Trust and Public Policy

How Better Governance Can Help Rebuild Public Trust

image of Trust and Public Policy

Trust plays a very tangible role in the effectiveness of government. Few perceptions are more palpable than that of trust or its absence. Governments ignore this at their peril. Yet, public trust has been eroding just when policy makers need it most, given persistent unemployment, rising inequality and a variety of global pressures. This report examines the influence of trust on policy making and explores some of the steps governments can take to strengthen public trust.



Responding to citizens' needs: Public services and trust

This chapter discusses the importance of public service quality as a key determinant of trust in institutions. Recent country studies have shown a relationship between citizens’ experience with government services – including employee and citizen engagement with public services – and trust and confidence in government more generally. Many countries have begun to use barometers that allow citizens to evaluate their experience with public services. It is important to monitor outcomes and adjust services accordingly; results in this area so far have been modest, and more effort is needed to ensure that services are well evaluated and that quality improves as a result. This chapter argues that often small-scale refinements in how services are delivered can have a big impact on satisfaction and, in turn, on trust.


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