Governance: the weakest link

The Centre for Accountability and Global Development (CAGD) warmly invite you to join guest speaker K. Jayakumar Director of the Institute of Management in Government, Kerala, India.

  • Wed 30 Oct 19

    13:00 - 15:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    K. Jayakumar, Director, Institute of Management in Government, Kerala, India

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Accountability and Global Development (CAGD) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Danson Kimani

The Centre for Accountability and Global Development (CAGD) invite you to the upcoming research seminar where guest speaker K. Jayakumar explores how governance is the weakest link in several developing countries.

Seminar abstract

In several countries, whether democracies or autocracies, governance is the weakest link.

Social-economic problems continue to exist in many countries not because they do not have schemes or programmes; nor because they do not spend money.

On the contrary, despite spending money year after year the very same issues continue to plague these countries solely because of poor governance.

Why is it that schemes and programmes are poorly implemented?

Evidently, there is a clear lack of accountability between political executives and the bureaucracy. More seriously, repeated slippages in implementation lower then expectation from governments. Bureaucracy may not be accountable to the public directly but the elected political leadership is. Surprisingly, the elected representatives too are equally indifferent to outcome of the schemes.

It is even possible to formulate a hypothesis that political class in developing countries perceives a 'value' in poor governance. Ineffective implementation makes middlemen and power brokers an inevitable phenomenon. 

In this atmosphere of enmeshed inferior interests, it is only natural that bureaucracy becomes citizen-unfriendly and procedure bound at the expense of efficiency. Transparency and accountability become instant casualties.

Political class is content with high-profile announcement and launching of schemes with enormous fanfare. This 'announcement euphoria' is politically more useful to them than a successfully implemented programme. Therefore, in a developing country the political class manage the media properly to make a programme appear as successful in public conscience regardless of its tragic fate.

Persistent poor governance marginalises the poor and weakens the legitimacy of the State. It creates an unsympathetic and unresponsive bureaucracy caught in a time warp. Thus, good governance never occupies the centre stage in political discourse. It is only by empowering the citizens on their right to good governance that political and administrative indifference can be addressed.


This is a free seminar to attend. You are encouraged to bring along your friends, colleagues and classmates.

Speaker bio

K. Jayakumar is the director of the Institute of Management in Governance, Kerala, India.

He belongs to 1978 batch Indian Administrative Scheme (IAS). He served as the Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala in 2012.

In 2008, K . Jayakumar was honoured by presenting the first K.P.S Menon Memorial Award in recognition to his distinguished service as a bureaucrat.

On retirement as the Chief Secretary, Jayakumar served a term as the first Vice-Chancellor of the Thunchath Ezhuthachen Malaylam University.

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