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Trust Issues: Why Trust Matters in International Development .

Paper | September 22, 2022

The Rationale and Framework For Defining Trust In Development And Governance Programming

Trust is a familiar concept, yet one too often ignored in programme design. It is
an essential ingredient of mutually beneficial human relationships. International
development projects, particularly those in the field of governance, rely on relationships
to meet their objectives. Trust smooths collaboration between project staff, donors,
local stakeholders, governments, and, ultimately, the people who benefit from

Despite its centrality to effective governance, trust is nebulous, mercurial, and hard to
define. It means different things to different people in different contexts. As a result,
trust is typically overlooked as something that can be identified and measured.
This whitepaper is Chemonics International’s contribution to solving this problem.
Through examining the role of trust in past programming, the paper proposes a method
for assessing trust in different project contexts and ways to use trust when designing
and evaluating governance programmes.

On 18 October 2022, Chemonics International will host an online panel event to examine and interrogate this report’s findings.