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The Australian National University

Governance for sustainable development: Strategic issues and principles for Indigenous Australian communities

Discussion Paper 250 / 2003

Abstract

This Discussion Paper examines the concepts of ‘governance’, ‘good governance’ and ‘sustainable development’ in the context of Australian Indigenous communities and regions. It explores the hypothesis that there is vital link between governance and sustainable development.

The first half of the paper defines the key concepts and reviews the existing barriers facing Indigenous communities and their organisations in securing sustainable socioeconomic development. It identifies the key ingredients of successful development and then those over which Indigenous Australians actually have some local control. On the premise that it is best to make a start in areas where local control can be exercised, building ‘good governance’ is identified as the key ingredient—the foundation stone—for building sustainable development in communities and regions.

The second half of the paper then proposes a set of key ingredients and core principles which Indigenous communities might use to build more effective governance. These draw on the professional and field experience of the authors and other Australian research, the international findings of the Harvard Project in the USA, and the Gitxsan leader Neil Sterritt’s applied research on governance with Canadian First Nations.

ISSN: 
1036 1774
ISBN: 
0 7315 5625 9

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