Trust: The Fight to Win It Back

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Recent political events sweeping democratic strongholds around the world reflect a deep loss of faith in government. Citizens perceive their institutions to be captured by elites who are disconnected from the needs of their constituents or complicit in schemes that benefit the powerful at the expense of ordinary citizens.

In this publication, we asked contributors to reflect on the multifaceted and complex sources of distrust. At the same time, we at the Open Government Partnership have had a front row seat to learn from and work with courageous and inspirational reformers who have compelling solutions to build citizen trust in government. As a result of their efforts, previously opaque institutions are making themselves more transparent and accessible to citizens. Public officials are reaching out, listening to citizens and meaningfully responding to their needs. Reformers in governments and civil society are working together to combat elite capture and grand corruption, and create a government that truly serves and empowers its citizens.

- Excerpt from An Open Government Approach to Rebuilding Citizen Trust

Foreword | Winnie Byanyima & Dr. Mo Ibrahim
Introduction | Sanjay Pradhan
A Catalyst for Trust | Bob Collymore
Why we must Trust the Process | Asim Ghaffar & Sheba Najmi
The Participation Revolution | Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah
Beyond Laws: a Democratic Culture of Trust | José Luis Santa María Zañartu
Proximity to Citizens is Key | Horacio Rodríguez Larreta

We sincerely thank the contributors for authoring thought-provoking essays on recovering trust in government.

We are very grateful to our Ambassadors, Winnie Byanyima and Mo Ibrahim, and their talented teams for sustained support and encouragement throughout the publication and for their tireless commitment to promoting open government globally.

The publication was edited by Munyema Hasan.