Good Governance for local food projects

What is Governance?

One definition of governance is:

"the systems and processes concered with ensuring the overall direction, supervision and accountability of an organisation"

Good governance is about getting the systems and processes right, both when starting up and throughout the life of the organisation. Good governance basically boils down to:

It's not just what you do, but it's the way that you do it that matters

Governance is not about dealing with the day-to-day running of the organisation, but more the long-term and strategic steering of an organisation.

Good Governance

For an organisation, Good Governance arrangements can contribute to its overall success. In the longer term, Good Governance can contribute to enabling the group to take on new challenges, meet community needs and grow and develop into a valuable resource for local people.

Developing Good Governance practices is often misunderstood, hurried or worse still ignored until things start going wrong for the organisation. That's usually when the organisation seeks advice about establishing good governance practices.

Good Governance is essential for the sustainability of your organisation. It's about making the organisation more effective, resilient and strengthening its purpose.

When setting up an organisation Good Governance is about:

  • Ensuring all stakeholders are involved
  • Ensuring that appropriate structures are created
  • Ensuring a common purpose
  • Taking time to think about exactly what it is you want to achieve

When running an organisation, Good Governance is about:

  • Safeguarding the mission, ethos and values of the organisation
  • Ensuring that the organisation is accountable
  • Ensuring that the organisation performs well
  • Planning for when things go wrong

Above all, Good Governance is reliant upon:

  • Honest and open communication
  • Flexibility
  • Empowerment
  • Dealing positively with change
  • Inclusive and participatory planning

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Good Food, Good Governance:

It's not just what you do. It's the way that you do it.