Falling trust and the rise of populism require governments to rethink citizen engagement

By on 25/02/2019

New report by WPP Government & Public Sector Practice identifies how governments can better connect with citizens in the changing political landscape

Intensified political polarisation, fragmented groups and rapid digital disruption risk undermining governments’ efforts to effectively engage with citizens, concludes a new report by WPP Government & Public Sector Practice.

The Leaders’ Report: Increasing trust through citizen engagement explores how governments can better connect with their citizens in today’s increasingly polarised world. It is the only global research study looking at the state of citizen engagement, and the key challenges facing governments’ efforts to better connect with citizens.

Produced by WPP’s Government & Public Sector Practice, The Leaders’ Report: increasing trust through citizen engagement is the second iteration of the report launched at Davos 2017.

The landmark study shows that while governments want to engage with citizens and recognise the benefits of doing so, they are unsure about how best to devolve decision making to the public. The key consequence of this is that governments around the world miss a vital opportunity to rebuild trust with those they govern.

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About WPP
WPP is a creative transformation company creating transformative ideas and outcomes for its clients through an integrated offer of communications, experience, commerce and technology.

The Government & Public Sector Practice advises policymakers and public sector communication leaders on strategy, innovation, capability development and global best practice. We partner with governments in over 70 countries on the policy challenges where communication can have the greatest impact:
• Behaviour Change
• Citizen Engagement & Participation
• Digital Government
• Place Marketing
• Public Sector Recruitment
• Communications Capability Development

We believe that governments today cannot achieve their public policy goals without effective communications. Our team of senior consultants connects clients with the best ideas and expertise in WPP’s global network. We invest continuously to advance our thinking and evidence on the strategic use of communication.

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One Comment

  1. Michael La Costa

    02/05/2019 at

    “Improved trust in government
    Evidence suggests that trust increases when the decision-making process is transparent, and citizens can see how and where their views have informed the development of a policy.”
    Whilst the Leaders’ Report properly identifies the democratic deficit, we need to see real, pragmatic solutions for participation, transparency and accountability. An App, acclaimed by Professors of Decision Theory as “ingeniously simple” now properly addresses the crux of the matter, viz. the decision-making PROCESS.
    Structured around the issues alone, “Informed Choice – ic!” covers any subject and any number of users (embracing a diversity of views), to always show their best choice. And, being freely available it offers a participation which heralds unity and commitment; everyone’s ‘voice’ can be ‘heard’ and taken into account.
    Better still, viewpoints are expressed in a universally understandable ‘language’, thus helping both decision-makers (to contribute, actively) as well as those affected (to interpret, passively) alike. Genuine transparency – a powerful, all-pervading, yet benign governor, non-partisan, discrimination-blind, bias-free and egalitarian.
    Altogether, accountability can now be determined, restoring trust and respect. The positively disruptive nature of the internet, could now help to transform politics from a system of conflict to a sublime consensual exercise which enables and reflects government of the people, by the people, for the people – democracy incarnate, the people’s vote. Give peace (consensus) a chance?

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