NGOs play an important role in Georgian society, weighing in on issues as diverse as energy policy and the budget. An important question however is, how much do people trust NGOs and are those who trust NGOs different from those who don’t? This blog post looks at how people who report trusting NGOs in Georgia differ from those who report distrusting them in terms of their social and political engagement.
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer surveys (CB) regularly ask about trust in NGOs. In 2015, 23% of the population reported fully or rather trusting NGOs, while about the same share reported fully or rather distrusting them. In addition, a large share of the population (42%) reported neither trusting nor distrusting NGOs. The share who answered that they “don’t know” if they trust or distrust NGOs has declined from 31% in 2012 to 14% in 2015, which may indicate that awareness of NGOs has increased in recent years. The share of the Georgian public which trusts NGOs (sum of “fully trust” and “rather trust”) has more or less stayed the same since 2011, while the share which distrusts them (sum of “fully distrust” and “rather distrust”) has increased from 9% in 2012 to 20% in 2015.
People who trust NGOs are slightly more socially and politically active (i.e. attend public meetings, vote, etc.), than those who distrust NGOs. In 2015, 25% of those who trust NGOs reported attending a public meeting during the six months prior to the survey, while only 15% of those who distrust NGOs reported doing the same. This finding has been consistent over the past few years.
Note: Answer options “fully trust” and “rather trust” are combined in the columns “Trust”, and answer options “fully distrust” and “rather distrust” are combined in the columns “Distrust”.
Those who report trusting NGOs also say they would participate in presidential elections if they were held next Sunday more often than those who distrust NGOs. In 2015, 78% of those who trust NGOs said they certainly or most probably would participate in elections if held next Sunday, while a slightly lower share (69%) of those who distrust NGOs said the same.
People who report trusting NGOs are more socially and politically active than those who distrust them, as demonstrated by CB data on public meeting attendance and intention to participate in elections.
For more on trust in NGOs in Georgia, see this Caucasus Analytical Digest article and for more data from CB 2015 take a look at our Online Data Analysis tool here.