The Better Governance Project

Who we are.

Learn more about

our Story.

The Better Governance Project started as an idea between a small group of people convinced of the critical importance of effective, fair and transparent public institutions. We had no name, no big institutional funder, no office, it was in the middle of a pandemic – though we had passion and a lot of perseverance.

Before starting the organisation, our team worked for several years in the international development sector as consultants. We would see, time and time again, that many traditional governance projects were ineffective: they were too rigid, too slow-moving, or not staffed with teams with the right mix of technical and soft skills required to make change happen.

At the same time, we also saw that a small number of projects were beginning to develop and apply innovative approaches that were much more effective – although while working for a private actor, we often couldn’t apply what we were seeing elsewhere in our own projects. The creation of the organisation was driven by an aspiration to apply these different ways of working in practice, and to design and test our own approaches: helping disrupt a conservative sector so that governance might be done ‘Better’.

Things we


Mission-driven public leaders
Swedish Lakes
Daily Stand-Up Meetings
Starting with the problem
Working from anywhere in the world
Forest Baths
Adaptive Management
Working with the grain


Our Board.

Chairwoman: Elin Toernblom Duthu

Elin Toernblom Duthu is Chairwoman of The Better Governance Project, and brings with her several years’ of board-level experience from organisations working on international issues. Before starting her current role at the City of Stockholm she worked as project manager and business developer for several non-profit organisations, with her work primarily focusing on strengthening governance and inclusive societies. She has also worked at organisations such as the OECD, the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations in New York, and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in China, in addition to roles in the private sector.

Board Member: David Wiking

David Wiking is presently a senior consultant, managing We-ness, a consultancy focused on sustainable business development. He has almost 25 years’ of experience in international development, mostly with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). In the last 15 years he has worked in senior managerial positions in both Sweden and Southern Africa, including as Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden in Lusaka. He has worked extensively on cooperation between the public and private sectors, academia, multilateral and government institutions.

Board Member: Johan Mast

Johan Mast is an entrepreneur and leadership and crisis management consultant with clients in the government, non-profit and private sectors. He helps strengthen individuals, teams and organisations through value-based leadership. Previous employments include having worked as General Director for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF Sweden), General Director for Giva Sverige and Deputy Training Director at the Folke Bernadotte Academy. Johan has led humanitarian interventions in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Sierra Leone, as a project manager, security manager and country director. He has had several positions of trust, including in the board of Sweden for UNHCR and a supporting committee of Giva Sverige. He holds a B.Sc. in pedagogy from Stockholm University.

Board Member: Shane Quinn

Shane Quinn is a senior expert with almost twenty years of experience working in development cooperation, governance and the rule of law. He has a multi-disciplinary background and holds a Masters in Peace and Conflict studies from Uppsala University in Sweden as well as a Masters in History from the National University of Ireland. Shane has a broad remit and has designed and led programmes in the field of rule of law and conflict prevention in transition and conflict-affected countries, most recently in Tunisia, Ukraine and Syria. His particular focus has been on developing assessment tools in the areas of governance and public administration including environmental governance reform. His publications include Responsive and Responsible: Politically Smart Rule of Law Reform in Conflict and Fragile States (FBA 2016), and Civil Society and Peacebuilding: a Critical Assessment (2010): Lynne Rienner Publishers. He currently works as an independent consultant. 

Board Member: Henrik Alffram

Henrik Alffram is a lawyer and sociologist by training, with 25 years’ professional experience centred on human rights, the rule of law and governance issues. As a founder of Rightshouse, he specialises in the design, monitoring and evaluation of development interventions. Henrik has worked on such initiatives for development cooperation agencies, international organisations, NGOs and human rights groups in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. He has previously worked for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and the Faculty of Law at Lund University.