Trust Index 2022: Trust in Public Administration during the Era of Pandemic

Trust Index 2022: Trust in Public Administration during the Era of Pandemic

MIPA Institute16 March 202231min5110
Trust in Public Administration during the Era of Pandemic

Trust in Public Administration during the Era of Pandemic

Preliminary Findings

 

Research Team: Dr. Mohammed Masbah, Dr. Rachid Aourraz,
Dr. Hajar Idrissi, Dr. Anne-Luise Baumann, Mr. Tarik Lahrach
Download the report

 

Introduction

The Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (MIPA) has built the Trust Index project to be published as an annual report to measure and analyze Moroccans’ level of trust in various political, economic, and social institutions. This project aims to provide a platform for public debate on the issue of trust in institutions in Morocco and to make recommendations and proposals to decision-makers to strengthen institutional trust. This project was carried out in partnership with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung – Rabat and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Trust Index I (2020) discussed the particular features of the trust and distrust of Moroccans in Parliament, which is the central institution for the functioning of the democratic life of a country. Trust Index II (2021) identified the nature and level of trust in the education and healthcare institutions. This year, Trust Index III (2022) sheds light on public administration and continues the diagnosis of Moroccan political trust after the 2021 September elections that revealed remarkable results and proved a change in citizens’ social and political attitudes.

The report is divided into four main sections. The first section is devoted to trust in public administration and the role of good governance practices on public trust in local government. The second section deals with the issue of social trust by analyzing the indicators of interpersonal trust, especially the willingness to trust others, including nuclear family, the extended family, neighbors and strangers. The third one focuses on political trust, mainly the key state and elected institutions, and its relationship to perceptions of formal and informal political participation. The last section tackles citizens’ trust in government measures to fight corruption.

 

Research Desing

This section outlines the methodology and describes the research design adopted in this study. The study in this report uses a quantitative method approach.

The subsequent findings in this report are based on quantitative data analysis based on a representative sample of 1,500 people. The data was collected between October 1st and November 15th, representing the Moroccan population aged 18 and over. The representative nature of the sample was obtained by using a stratified random sampling approach, where the variable “gender” was used as pre-defined quota to arrive at an equal distribution of females and males in the sample. The survey was conducted via CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews). The questionnaire resulted in a total sum of 128 variables. According to the structure of the Moroccan population outlined by the Higher Planning Commission (RGHP 2014) the sample is representative for the Moroccan population aged 18.

Characteristics of the sample: 50% of the sample is female. The age distribution shows that one third of the sample (32.3%) are between 18 and 30 years old, the majority of respondents (59.7%) are in their middle ages (30 to 59 years of age). The elderly make up for 8.1% of the sample. In terms of regional distribution, 21% of respondents live in the Casablanca region, followed by the region of Marrakech-Safi with 15%, and Rabat-Sale-Kenitra with 14%. 2% of the respondents live in the southern regions. The urban population comprises 68% versus 28% of rural respondents. The persons with income less than 3000 MAD constitute about 59% of the respondents, while those whose income ranges between 3000 and 8000 MAD per month account for 34%. As per their education level, 17% were uneducated, 21% had a primary level, about 39% of the respondents have a middle-school or high-school level, and 13% had a university-level education.

Despite all the efforts undertaken in the elaboration of this research, the current study has some limitations that should be acknowledged. The limitation is the context of the parliamentary election of 8th September 2021 that imposed a delay on the whole process. It should be noted that data were collected just after the election, but before the new government coalition started its work officially. Thus, any perception change in this period is not analyzed.

 

Key Findings
1. Trust in Public Administrations

Measuring the level of citizens’ trust and satisfaction of core public administrations is the focal point of this report. Public administrations are the machinery of the state and citizens interact with these administrations in many and varied ways.

This study shows that 31% of the respondents have been in contact with the Amala over the five past years; 57% with the Baladya or Jamaa; and 69% with Moqataa (see Graph 1).The Baladya or Jamaa is thus the public administration institution, which receives the most contacts in Morocco.

Graph 1: Contact with institutions of public administration

Generally, two out of three respondents (67%) expressed an overall satisfaction with the performance of the public administration (23% are very satisfied and 44% are somehow satisfied). (see Graph 2).

Graph 2: General satisfaction with performance of public administration

The general satisfaction is examined in further detail by looking at certain aspects of these public administrations, 72% of the respondents are satisfied with the availability and quality of information about procedures (40% are very satisfied and 32% are somehow satisfied); 78% are satisfied with the quality of building and facilities (41% are very satisfied and 37% are somehow satisfied); 78% are satisfied with the competence and performance of staff (34% are very satisfied and 44% are somehow satisfied); 57% are satisfied with the time needed to complete a task (32% are very satisfied and 25% are somehow satisfied), and 60% are satisfied with the possibility to make formal complaints in case of issues (40% are very satisfied and 20% are somehow satisfied). (see Graph 3). Hence, Moroccans are most satisfied with the infrastructure, accessibility and personal of public administration institutions, and least satisfied with the time needed to complete a task as well as the possibility to present formal complaints.

Graph 3: Satisfaction with certain aspects of public administration

Termed the performance-trust hypothesis, the implicit assumption is that better performing public services will lead to increased satisfaction among their users, and this, in turn, will lead to more trust in government. Many factors may influence people’s level of trust in institutions, namely their gender, their educational level, the area of living, or their level of income. Therefore, we examine the differences in people’s satisfaction with the performance of public administration based on their socio-demographic characteristics. The data reveals that 64% of males are satisfied with the performance (23% are very satisfied and 41% are somewhat satisfied), while 70% of females are satisfied (23% are very satisfied and 47% are somewhat). (see Graph 4). Hence, women are somewhat more satisfied with the performance of public administration in Morocco than men.

Graph 4: General satisfaction with performance of public administration, differences between men and women

The majority of respondents live in an urban region. 66% of those are satisfied (21% are very satisfied and 45% are somehow satisfied) with the general performance of public administration, while 71% of those people living in rural areas are satisfied (31% are very satisfied and 40% somehow satisfied). (see Graph 5). Hence, people living in rural areas are slightly more satisfied with the performance of public administration than those living in urban, or semi-urban, areas.

Graph 5: General satisfaction with performance of public administration, differences between people living in urban and rural areas

Regarding people’s level of monthly household income, 21% of people earning less than 3000 MAD are not satisfied at all; 26% of people earning between 3001 and 8000 MAD are not satisfied at all; and 40% of people earning more than 30001 MAD are not satisfied at all. Accordingly, it seems the more money people have at their disposal in the household they live in, the less they are satisfied. (see Graph 6).

Graph 6: General satisfaction with performance of public administration, differences in income

 

2. Social Trust

Social trust is the underlying foundation of relationships among individuals, groups, and other components of a society. It is a key determinant of social, political and economic development as well as of human well-being.

In general, 91% of the respondents said they completely trust their nuclear families, and 47% said they completely trust the extended family. However, 63% of the respondents do not trust people they meet for the first time (41% do not trust completely and 22% do not trust), 50% of them do not trust people of other religions, 45% do not trust people of other nationalities, 34% do not trust their neighbors, and 27% do not trust their friends. (see Graph 7). The results indicate, that the closer the ties, the higher the trust (e.g. family). Stereotypes might play a role in higher levels of distrust towards foreigners, people of different religions etc.

Graph 7: Trust in people

Furthermore, 65% of the respondents believe that Moroccans trust each other. While only 15% of respondents think that Moroccans trust each other completely, it is still every second respondent (50%) who thinks that Moroccans trust each other somewhat. Contrarily, 35% of the respondents expressed the opinion, that Moroccans do not trust each other (17% think Moroccans do not trust each other much and 18% think, Moroccans do not trust each other at all). (see Graph 8).

Graph 8: Perception of trust among Moroccans

It is a conceptual difference, whether people think about other’s level of trust or about their own feelings of trust. When it comes to people’s own feeling of trust, the pattern however looks similar. Moreover, 46% of the respondents said they somewhat trust people, while 22% said they trust people completely. Conversely, 18% said that they do not trust people much and 14% said that they do not trust people at all. (see Graph 9).

Graph 9: Respondent’s level of trust in people

With regard to making friendships, 67% of the respondents would accept having a friend from a different religion, 74% would accept having refugee friends, 24% would accept atheist friends, but only 12% would accept having homosexual friends. (see Graph 10).

Graph 10: Trust in groups of people

As for their Moroccan identity, 91% of the respondents said they are very proud of being Moroccan, another 6% of the respondents said they are somewhat proud, whereas only very few Moroccans state, that they are not very (2%) or not proud at all (1%). (see Graph 11).

Graph 11: Proud to be Moroccan

3. Political Trust

Political trust is one of the focal areas of the Trust Index. The study relies on several indicators, including the interest and participation in the public sphere, partisan and civic affiliation, perceptions about corruption and freedom of expression, in addition to trust in institutions.

One of the main findings in this wave is the overall increase in trust in elected institutions. This year, around 69% of Moroccans said that they trust government, against 50 % in 2021 and 23% in 2020. A similarly remarkable result is the sudden increase in trust in political parties and parliament. In 2022, half of Moroccans who participated in this survey said that they trust parliament (50%) and political parties (52%), against 30 and 26 respectively one year earlier. (see Graph 12).

Graph 12: Trust in elected institutions

This sudden increase in the level of trust in elected institutions is likely to be linked to either of – or both – the management of the pandemic by the government and the 8 September 2021 elections. The findings on people’s participation in the last elections lend some support to this assumption. 42% of the respondents said they participated in the last elections (see Graph 13), and 66% expressed satisfaction with the electoral process (as 37% said they are very satisfied; 29% somehow satisfied). (see Graph 14).

Graph 13: Participation in last election

Graph 14: Satisfaction with last election

Around 38% of those who participated in the last elections said that they voted for The National Rally of Independents (RNI), 11% for each of Party Independence (PI), 12%Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM). The Justice and Development Party (PJD), and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) got 7% of the votes each, and 5% for The Constitutional Union (UC), and the Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS). (see Graph 15).

Graph 15: Voting behavior in last election

However, the findings of the study show that in general there is little involvement in formal politics as 96% of the respondents are not members of any political party (see Graph 16).

Graph 16: Membership in political party

With regard to participation in the political and public sphere, citizens expressed limited interest in regard of current political issues; around 25% said that they follow politics with interest (8% they follow closely, 17% said that they somewhat follow politics), and 47% said that they do not follow politics at all (see Graph 17).

Graph 17: Interest in politics

A similar finding of low-involvement can be seen with regard to non-formal political involvement. As for non-traditional methods of political participation, such as economic boycott, signing petitions, or sharing political content on social media, 14% said they had previously participated in a protest, 7% participated in signing a petition, 21% said they participated in the economic boycott, 14% participated in an election boycott, and 11% said they had previously shared political content on social media. (see Graph 18).

Graph 18: Participation in political activities

When it comes to unelected sovereign institutions, findings reveal that these institutions enjoy much higher levels of trust than elected institutions. For Moroccans, the police and the army are the most trusted institutions. The level of trust in the police is 92% (65% trust completely and 27% somewhat trust) (compared to 86% last year), and 95% of respondents trust the armed forces (79% trust completely and 16% somewhat trust) (compared to 89% last year). Yet, trust is also high in the judiciary albeit somewhat lower compared to the police and army, reaching about 79% (40% trust completely and 39% somewhat trust). (see Graph 19).

Graph 19: Trust in institutions

Relating to the education sector, 80% of the respondents trust the quality of public education in Morocco, (where 43% completely trust public education and 37% somehow trust it). Unsurprisingly, 76% also trust the quality of private education (where 38% completely trust private education and 38% somehow trust it).

Within public services, trust in the health sector is low compared to that of the education sector as 56% expressed their trust (22% completely trust and 34% somehow trust), while 44% expressed their distrust (30% do not trust at all and 14% do not trust). There is a discrepancy between the public and private sectors in this area, as the level of trust with the services of the private health sector is significantly higher with about 79% (37% completely trust and 42% are somehow trust) of the respondents being satisfied with private health services. (see Graph 19).

With regard to respect for human rights, 8% of the respondents said they are moderately respected in Morocco, while 48% said they are little respected, and 26% said they are not respected at all. On the other side, 18% said that there is great respect for human rights in Morocco. (see Graph 20).

Graph 20: Respect for human rights

4. Fighting Corruption

Corruption is an aspect of poor governance that undermines trust in politics and in each other. In regard of fighting corruption, 56% of the respondents said that they are generally satisfied with the government efforts to fight against corruption (37% are very satisfied and 19% are somehow satisfied), whereas 44% are not satisfied (28% are not satisfied at all, and 16% not much satisfied). (see Graph 21).

Graph 21: Satisfaction with government efforts to fight corruption

However, 95% of the respondents argue that bribery is widespread in Morocco (66% said extremely widespread and 27% said somehow widespread). (see Graph 22).

Graph 22: Perception of bribery

The perception of bribery being a major issue in Morocco is supported by the fact that citizens perceive practices of corruption (such as bribery, using personal connections) to be highly prevalent in public administration. 90% of the respondents assert that giving extra money to the public administration staff to complete a task faster is extremely prevalent (65% said very prevalent and 25% said somehow prevalent). Moreover, 94% claim that using connections to complete a task faster is also prevalent (76% said very prevalent and 18% said somehow prevalent). (see Graph 23).

Graph 23: Prevalence of corruption in public administration

5. Future Trajectory of Trust

This year, results reveal an increase in the level of satisfaction with Morocco’s general direction as 66% of the participants expressed satisfaction (35% are very satisfied and 31% are somewhat satisfied) (see Graph 24). Just one year ago, the majority of respondents (70%) expressed their concern about the country’s general trend, whereas only one-third (34%) remains dissatisfied this year.

Graph 24: Satisfaction with general societal trend of Morocco

In terms of the economic development of the country, half of the participants (19% are very satisfied and 31% are somewhat satisfied) expressed their satisfaction with the economic situation, compared to 35% from last year’s sample (see Graph 25).

Graph 25: Satisfaction with economic situation in Morocco

Moreover, as for the government’s efforts to deal with the effects of Covid-19 management of restricting interaction (Masks, social distancing, curfew, lockdown), 86% expressed satisfaction (68% are very satisfied and 18% somehow satisfied). Furthermore, 76% are also satisfied with the government’s efforts in terms of providing economic support to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis (51% are very satisfied and 25% are somehow satisfied). (see Graph 26).

Graph 26: Satisfaction with government efforts to deal with effects of Covid-19

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MIPA Institute

MIPA is a non-profit independent research institution based in Rabat, Morocco. Founded by a group of transdisciplinary researchers, MIPA’s mission is to produce systematic and in-depth analysis of relevant policy issues that lead to new and innovative ideas for solving some of the most pressing issues relating to democracy.


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Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis

MIPA is a non-profit independent research institution based in Rabat, Morocco. Founded by a group of transdisciplinary researchers, MIPA’s mission is to produce systematic and in-depth analysis of relevant policy issues that lead to new and innovative ideas for solving some of the most pressing issues relating to democracy.



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