EnTruGo: Enhancing Trust in Government for effective water governance

Project: PostDoc

Project Details


The requirements on water governance to successfully provide for urgent societal water needs is rapidly increasing. This was most recently brought to the fore by the severe droughts unleashed over large parts of Europe by the summer 2018 heatwave. However, the institutions that are tasked to deal with these challenges are facing a decline in public trust making it harder to operate and come to sustainable solutions. To counteract the decline in trust decline various governments have launched initiatives such as citizens’ assemblies, e-governance, multi-stakeholder platforms, and direct democracy. Such initiatives can indeed foster trust between actors involved. However, it is unclear if and how these strategies contribute to trust in government.
Therefore the EnTruGo project focusses on understanding the effects of such initiatives on trust in government and aims at developing effective strategies for enhancing trust in government for water governance. This trust in government is essential since it contributes to effective, sustainable and legitimate water governance, including water use as well as catchment management. The research will be conducted at both national scale and in case studies nested in diverse governance environments in Europe (The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden), mirrored by one South African case.
The EnTruGo centres around understanding experiences with trust in water governance projects in the partner countries, and four in-depth case studies in order to relate interpersonal trust between actors to trust in government. Insights from these studies will be translated in effective water governance strategies to enhance trust in government, which will be tested in relation to the different national contexts.
The EnTruGo project is a 2,5 years project lead by the Strategic Communication Group of Wageningen University, in close collaboration with the Stockholm Environmental Institute (Sweden), the Bartensz Institute of the Arctic University of Norway and the African Climate and Development Institute of the University of Cape Town (South Africa).
Effective start/end date1/07/19 → 30/06/22