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Trust Matters: Discussing the Role Trust Plays in Effective International Development Programmes .

Event | October 18, 2022

At this Chemonics International panel event, we heard from international development governance, policy, and research experts on why trust matters, and how to define it and incorporate it into strategic and day-to-day decision-making.

Trust is a vital but often overlooked element of international development. Whether in formal spaces such as state healthcare or informal projects like community campaigns, trust has the power to make or break development initiatives. If those involved in a project trust each other, the chances of its success and sustainability are vastly improved.

Yet trust’s mercurial, nebulous nature makes it hard to define and even harder to measure – meaning most programmes decide not to gather data on the presence, formation, and state of trust. Chemonics’ new whitepaper puts forward the argument that properly defining and considering trust can equip teams with important insights to help them navigate the complex social and political landscapes they operate within.

This panel event, hosted by Chemonics on 18 October at 1 pm (GMT+1/BST), explored how trust manifests in development programming. The panel brought together development practitioners, policy experts, and researchers to interrogate the issue from different vantage points. The panel discussed:

  • The importance of focusing on trust within international development
  • How frontline development staff can incorporate trust into programme decision-making
  • How to adapt methods for measuring trust for different contexts around the world


  • Christopher Marshall, Team Leader, Western Balkans Rule of Law Programme, Chemonics International
  • Tom Galloway, Regional Conflict Adviser, Western Balkans, The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK Government
  • Katherine Stewart, Principal & London Team Lead, Economist Impact, The Economist Group
  • José Dias, Team Leader, Strengthening Public Service Delivery in Mozambique (Potenciar), Chemonics International