Building Trust in Government

Innovations in Governance Reform in Asia

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The ability of governments and the global community to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, ensure security, and promote adherence to basic standards of human rights depends on people's trust in their government. This book seeks to answer many of the questions raised in reference to means of strengthening trust in government within the Asia Pacific region. Through analyses of trends within North-East Asia, South-East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific Islands and specific innovations and reforms at the country level, it provides various perspectives on the causes of the decline in trust, countries and institutions that have managed to maintain higher degrees of confidence, and governance innovations and practices that have played an important role in strengthening trust once it has faltered.



Promoting trust in government: The case of Indonesia

The financial crisis of the late 1990s had a profound impact on Indonesia and instigated a concurrent multidimensional crisis on the political and socioeconomic levels. As a result, the issue of “good governance” moved to the forefront of popular debate, thus enabling the implementation of a series of reform measures over the next few years. Beginning when the late President Suharto left office in May 1998, the Reformation Era had the objectives of democratization, decentralization, and good governance as its main pillars. Its measures have included, to varying degrees: constitutional reform, political reform, administrative reform, improved regional autonomy, and anti-corruption initiatives. Together, the impact of these measures has been wide-reaching. Although their impact on trust in government has been generally positive, by aiming to improve governance with a particular focus on strengthening transparency, they have also generated complex results in other instances. This chapter contains a general overview of the context in which these reforms were implemented, the impact of the reforms on governance and trust, and recommendations for remaining areas of reform to be addressed in upcoming years.


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