The weakness of democratic practices in Pakistan can be explained in many ways. Some observers stress constitutional and electoral provisions among institutional factors said to have undermined responsible and responsive government. Others point to the quality of Pakistan's leadership over most of Pakistan's history, namely, that Pakistan has been let down by unprincipled political figures motivated by raw ambition, material gain and vested interests.
The subsequent education of people to accept democracy through meaningful participation in their political affairs is minimal. Without wide public awareness and an effective public opinion, the political system gives wide berth to ambitious and corrupts political leaders.
NIDA-Pakistan support of its areas of focus assists in building capacity for good governance, popular participation, public and private sector development and growth with equity, stressing that national plans and priorities constitute the only viable frame of reference for the national programming of operational activities for development.
Governance, as defined, is the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority in the management of a country's affairs. Good governance involves the constructive interaction of state, market and civil society. It is also characterized by several important values: effectiveness and efficiency, accountability, the rule of law, participation, consensus orientation, responsiveness, equity, and strategic vision.
Good governance and social development for sustainable human development are indivisible and developing the capacity for good governance is a primary means of eradicating poverty. It ensures the establishment of right policies and strategies to support the activities of people to enable them to earn a decent livelihood, ensure access for all to state resources and opportunities, and help people achieve a minimum set of capabilities to lead a long and productive life.
Governance encompasses the mechanisms, processes, and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations, and resolve their differences. Good governance depends on public participation, ensuring that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the poorest and most vulnerable populations can directly influence and participate in policy decision-making, particularly with respect to allocation of development resources.