Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

European Youth Insights is a platform provided by the European Youth Forum and the European Sting, to allow young people to air their views on issues that matter to them. The following entry is written by Arif Shala,  doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

Arif Shala is a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

Arif Shala is a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

What is good governance?

What is good governance and why is it important for economic and social development?   Good governance is the striving for rule of law, transparency, equity, and accountability in exercising political, economic, and administrative authority. How can good governance be measured? The two ways of measuring good governance are transparency and accountability.

What is meant by transparency?

Transparency refers to decisions made and enforced openly in accordance with rules and regulations.  In this regard it is important that the information provided not only be sufficient but in the mean time easily understandable to those who will be affected by decisions.

What is meant by accountability?

Good governance will never be achieved without accountability. Accountability ensures that all institutions, governmental institutions as well civil society organizations, are accountable to the public, stakeholders and most importantly to those who will be affected by decisions and actions.

Nowadays good governance is considered to determine the pace of economic development in the coming decades. There is a large amount of literature that evaluates the relationship between governance indicators and development outcomes. The majority of these studies argue that improved governance does lead to better developmental outcomes (Rajkumar & Swaroop, 2008). Chauvet and Collier (2004) on a cross-sectional analysis of developing countries found out that those countries which suffer from poor governance experience 2.3 percentage points less GDP growth per year, compared to others.

It has been pointed out in the past years that good governance plays a key role in the effectiveness of development initiatives (Rajkumar & Swaroop, 2008). It has also been argued that the mere allocation of public resources for the good of the people will not be successful if the institutions conducting the budged formulation, execution and monitoring are not functioning properly (World Bank, 2003).

Similarly countries that have good governance and which increase public spending on education are more likely to be effective in their undertaking compared to countries that do not enjoy an effective governance (Rajkumar & Swaroop, 2008). The same authors, in their study on the role of governance in determining the efficacy of public spending in improving human development outcomes discovered that the impact of public spending on outcomes is simply higher in countries which have good governance. 

Drawing on previous research and studies we can safely conclude that good governance is of vital importance for Kosove. The success of all development policies is dependent upon good governance, future economic stability of Kosove can only be achieved when the two conditions of good governance namely accountability and transparency are met.

Why education is important for developing countries?

Education helps people work better and can create opportunities for sustainable and viable economic growth now and in the future. Education encourages transparency, good governance, stability and helps fight against graft and corruption. Education in developing countries “is key to future economic growth and lasting democracy, leading t greater stability and improved standards of living” (The White House). Overall, the impact of education in developing countries is one that cannot be undermined.

The benefits of education go well beyond the individual and ensure an impact in the whole society. Workers who are educated earn more, on average, as a result of which they spend more. On the other hand the businesses which employ educated workers tend to have higher profits in comparison to others. Consequently, the economy flourishes (McLendon, Jones & Rosin, 2011). The public benefits of education include, but are not limited to the following: increased tax revenues, greater business productivity, increased consumption, increased workforce flexibility and decreased reliance on government financial support. Individuals, on the other hand, enjoy the benefits of higher income, more opportunities, higher savings and professional mobility (McLendon, Jones & Rosin, 2011). The public on the other hand enjoys reduced crime rates, increased charitable giving, increased quality of civic life, improved health and life expectancy, and higher personal status (McLendon, Jones & Rosin, 2011).

The importance of quality education is twofold in the case of Kosovo. Firstly, increased levels of education will positively impact our society. Secondly, our economic future, in my opinion, heavily depends on the ability to transform into a knowledge society, providing services and expertise. Kosovo, with its limited resources can find salvage once it is transformed into a knowledge society. If the quality of education is to be improved the following indicators are of special interest: a) financial and human resources invested in higher education; b) access to higher education, participation and progression; and c) output of educational institutions. A combination of these factors will impact the education quality of institutions in Kosove.

Conclusively, every endeavor made in developing Kosovo is completely dependent on the presence of good governance. Accountability and transparency should never be considered as a luxury or “good to have” components, they should be an expectation and a direct demand made upon all governmental and non-governmental institution. While good governance ensures present progress, the economic future of Kosovo is directly dependent on its ability to supply services. Consequently, education is our means of survival in this globalized and competitive world.

About the author

Arif Shala is a a doctoral student at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and executive director at the Institute for Economic Development Studies in Prishtine, Kosovo.

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