GovernAbilities is a term used by IISD to describe three core abilities of government—sustainability, accountability and adaptability. They are strongly complementary and not substitutes. Failure in any one of these abilities can be a failure in governance.

Governments today are being challenged more than ever in three operational areas: (i) the pursuit of sustainability; (ii) accountability to the public for the expenditures of taxpayer dollars; and (iii) adaptability to surprises and cumulative risk. Efforts within government to advance these three arenas have occurred largely independently over the past two decades, despite an apparent commonality in the basic principles that drive them and the tools used to achieve them.

At the nexus of these abilities lies a set of practical policy and public management approaches:

governabilities Commentaries


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