Any analysis of political processes should identify realities and institutional relationships that are reflected in daily events. They need to be identified to assist in understanding where, who and how to lobby to achieve your objectives in policy development or reform. When looking at the kind of political system that characterizes the country, five elements (which are not fully distinct or mutually exclusive) are taken into consideration in analysis of political process are:
- Consensus: Is there basic agreement on the most fundamental rules of political life? Is the political contest played by those rules? Is there agreement on who is a citizen, and what the rules for achieving power are?
- Rule of law: Are there basic legal structures for public and private activities and interactions? Are basic human rights observed? Is the rule of law applied equitably? Is personal security guaranteed by the state? Does the judiciary have integrity and is it independent? Do similar cases have similar outcomes?
- Competition: Is there competition in the system? Is there competition through elections, in the media, and in the marketplace of ideas? Can people legally organize to pursue their interests and ideas? Is there competition within government, including checks and balances between branches of government?
- Inclusion: Are there problems of inclusion and exclusion? Are any elements of the population excluded (formally or informally) from meaningful political, social, or economic participation because of religion, ethnicity, gender, geography, or income status?
- Good governance: Is there adequate governance by the state and by public and private sector institutions? Are these institutions accountable, transparent, and efficient? Do political institutions work well? Do they deliver what they promise?