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Using Survey Research to Assess Political Risk June 2004


... uncovers opportunities and identifies red flags, obstacles and risks. ... Industrial countries. 100 50 0 50 100. No answer responses not plotted ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Using Survey Research to Assess Political Risk June 2004

Using Survey Research to Assess Political
RiskJune 2004
Why use survey research to understand political
  • Survey research objectively and independently
    uncovers opportunities and identifies red flags,
    obstacles and risks.
  • Survey research can assess risk among a range of
    stakeholders from opinion leaders to the general
  • Survey research allows you to track attitudes in
    order to have a finger on the pulse of movement
    of risk

Which research methodology?
  • Should be chosen on a case by case basis that
    reflects the challenge your project/program
  • When assessing risk, in all likelihood the
    environment is sensitive. This must be taken into
    account when choosing a research approach.
  • The gen. pop.s views may be best gathered
    through a combination of qualitative and
    quantitative research.

Conducting research
  • Topics are probably sensitive when there is
    political risk to consider. Hence, use
    independent firms to measure attitudes. Do not
    use firms that are aligned with a political
  • Choose a firm that has expertise in the area of
    policy and is issue oriented. Exploration will
    require a nuanced approach.

World Bank examples Survey programs that have
yielded data on risk
  • Institution Global poll
  • Region East Asia review
  • Country Client surveys
  • Project Ghana urban water restructuring
  • Project Albania HIV/AIDS

Global Poll
  • Methodology More than 2500 interviews with
    stakeholders around the globe in 48 countries.
  • Cost 1,000,000
  • Phone/in-person interviews
  • Outside firm hired to conduct research globally.
  • Bank team deeply involved in the design,
    analysis, reporting

Views on globalization
à Very good à Somewhat good à Somewhat bad à Very
u Do you think that globalization is very good,
somewhat good, somewhat bad or very bad for our
Latin America/Caribbean East Asia/Pacific Sub-Sah
aran Africa South Asia Middle East/North
Africa Europe/Central Asia Industrial countries
100 50 0 50 100
No answer responses not plotted Values of 5 or
less are plotted but not labeled
Most important development priority
u What is the single most important development
priority facing our country today?
represents a value of less than 0.5
What should be the two main objectives of Bank
u What do you think the main objective of the
World Banks work should be in our countrya?
represents a value of less than 0.5 Columns
total more than 100 because respondents were
prompted to give multiple answers
(a) In industrial countries we asked about
developing countries, not own country
Banks current performance in poverty reduction
u On a 1 to 10 scale, how good a job does the
Bank do helping our countrya reduce poverty?
East Asia/Pacific Latin America/Caribbean Sub-Saha
ran Africa South Asia Europe/Central Asia Middle
East/North Africa Industrial countries
0 50 100
(a) In industrial countries we asked about
developing countries, not own country
Banks current performance in building climate
for investment
u On a 1 to 10 scale, how good a job does the
Bank do helping our countrya build the climate
for investment, growth and jobs?
Latin America/Caribbean East Asia/Pacific Sub-Sah
aran Africa Middle East/North Africa Europe/Centra
l Asia South Asia Industrial countries
0 50 100
(a) In industrial countries we asked about
developing countries, not own country
  • What shapes opinion of the Bank?
  • Perceptions of the USs influence on country
  • Whether the Bank acts irresponsibly in its
    development efforts
  • Whether the Banks recommended economic reforms
    hurt more people than they help
  • Banks performance, particularly in poverty
  • Banks perceived relevance
  • Opinion about globalization
  • Perceptions of arrogance in Latin America and the
    Middle East
  • In South Asia, opinion about whether enough money
    is being spent on foreign assistance

East Asia Review Methodology
  • 90 qualitative interviews (w/small quant.
  • Sample chosen by Bank and independent consultant
    names received from several sources (Bank,
    corporate consultant, networking through think
    tanks and other organizations)
  • Half from region including Japan half from
    outside (US, Europe, Australia)
  • Prominent academics, senior govt. and former
    govt. officials some private sector, civil
    society, media
  • Majority of interviews conducted in person
  • Non-attributable basis

Issues in More Depth
  • Nearly half of East Asia respondents named
    stability and security when asked to identify the
    most pressing issues
  • More than half identified economic growth
  • East Asian respondents spoke frequently about
    social and economic disparity
  • Also environment, corruption and disease but
    mostly in terms of impact on stability and growth

Perceptions of World Bank
  • East Asian respondents regard the Bank as closely
    aligned with the US
  • Its the voice of America. (Indonesian
    business executive)
  • Many East Asian respondents believe that an
    insufficient number of Asian voices at the Bank
    influence policy, vision, direction
  • Some East Asian observers feel that the Bank is
    moving in the right direction but losing
    relevance as the region moves forward

Perceptions of World Bank
  • Many East Asian respondents believe that
    perceptions of the institution are mixed because
  • East Asians do not really understand the World
    Bank and how it works. (Thai politician)

Perceptions of World Bank
  • While the Bank is seen as trying to do more to
    meet the needs of East Asia, it is still
    considered somewhat out of touch and isolated
  • View is that Bank needs to be more in tune with
    East Asian way of thinking, and must consider how
    it works within the constraints of its primary
    clients governments

Desired Role for World Bank
  • The Banks work needs to better reflect the
    vision that East Asians have for themselves
  • Findings indicate that this means potentially, a
    change in language, approach and even focus

India Client Survey
  • More than 500 interviews
  • Paper surveys sent to World Bank generated data
    base of stakeholders
  • Follow-up calls made to ensure high rate of
  • Qualitative research conducted simultaneously

India Client Survey Development Priority
Please identify which one of these you consider
the first (second) most important development
priority? (Respondents chose from a list.)
India Client Survey Importance vs. Effectiveness
Sector Analysis
India Client Survey Weakness
Which one of the following do you identify as the
Banks single greatest weakness in its work in
India? (Respondents chose from a list.)
India Client Survey Level of Bank Involvement
In your opinion, what should be the level of
involvement of the World Bank in Indias
development strategies? (Respondents chose
from a list.)
India Client Survey Personal Relationships
Ghana PSP in water restructuring Research
findings may provide political cover
  • Quantitative data not yet in, but focus groups
    begin to paint a picture
  • General population cares about access to clean
  • General population strongly supports
    international private sector involvement and
    presence in Ghana
  • General population thinks costs will go up but
    accept this because they expect quality and
    service to increase as well
  • World Bank focus groups showed a fairly vocal
    level of animosity toward World Bank.

Albania HIV/AIDS Assessing levels of risk
  • National polling program to develop in-depth
    understanding of gen. pop.s and opinion leaders
    attitudes toward HIV/AIDS.
  • Methodology included in-depth interviews with
    elites 16 focus groups with general population
    national representative survey (n1000)

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Final Thoughts
  • You can make educated guesses about risks in a
    country or you can use research to generate
    empirical data that provides clear evidence of
    risk (or lack thereof.)
  • There is probably either more or less risk than
    you expect make sure your hypotheses about risk
    are finely tuned so the research can be as
    targeted as possible.