Poll Finds Ghanaians Trust State Institutions
A fair majority of Ghanaians have trust in state institutions, suffice to say in a period where public skepticism toward state institutions have raised all-time high, according to a poll conducted by the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) and the Ghana Center for Democratic Governance (CDD-Ghana.)
The survey, released in July 2014, has demystified long held opinions that trust in state run institutions is low. Trust in institutions in any country is one of the most essential building blocks for a resilient democratic governance structure.
The Governance and Peace poll (GaP Poll), asked respondents the extent to which they trust some 5 selected institutions including the Electoral Commission, National Peace Council, the Judiciary, District Assemblies and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAAJ).
Fifty seven percent (57%) of respondents said they have trust in the Electoral commission while 4 in 10 (41%) said they ‘did not at all’ or ‘just a little’ trust the Electoral Commission.
At the regional level, the survey showed that in 6 out of the 10 regions, that is, Volta, Northern, Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East and Central the percentage of respondents who said they trust the electoral commission ‘somewhat’ or ‘ ‘a lot’’ was higher than the national average of 57%.
In terms of trust for the National Peace Council, 64% of respondents reported they trust the National Peace Council, ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’. About a quarter (25%), however, reported mistrust for the council. Six (6) out of the ten (10) regions (Upper West, Central, Northern, Volta, Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra) were between 3 and 10 percentage points higher than the national average (64%) for those who reported they ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’ trust the National Peace Council.
Also, trust for the law courts overall was consistent across the regions. Specifically, a marginal majority of 53% compared to 42% of the respondents said they trust the law courts ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’. The survey results from the regions showed striking variations in the percentage of people who reported trust for the law courts.
Trust for the law courts was particularly low among respondents in the Upper West and Upper East regions as compared to the other regions. Trust for the courts was highest in the Northern and Volta regions where more than 6 in 10 reported they trust the courts, ‘somewhat’ or ‘‘a lot’’, to deliver on their mandate.
In contrast, trust for district assemblies was relatively low. In general out of the total number of respondents interviewed, 42% reported they trust their District Assembly ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’. A marginal majority (53%) of the respondents, however, did not trust their district assembly ‘at all’ or ‘a little’.
In terms of the regional breakdown, the survey revealed that in 5 out of the 10 regions, the percentage of respondents who reported they did not trust their district assembly, ‘at all’ or ‘a 1 little’ was higher than the national average of 53%.
Trust for the district assembly was particularly low in the Western, Central, Greater Accra and Upper West regions where the majority reported they did not trust their district assembly ‘at all’ or ‘a little’. On the contrary, majority of respondents in Northern and Upper East reported they trust their district assemblies ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot.’
The survey further revealed that aside the National Peace Council, CHRAJ was the most trusted institution among all the institutions surveyed. Out of the total number of respondents surveyed, 6 in 10 (60%) reported they trust the CHRAJ, ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’, while a quarter (25%) said they did not trust the CHRAJ ‘at all’ or ‘a little’.
Trust for the CHRAJ was particularly high in the Northern and Brong Ahafo regions where more than 7 in 10 reported they trust the CHRAJ ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’, and low in the Ashanti Region where less than half indicated they ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot’ trust the CHRAJ. In all, trust for the CHRAJ in 5 out of the 10 regions was higher than the national average of 60%.
The GaP Poll elicited responses from 938 Ghanaian adults 18 years and above. The methodology applied in conducting the GAP Poll survey was to ensure national representation with a margin of error not higher than 5% at the 95% confidence level.
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