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Towards Better Governance: A Governance Programming Framework for CARE

If you're planning or thinking about planning governance work, we hope you'll use the Governance Programming Framework ('GPF'). It will assist you to vision, conceptualise and plan governance work in your particular context. It was developed with the participation of 14 CARE offices, 12 of which were Country Offices in a diverse range of contexts.

The GPF outlines a generic, high level 'theory of change' to guide and underpin CARE's governance work:

If citizens are empowered, if power holders are effective, accountable and responsive, if spaces for negotiation are expanded, effective and inclusive, then sustainable and equitable development can be achieved. Change needs to take place and be sustained in all three domains to achieve this impact.

The GPF theory of change is represented by the pyramid below which consists of 3 buildings blocks (“domains”) at the base and a capstone which represents impact achieved as a result of the interaction between the three domains:

Another way of putting this is that CARE’s governance work (or that of CARE and it's partners) should aim to achieve the following general changes, referred to as “domains of change”:

• Marginalised citizens are empowered

• Public authorities and other power-holders are effective and accountable to marginalised citizens

• Spaces for negotiation between power-holders and marginalised citizens are expanded, inclusive and effective.

Each domain is further broken down into “dimensions of change” which provide further description of what change in that domain might look like and what we could work towards.

What governance work is possible / feasible will vary from context to context. For this reason the GPF must be used in conjunction with a situation analysis that examines the governance context in detail and assess the risks involved in pursuing governance work.

A governance situation analysis guide and tools are in the process of being developed and more information will be posted on this wiki on the "Context Analysis" page . The situation analysis together with the GPF will help you think about what changes might be possible.

Developing and articulating the strategies and actions that will be required to reach these changes is the purpose of planning and design.

The Governance Programming Framework is available in three versions (summary 2-pager, main 9-pager and reference 15-pager). Each is available in English, French and Spanish:


Towards Better Governance. A Governance Programming Framework for CARE .


//**Vers une meilleure Gouvernance. Un Cadre de Programmation en Gouvernance pour CARE.**//


**//Hacia una mejor gobernabilidad. Marco Programatico de Gobernabilidad de CARE.//**

On the 11th April 2011, CARE carried out a workshop to validate the GPF. Details can be found here.

Evolution of CARE's Governance Programming Framework

CARE’s current programmatic approach has evolved from adopting a Rights Based Approach (RBA) in 1999, and later the Unified

Framework (UF), and The Women’s Empowerment Framework (WEF) highlighted the importance of addressing structural aspects of gender inequality as a critical – and often missing - element of efforts to promote women’s empowerment. This journey laid the foundations for the participatory design of the Governance Programming Framework (GPF) in 2011.

Rights Based Approach (RBA)


Unified Framework (UF)


Women’s Empowerment Framework (WEF)


gpf.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/11 18:31 by