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Let the People be the Judge!

Antonio Lambino's picture

It was in Manila last week where I came across a banner headline on a major broadsheet that read “The people, not surveys, should judge (the president’s) performance."  I was confused.  Aren't people’s attitudes, opinions, and intentions precisely what surveys seek to measure?  Aren’t surveys, in fact, meant to reflect the will and preferences of the people?

When surveys are done well and conscientiously, they provide valuable information from which we can derive knowledge helpful toward understanding people's opinions, especially on matters of public interest.  Applying public opinion research techniques can also aid in improving the quality of democratic governance, particularly in coming to more informed decisions that more closely reflect citizen preferences (e.g., James S. Fishkin’s chapter in Governance Reform under Real-World Conditions).

Who gets the credit?

Ryan Hahn's picture

A new paper coauthored by fellow PSD blogger Thorsten Beck entitled Who Gets the Credit? offers up some new insights on what effect credit availability has on GDP growth. Using data on 45 countries between 1994 and 2005 on the relative share of enterprise vs. household credit, the authors conclude:

Rising food prices and child labor

Ryan Hahn's picture

Over at the Economist, a debate is heating up over the following proposition: "There is an upside for humanity in the rise of food prices." I just checked, and right now the votes stand at 59 percent "pro" and 41 percent "con." It seems to me that the result is a bit skewed, however, given the wording of the question - I can imagine few things in the world that don't have at least some upside.

The Technocrat and the Reporter

Sina Odugbemi's picture

In a previous job, I was asked to organize media training for senior technocrats in international development who would, in the course of their jobs, have to face the media from time to time to answers questions about their areas of responsibility. As I set about doing a learning needs assessment and organizing the training, I noticed a dynamic I had not reflected on before.

Integrating Eastern Europe's Roma

Ryan Hahn's picture

Communism failed to do it - can capitalism do any better? So far, the answer is not clear. I'm referring to the integration of the Romani minority into the mainstream of eastern Europe's transition countries. For those not familiar with this topic, 'Roma' is the polite term used in place of the more common 'Gypsy'.

¿Es la Directiva de Retorno Aprobada por la Unión Europea favorable para Latinoamérica?

Sonia Plaza's picture

El día 18 deJunio de 2008 se aprobó la directiva de retorno en el Parlamento Europeo. Esta directiva constituye el primer paso hacia una política común de inmigración para inmigrantes ilegales procedentes de países no comunitarios. La directiva entraría en vigencia el año 2010.

Measuring Impact

Ryan Hahn's picture

As I discussed in an earlier post on social enterprise, the efforts of non-profits and corporate social responsibility departments are often confounded by the difficulty of measuring results in the absence of a bottom line. A new methdology put out by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the IFC aims to remedy that.