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.


The influence of integrity on public trust

Corruption and mismanagement in the public sector are usually cited as among the most important sources of mistrust; as such, policy action to strengthen integrity will have an important influence on trust. This chapter identifies four key policy levers to fight corruption and reuild trust: aligning integrity values closely with evolving concepts of acting in the public interest (i.e. transparency, inclusion, courtesy, quality services, etc.); making the most of mega events and large investments to both strengthen and affirm the governments’ commitment to acting with integrity; ensuring that political and senior leaders lead by example; and strengthening local integrity systems where citizens’ levels of trust are often forged through public services and more frequent and direct interactions.


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