Direction de la Gouvernance publique

Webinar Series: Building a New Paradigm for Public Trust


Public trust plummeted after the recession of 2009, giving rise to efforts to map, analyse and understand the main factors driving trust in government and devise appropriate measures to improve it. OECD work shows that high levels of integrity, fairness and openness in institutions are strong predictors of people’s trust in government. Similarly, government’s competence, i.e. its responsiveness and reliability in delivering public services and anticipating new needs as they arise, is crucial for boosting trust in institutions (OECD, 2017)

The Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating existing inequalities, with potential impact on public disengagement, polarization and social unrest. Governments’ recovery measures and the way these will be designed, implemented and communicated, will have a lasting impact on public trust.

The OECD is committed to advancing the measurement of public trust and better understanding linkages between trust and its policy drivers. To this end, we are holding a series of webinars Building A New Paradigm For Public Trust to revisit our analytical framework, and exchange knowledge on relevant policies and practices, by involving policy makers, civil servants, non governmental organizations, private sector, researchers and data providers.



Webinar 6: Trust in Government: Understanding its Territorial Divides,  7 July 2021 
organised by the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE) jointly with the OECD Public Governance Directorate (GOV)

Webinar highlights


In many advanced economies rising inequalities and disparities in regional economic performance, notably among urban and rural areas, appear to be met with rising citizen mistrust in government and publici institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbating the disparities given its asymmetric socio-economic impact. Meanwhile, trust in government has been crucial for generating compliance with containment measures, vaccine acceptance and successfully managing the crisis. Understanding regional and local drivers of trust in government can help policymakers better tackle the underlying sources of declining trust and design targeted strategies for a resilient recovery.

The webinar brings together experts from around the world to build the knowledge base and promote international dialogue on:

  • the drivers of regional divides in trust in government and the challenges in measuring these;
  • the local drivers of trust in government and strategies to address the trust divide across territories, notably among urban and rural areas.

The Webinar also explored whether local characteristics and socio-economic conditions can influence trust in government, as well as the role of place-based policies and multi-level governance mechanisms in addressing the underlying determinants of trust and mistrust.


  • Dorothée Allain-Dupré, Head of Division, Regional Development Policy and Multi-level Governance Division, CFE, OECD
  • Monica Brezzi, Head of Division, Governance Indicators and Performance Evaluation Division, GOV, OECD
  • Lewis Dijkstra, Head of the Economic Analysis Sector, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
  • Neil Lee, Professor of Economic Geography, Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics, London, the United Kingdom
  • Anthony F. Pipa, Senior Fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development, the Global Economy and Development Program, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., the United States
  • Danielle Wood, Chief Executive Officer, the Grattan Institute, Melbourne, Australia


Related information: Trust in Government: Understanding its territorial divides



Webinar 5: Trust, Institutions and Resilience: Opportunities for Recovery

19 January 2021, 13.30-15.30 CET

Webinar highlights

Trust in each other and between governments and citizens is vital for countries’ ability to respond to the COVID crisis. Compliance with measures to contain the virus spread depends on the confidence that citizens have in their leaders, which in return determines the level of stringency of needed confinement measures and economic and social outcomes. Evidence shows that people’s compliance with COVID related measures has to do with how people trust government’s competence and believe these policies are fair, trustworthy, and worthwhile of popular support.

The COVID-19 crisis is testing people’s trust in governments 12 years after the global financial crisis which had already led to plummeting levels of trust in many countries (OECD, 2019). While prospects for an eventual path out of the crisis have improved with encouraging news about vaccines, much needs to be done to enhance public trust. This will also be a condition of success of vaccination campaigns. The success of long-term recovery packages will also depend on whether people trust the sustainability of government choices, in terms of public finances, but also in terms of their addressing challenges such as inequalities and global warming, continuity of public services or predictability of government actions.

The webinar will explore the dynamics of public trust, its causes, how it facilitates and hinders policy responses during the COVID pandemic, and the likely effects of governments’ responses on people’s confidence and resulting levels of citizens’ compliance with policies. It will present countries’ approaches to governance and public trust and how these are also interrelated with governments’ approaches to foster a sustainable and inclusive recovery.


Introductory Remarks
Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General [PPT]

Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist

Hannah Cameron, Deputy Public Service Commissioner, New Zealand
Sergei Guriev, Department of Economics, Sciences Po [PPT]
Mario Nava, Director General, EC Directorate General Structural Reform Support
Allen Sutherland, Assistant Secretary, Privy Council Office, Canada
Jakob von Weizsäcker, Chief Economist, Ministry of Finance, Germany

Closing Remarks
Elsa Pilichowski, OECD Director for Public Governance


Webinar 4: Crisis As An Engine Of Public Sector Trust: Opportunities For COVID-19 Recovery
12 November, 2020


Webinar highlights

The COVID-19 crisis has shown a spotlight on the critical role played by public institutions in times of need, highlighting how a trusting relationship between people and their administration can make all the difference when addressing societal challenges. Still, the growing social demands stemming from the crisis have also made it clear that governments are operating in an increasingly complex environment, which requires public administrations that are highly capable and responsive, with high levels of integrity and transparency.

This webinar explored how the public sector could adapt to new challenges and build greater trust with the citizens it serves, particularly in view of the of recovery packages that will be implemented in the months and years to come. The management of the COVID-19 crisis can provide useful lessons about the future of public administration as well as the need for more accurate, granular and timely data on government operations and their results. 

Introductory remarks:
Jeff Schlagenhauf, OECD Deputy Secretary-General [PPT]


Victor Lapuente, Professor and Research Fellow at the Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg, Sweden [PPT]
Dustin Brown, Deputy Assistant Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget, United States and Chair of OECD Public Governance Committee
Margarita Gomez, Executive Director of the People in Government Lab, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, United Kingdom  [PPT]
Adrian Franco, Vice President of INEGI, Mexico  [PPT]
Nicholas Chesterley, Director for Strategic Policy, Secretariat Treasury Board, Canada
Rodney Scott, Chief Policy Advisor, Public Service Commission, New Zealand (recorded video)


Janos Bertok, Deputy Director, OECD Directorate for Public Governance



Webinar 3: The Trust Divide: How COVID-19 Exposes the Impact of Inequality on Citizen Confidence in Government
19 October 2020


The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities across population groups, including generational, economic and social divides, and created a sense of vulnerability. The aftermath of the health crisis is likely to affect socioeconomic groups differently, with potential impacts including public disengagement, polarization and social unrest. Steering countries out of the crisis without deteriorating the social tissue will rely on people’s perceptions that such policies are fair and worthwhile of popular support.

The webinar will explore how the COVID crisis affects population groups differently and will discuss the tensions that need to be mitigated for harnessing public trust as a force out of the crisis. It will present countries’ approaches to governance and public policies to foster a fair and sustainable recovery that reduce inequalities and restore public trust.


Webinar highlights



Marta Lagos, Executive Director, Latino Barómetro  [PPT]
Alejandra Botero, Counsellor to the President, Colombia [PPT]
Aarnie Aasve, Professor, Bocconi University and Bocconi Covid Crisis Lab, Milan Italy [PPT]
Carina Autengruber, President, Youth European Forum [PPT]
Francesc Amat, Research fellow, Institutions and Political Economy Research Group, University of Barcelona  [PPT]



Elsa Pilichowski, Director, OECD Directorate for Public Governance

Closing Remarks

Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD



Webinar 2: The Ties That Bind: Government Openness As Key Driver Of Trust
11 September 2020

Citizen trust in government is critical for governments to function effectively and deliver reforms. But trust is a two-way street. Do institutions trust citizens? Are they ready to change their policies to respond to people’s needs and priorities?

This webinar discussed the role of social dialogue and public engagement to build trust between citizens and institutions. It also addressed how digital technologies and data can help design and deliver public services and policies to respond to citizens’ needs and expectations.

Webinar highlights



Monica Ferrín Pereira,  Universidade da Coruña; QDT of the Repeat Module on Democracy, European Social Survey [PPT]
Piero Pelizzaro, Chief Resilience Officer, City of Milan, Italy [PPT]
Frank Leyman, Head International Relations, Federal Public Service Policy and Support, Belgium [PPT]
Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI [PPT]
Jean-Noé Landry, Executive Director, OpenNorth, Canada [PPT]


Will Jennings, University of Southampton and Director TrustGov Project, UK 




Webinar 1 Measuring Public Trust After a Pandemic and Economic Crisis
22 June 2020

The Webinar discussed recent evidence on public trust to challenge existing models for measuring it, and test the fitness of our framework for providing timely, sound and relevant indications to policymakers as they design policies and services for an inclusive and sustainable recovery.

Webinar highlights


Opening Remarks
Opening remarks by Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, OECD Deputy Secretary General

Katju Holkeri, Head of Governance Policy Unit, Ministry of Finance, Finland
Marco Mira D’Ercole, Head of the Household Statistics and Progress Measurement Division, OECD
Tadas Leoncikas, Senior Research Manager, Eurofound
Steven Van de Walle Professor of public management, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute 

Monica Brezzi, Head of Governance Indicators and Performance Evaluation, OECD 




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