The term “good governance” is often understood as conducting the public affairs of a country responsibly. Good governance is a key element of Germany’s development cooperation policy. Its goal is to make sure that a government uses its political power responsibly and handles public resources with care. Good governance implies that the state assumes a protective function for both its citizens and the environment. And this is quality infrastructure’s time to shine! Few people are aware of the interconnection between these factors, which is, however, very important.
PTB’s sectoral project “Förderung der Qualitätsinfrastruktur” (Strengthening of Quality Infrastructure), which mainly supports and advises the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has produced a new publication that collects the areas that quality infrastructure impacts in the context of good governance. Martin Kaiser, senior consultant to PTB on development policy, says: “The political synergies which arise from a functioning quality infrastructure reach several levels and are often completely underestimated.”
The institutions of quality infrastructure not only ensure that traded goods and services fulfil the specified safety requirements and neither jeopardize the health of the population nor the environment, but they are also actively involved in drawing up such requirements.
Within the scope of development cooperation, PTB supports all fields of quality infrastructure. In some cases, this support is specifically targeted to individual sectors, such as the agricultural sector and the food industry, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, sustainable development, environmental and climate monitoring, the circular economy, and consumer protection, to name a few. Besides these targeted measures, specialist advice is provided to establish processes and structures at the national, regional and continental levels. These advisory services are usually geared to the introduction of reform processes and quality-assuring measures which are agreed between the state, the corporate economy and civil society. Carrying out such measures at a national or continental level requires essential elements of good governance.
One of the functions of standards and technical regulations is to direct activities that are decisive for sustainable development, such as environmental and energy management, evaluating and measuring greenhouse gases, reducing emissions, etc. Whereas institutions that are active in the field of conformity assessment make the required conformity assessment services available (e.g. the certification of environmental management systems), the accreditation bodies check and approve the capabilities of these institutions (i.e. of the certification, test and calibration bodies). The metrology system makes reference standards available to ensure reliable measurements (e.g. for measuring energy, environmental pollution and emissions). All these are contributions which serve to safeguard the health and safety of the population and to protect property and the environment. Quality infrastructure thus becomes a cornerstone of good governance.
If you want to learn more about this topic, please click on the link below which leads to our new publication on quality infrastructure and good governance.