012) must have four main elements, namely accountability, transparency, openness, and the rule of law .


Accountability means that the government must be responsible for all actions and policies set.


The government, starting from the central to the regional level, must be transparent to its people.


The government must provide an opportunity for all people to express their responses and criticisms of the government.

The rule of law ( rule of law )

Good governance is part of a democratic life. Well, one of the conditions is law enforcement that is just, firm and indiscriminate. Without this, a democratic life is only a dream that is difficult to realize.

Without strict law enforcement, people can do anything to achieve their own goals. Including doing actions that violate the rules. Thus, good government must have a sound legal system.

History of Good Governance in Indonesia

The concept of good governance in Indonesia began to emerge after the reform era began, which was motivated by problems left by the New Order government. Such as a government centered on the president, high state institutions that are not running well, and a lack of public participation in government.

During the reform era, the executive and legislative bodies succeeded in formulating 3 laws which later changed the system of government in Indonesia. These laws are:

Law Number 32 of 2004 concerning granting greater authority to regional governments, both districts and cities, to manage governance and development. This law plays an important role in changing development policies and plans in the regions so that they are more in line with the conditions and circumstances of the people.

Law Number 28 of 2004 concerning granting greater authority to regional governments to manage and allocate funds in carrying out development.

Law Number 28 of 1999 concerning implementation in the field of development and implementation of government at the central and regional levels. Law Number 28 of 1999 is what then becomes the initial basis for implementing good governance as the basis for administering government.

Well, the three laws above are the main foundation for implementing the concept of good governance in administering government in Indonesia. Unfortunately, the Indonesian government seems unable to understand good governance as a whole, so that this concept cannot be implemented properly. However, the government’s commitment to making good governance the foundation of governance values ​​must still be appreciated.

If Readers wants to know about the history of good governance at the global level, the book Good Governance 3 Revisions compiled by Prof. Dr. Hj Sedarmayanti can be his main reference.

The goal of Good Governance

Basically, every government of any country would want to have a good governance system to ensure that the country remains safe and peaceful. The Indonesian government regulates the application of the concept of good governance through Permenpan Number: PER/15/M.PAN/7/2008 concerning General Guidelines for Bureaucratic Reform of the State Minister for Administrative Reform. In the Permenpan, it is explained about the purpose of good governance, namely:

Creating a Clean Bureaucracy

The first objective is to create a clean bureaucracy, meaning that it is free from corruption, collusion and nepotism.

Creating an Effective, Efficient and Productive Bureaucracy

The second goal is to create an effective, efficient and productive bureaucracy so that people can benefit from it. An example is the administration process which is more practical, free from illegal levies, and is not complicated.

Creating a Transparent Bureaucracy

The third goal of good governance is to create a transparent bureaucracy while protecting confidential information.

Building a Bureaucracy that Serves the Community

The government is committed to serving all the needs of society as well as possible. Like providing easy access for all people and so on. That way, public services can be done with prime and fast.

Creating an Accountable Bureaucracy

The last is to create a bureaucracy that is accountable or responsible for all actions taken. This means that the government will work hard to implement every policy or program. If something goes wrong then, the government will not look for scapegoats.

How is the Implementation of Good Governance in Indonesia?

As previously discussed, realizing the concept of good governance requires good cooperation between the government, the private sector, and civil society. That way, every policy and program that is made is always based on joint decisions.

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In this case, the government plays the role of administrator of the state, while the private sector becomes the driving force in the economic sector, and civil society acts as the adjusting party.

These three parties have their respective roles in the administration of good governance. Therefore, the harmonization of the three will be a great strength. In other words, the government, private sector, and civil society must work together in managing the economy, natural resources, environment, and also the social sector.

Examples of Good Governance in Indonesia

  • In order to realize good governance in Indonesia, the government has made many innovations and breakthroughs, since the reform era began until today. Here are some examples of good governance that we can still see.
  • The term of office has been changed from what was previously up to a lifetime, now it is limited to 5 years with a maximum of 2 terms. This means that after being elected President twice, he cannot run for a third term.
  • General elections for the legislature and executive involve the people from the campaign period to voting at TPS. This is different from the past where the election was represented by members of the DPR.
  • Changing the Civil Servant acceptance system to be open with the CPNS Test. This test can be taken by all Indonesian citizens who meet the requirements. In the past, civil servants were very thick with nepotism so that if one family member became a civil servant, other family members could also become civil servants.
  • APBN is made transparent to prevent corruption in APBN funds. In this way, the public and all parties can monitor and audit the use of the state budget by the government.

Establish the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) whose task is to eradicate corruption in the executive and legislative branches, both central and regional. The Corruption Eradication Committee (KPK) is a line of defense as well as a state attack in fighting corruption in this country.

Problems of Good Governance in Indonesia

The government’s efforts to realize good governance like the examples above deserve praise and appreciation, but that doesn’t mean that the government in Indonesia is free from problems.

This is because if you look at the reality on the ground, the application of the concept of good governance in this country is still not optimal. How did it happen? To answer this, we need to go back to the reformation era.

At the time reforms broke out in Indonesia, the economic crisis ravaged the country. The reason is none other than bad governance during the New Order era and the rampant practices of KKN (Corruption, Collusion, Nepotism) in almost all elements of government.

As a result, the quality of public services is not given proper attention. Even society seems to be underestimated. Government administrators are more concerned with filling their own stomachs and fulfilling personal interests.

This has resulted in delays in the development process, an increase in the crime rate, an increase in the number of unemployed and poor people, a decline in the level of public health, a worsening of the quality of education, triggering conflicts in various regions.

Now, twenty-four years have passed, these problems have not completely disappeared in this country. Even though the government has made good governance the foundation of governance. Unfortunately, good governance in Indonesia still has several problems, including:

  1. The bureaucratic reform planned and carried out by the government has not been able to meet the demands of the people’s needs
  2. There are still many problems found in the process of seeking a final decision or settling various existing cases in Indonesia.
  3. There are still practices of abuse and violation of authority, the rates of Corruption, Collusion and Nepotism are still high, and the procurement controls are still weak as well as controlling the work of government apparatus.
  4. The public is increasingly enthusiastic about taking part in the formulation and implementation of public policies. In addition, people’s demands on the government are getting higher.
  5. Society is increasingly demanding the government to implement the principles of good governance so that government governance can improve.
  6. The institutional system and governance in the regions are still inadequate, triggering the low performance of government apparatus resources in the regions.

One of the main problems in implementing good governance in Indonesia is the lack of transparency, even though transparency itself is a basic requirement of good governance . So, no matter how much effort the government makes in realizing good governance, it will be difficult for the public to know and evaluate.

As discussed by Roby Arya Brata in his book entitled Analysis of Good Governance and Strategic Governance Problems . This book also discusses strategic and controversial governance issues that often attract public attention, but policy solutions to create strong, effective and integrated governance.

Thus the discussion on good governance , starting from its meaning to its purpose. Hopefully this article will provide inspiration and be useful for Readers.