Public Opinion Polling and the Millennium Development Goals

Fransman, Jude; MacDonald, Alphonse; McDonnell, Ida and Pons-Vignon, Nicolas (2004). Public Opinion Polling and the Millennium Development Goals. In OECD Development Centre Working Papers: Social Institutions and Dialogue OECD Development Centre, Paris, France.



Monitoring changes in public awareness and attitudes in rich countries towards aid and other international development policy issues is extremely difficult: due to lack of systematic polling or monitoring, there is no reliable, comparable data across DAC member countries. This paper suggests a way to address this problem: a common questionnaire for all DAC countries to use in their national surveys, centred on the Millennium Development Goals. It sums up the process that led to the setting up of this questionnaire, provides a short analysis of the main methodological issues and brings together three versions, respectively for face-to-face, phone or mail processing. These should allow information and communication professionals, as well as policy makers, to improve the comparability of public opinion surveys in OECD DAC member countries on development and the MDGs, especially if —as proposed by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development — parts of the questionnaire are included in the next Eurobarometer survey on development across EU member countries (possibly in 2005).

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