Report on Crisis of Trust in Governance in Bangladesh

The 21st Century is full of changes, which presents both opportunities and challenges to the field of public administration. Dealing with the myriads of anomalous situations including wars, transnational epidemics, terrorism, financial crises, serious security related accidents, and transportation casualties has become a very important part of the public administrators‘ daily work. While the traditional practice of public administration is becoming more difficult due to scientific and technological improvements, as well as economic globalization that has been complicating socio-economic development, emerging issues are bringing about enormous transformations and challenges to government administration. Within the public administration of Bangladesh trust is increasingly becoming a crucial element of performance. So there is a crisis of trust in governance of Bangladesh. The purpose of this paper is to examine patterns of popular trust in governance in Bangladesh. Trust explained as confidence or reliance on some person or quality, which are synonyms with the terms belief, confidence, and expectation. There is a relation of trust with governance and social capital. Strong social capital helps to build trust and trust helps to ensure good governance of a country. Trust matrixes also help us to learn the propensity to trust in public organization in Bangladesh. Benevolence, Reliability, efficiency, honesty and openness are five important faces of trust. With appropriate example we have discussed these faces broadly to know the level of trust of citizens in our country. Besides this three clusters of trust are defined: from society in the public sector (T1), from the public sector in society (T2) and within the public sector (T3). This discussion helped us to know who trust whom in our country. Here we apprise about the crisis of trust in governance in Bangladesh perspective. We have found that there is distrust in governance of Bangladesh.

At last we have discussed about restoring trust in governance. There are six (6) means of restoring trust. These are- administrative reforms, reforming mind set and behaviors, leadership, citizen participation and governance and e-government. Based on these means we have tried to increase the level of trust in governance in Bangladesh.
The crisis of trust in governance is frequently considered as one of the most important political problem in the developing countries such as Bangladesh. The trusts of citizens in public officials indicate a political regimes legitimacy and popular support for the political party, i.e. the lower the trust of citizens towards the governance process, the lower would be the legitimacy and support and vis-à-vis. The more the distrust the citizens portray on the public officials, the more the crisis the regime faces. Responsive governance is the key to the restoration of trust in government (Brillantes & Fernandez: 2011). In our country it is generally believed that trust exists to a great extent among citizens, however the interpersonal trust among the government employees and citizens is perceived to be low. Lack of trust among citizens, public employees and public employees themselves decreases efficiency which affects production, performance and service delivery to the citizens. Interpersonal trust develops emotion and link between boss and subordinates, which enables effective interaction between them, and increases performance (Laschinger, Finegan: 2005). It is therefore acknowledged that trust is an important indicator for demonstrating how public organizations are running and how officials are managing public affairs.
The decline of trust in government since World War II is frequently considered one of the most important political problems (Barber 1983; Carnevale 1995; King and Stivers 1998; Yankelovich; 1991). Reasons for the decline vary. Some assert that there is simply an increased cynicism among the electorate and citizen-consumers, who are better educated and more knowledgeable of the shortcomings and scandals of government (Berman; 1997). Others point to citizen disappointment in performance, regardless of whether that disappointment is
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caused by an absolute decline in legislative capability and service quality or by an expectation gap of excessive promises or unfounded demands. This is also reflected in the situation of Bangladesh, where the people are not satisfied with the performance of the government in the service delivery in response to their demand and this leads to crisis of trust among the people on the government. The crisis of trust in government has attracted considerable attention from scholars, government practitioners, the media, and the public at large over the past several decades and Bangladesh is no exception. According to Kim (2005:611), higher the citizens’ trust in public institutions ensures good governance and successful implementation of policies. A loss of trust can be devastating not only to morale and productivity, but also predictive of organizational performance and viability. For an effective and functioning governance process in a developing country like Bangladesh whether public or private it requires strong relationship between citizens and officials and trust is always the central figure in functioning relationship.
In many ways, Bangladesh is reflection of mal-governance, where the government has failed to ensure better governance involving the crisis in public administration, including the agencies of law enforcement (Sobhan: 2010). Corruption is pervasive in public institutions. Such as according to a survey carried out by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) 2010, nearly 72% respondents were forced to pay bribe in public institutions. Lots of pilferage and larceny as well as responsibility lapses and negligence of official duties are prevalent (Zafarullah & Siddiquee: 2001). The country does not have a tradition of consensus building, political compromising and collective nation building. The public access to information is difficult, leading to poor transparency. The number of accountability mechanisms and venues for recourse available in the administration is poor. Based on these administrative culture features Bangladesh serves the best case example of crisis of governance. The environment shapes the culture of trust or distrust of government and public institutions in general such as the environment of Bangladesh public administration is molded with the characteristics of ―centralization of power‖, ―red-tapism‖, ―tall- hierarchy‖, ―strict rules and regulations‖ etc. In a developing country like Bangladesh the people expects the government to meet their service needs so that they can lead a better life as the living standard of the people are not that high but it is bitter truth that due to bureaucratic procedure and corruption people do not get their services and this is when the issue of trust and distrust comes on the government and on the public institutions. This is important because being trusting or skeptical predisposes people to judge positive information as truthful if they are trusting and to primarily believe negative information if they are skeptical, which the people of Bangladesh are, on the public administration. Since the mid-1960s, public trust in government and political institutions has been decreasing in all of the advanced industrialized democracies. Although the pattern and the pace of the decrease are dissimilar across countries, the downward trend is ubiquitous. Therefore we may suppose that trustworthiness, or at least perceived trustworthiness is declining (Hardin 2006). The value of trustworthiness is that it makes social cooperation easier and even possible, so that its decline would entail losses of cooperativeness. Declining trustworthiness would obviously be problematic at the personal level and in organization because it would increase the risks of attempting to cooperate with others. Under this backdrop, it is less clear what follows from perceptions of declining trustworthiness among government officials in a bureaucratic organization such as district administration in Bangladesh.

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