Finding Legitimacy

The relationship between governments and people is at breaking point.  At the Centre for Public Impact, we’re interested in understanding how to improve the quality of the relationship between government and citizens to build the support that governments need to deliver public impact.

Watch the video to understand how we’re #Findinglegitimacy.

Many of the biggest challenges of our time cannot be solved by governments acting alone, but many citizens feel less connected to government than ever.

Read the report

About the work

With more opportunities than ever to communicate, governments are wrestling with big questions.

  • How can governments help citizens lead better and healthier lives?
  • How can we find new employment for someone when their role is replaced by new technology?
  • How can communities work together with public services to help make changes that benefit people?

To address big questions like these, governments around the world depend on their citizens to help decide priorities and make things happen.

Legitimacy is one of the three Public Impact Fundamentals and by legitimacy, the reservoir of support government requires to achieve public impact.

We're interested in what creates and sustains legitimacy in government systems, policy processes, and frontline services.

What does legitimacy mean to you?

We want to hear opinions and ideas from people with many different perspectives and from all around the world – from taxi drivers to senior civil servants, experienced journalists to teenagers – to gain a better understanding of what legitimacy means to people around the world today. Watch the video to hear what #FindingLegitimacy means to these individuals. There has rarely been such a crucial time to be asking how governments can maintain and strengthen legitimacy, meet our Legitimacy Champions who will be bringing together diverse groups of people from around the globe to better understanding what legitimacy means to people globally. Meet Our Champions

Where you come in

To start the conversation, we invite you to read and respond to our new discussion paper. What do you think about the elements we attach to a government's legitimacy: trust, fairness, values and democracy – how much do they matter?

Case studies

We would like to hear about how legitimacy is working where you live, send us your stories and case studies about how government and public services worked with people to improve outcomes.

Hold a conversation

Ask us how we can help you hold a conversation about legitimacy or let us know where and when you are discussing it. We'd love to hear your answers and stories in response to questions like:
  • What does legitimacy mean where you live?
  • What can a government do to help strengthen its legitimacy with citizens?
  • Who needs to be involved in the conversation about legitimacy?
  • What have you seen working, or not working, to help a government strengthen its legitimacy?
  • How can government prepare for the future of legitimacy and what does that future way of building legitimacy look like?

Contact Us

Sign up to stay updated on news about our meetings, our insights and our other activities.
Back to top