Home > Enhancing Trust in Government for Effective Water Governance (EnTruGo)
Enhancing Trust in Government for Effective Water Governance (EnTruGo)
EnTruGo is a collaborative interdisciplinary research project between four participating universities (Wageningen University, Netherlands; Barents Institute at the Arctic University of Norway, Norway; Stockholm Environmental Institute, Sweden; and the African Climate and Development Initiative, University of Cape Town, South Africa). The central aim of this project is to explore how public- and stakeholder trust in water governance processes can be enhanced in order to more effectively address the rapidly increasing requirements on water governance to successfully adapt to urgent societal water needs.
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 South Africa and Europe. 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 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 and more sustainable and equitable water governance outcomes. It is the intention of the ENTRUGO project to better understand public trust in water governance and to explore how initiatives characterised by public participation and stakeholder involvement influence trust in government and, ultimately, its ability to enact its duty as guardian of water resources.
What we do
The ENTRUGO project takes a comparative qualitative and quantitative approach to understanding trust in water governance in and between the four participating countries. The investigation is guided by an systematic literature review which provides a baseline for further research on the ground. The research includes a survey on public trust in water governance institutions and processes, interviews with water experts in the public and private sector, and case studies indicative of water governance dynamics; public participation and public trust in each participating country. Jointly, these methods will create a more holistic understanding of the status of trust in government institutions tasked with water management, the effects of democratic innovations on trust in government in diverse water governance contexts as well as help to identify governance strategies to enhance trust in government as a guardian of water governance actions.
What impact does the project have?
ENTRUGO’s aim is to support effective, sustainable and equitable water governance. Adaptive water management and the ongoing implementation of the South African Water Resource Strategy are amongst these aims, which have the overall goal of contributing to effective and efficient policy instruments and informing policy recommendations for water managers in government. A number of reports will be provided to the Water Research Commission to further understanding of water governance in the South African case, in global context.
The project team is made up of a group of international academic collaborators. In South Africa, Nadine Methner and Elizabeth Kruger are driving the research.