In an era of declining trust, how can NGOs buck the trend?

Devex published an article titled, “In an era of declining trust, how can NGOs buck the trend?” The article reads in part as follows;

“Trust in global institutions is at an all-time low. The results of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual online survey of trust, paint a picture of a broken global system and a population with little hope for things to improve. NGOs are caught in the web of distrust — a long way from the first survey in 2001 when NGOs were considered a rising influence.

The survey of 32,200 people in 28 countries, representing diversity in gender, age, education and income, found that there has been a decline in trust in the past year for our four main institutions: business, government, media and NGOs. At the bottom of the trust pile is government. Only 41 percent of survey respondents had trust in government. The most trustworthy are NGOs, although they are also on the decline. Only 53 percent of respondents showed trust in in NGOs, a large decline from a peak of 66 percent trust in 2014.

Global breakdown of distrust

Of the 28 countries included in the 2017 survey, more than two-thirds show distrust toward all institutions. Russia suffers the lowest level of trust — just 34 percent trusting institutions. Poland and Japan follow with a mere 35 percent expressing trust.

At the opposite end of the scale, India has seen trust grow from 65 percent in 2016 to 72 percent in 2017.

Perceptions of trust in NGOs specifically has dropped 2 percent since 2016. In eight countries — Russia, Sweden, Japan, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the U.K. and Poland — NGOs are distrusted. In 11 countries, trust levels are “neutral,” while the remaining nine countries maintain high trust. In India and Mexico trust is at 71 percent. China has suffered the largest drop in trust of NGOs (10 percent), followed by Argentina, Germany, Ireland and Russia (each 6 percent).

More than half of survey respondents believe that systems are failing. Disillusionment is occurring among all levels of society, including highly educated survey respondents, and fear is high with corruption, globalization and eroding social values leading causes of fear.”

Click here to read the entire article.

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