უკან სამშაბათი | 09 სექტემბერი, 2008
Surveying Corruption | Details Matter!
Corruption remains an endemic feature in the region, outside Georgia. No wonder, then, that it continues to receive considerable attention from organizations and donors. Currently, we are being asked to run a survey (we will publish details on that later). How do you do this? Not all of this research is intuitive. Here are a couple of examples of what can go wrong, taken from the draft questionnaire we were given.
One obvious way of getting at the issue is to measure experience, to ask whether people themselves have paid bribes in the last 12 months. Is that a good way of measuring levels of corruption? Well, there are limitations. One limitation is that you simply don't know how much people have actually interacted with institutions that may demand a bribe. If you don't have a car, if you don't need any official document, are not enrolled at a university, and don't visit a hospital you simply may not become a target. In fact, one likely result of corruption is that you minimize contacts with official institutions in order to reduce your exposure to corruption. So you definitely need to measure the extent of contact, in addition to asking people's experiences.
What actually is NOT a big problem is whether everyone will tell you the truth. The survey questionnaires typically are set up to get people talking, and ask the more sensitive questions half way through, so that the respondent already feels comfortable. Sure, quite a few people will still be reluctant to admit that they paid a bribe, so what you measure is only the number of respondents that tell you that they paid a bribe. But this in itself is valuable: the honesty typically stays pretty constant, making responses from 2007 well comparable with those from 2008.
But the questionnaire is also tricky in other ways. Let's say you want to get a sense of peoples attitudes towards paying a bribe. The following may strike you as a useful question, at face value.
But there is something wrong with asking this speculative question, since corruption is contextual. Let's look at three very different cases:
- You may be subsidizing an underpaid doctor so that she looks after your grandmother. Without these payments, the doctor couldn't survive. Would you refuse to pay the doctor? Probably not. Such private additional payments in exchange for a real service contrast sharply with the next case, which is...
- ...the public official who uses an artificially constructed bureaucratic hurdle to extract a bribe from you. Do you want to pay a bribe here? In this case, you begin to weigh short-term advantages against long-term effects.
- Next case: the civil servant who breaks the law and betrays public trust in return for payment. In this case, corruption could consist of granting exclusive monopolies, unwarranted certificates or permits, or desisting from prosecution when it is called for. Would you approve of paying here? Hopefully not.
Note, also, that the responses are problematic. Yes, No, make sense. But how would we make the verbatim responses useful? This question needs to be closed, offering exhaustive options. After all, a survey is not a focus group.
Other useful features? Ask respondents whether they have relatives that work in the public sector, or for local police. Likely, this will have an impact on their views. Check whether they are on the Internet. Those that are again will have access to more information, be better informed, and likely that's a group that will look at things differently. English-speakers are different as well. Are respondents pro- or against the government? Do they have a car? Enriched in this way, this survey can yield powerful information. And, and, and...
Corruption remains important issue, but capturing what actually goes on is not entirely easy. We will keep you updated.
08.08.2015 | შაბათი
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) surveys regularly collect information about how the interviewers assess each of the conducted interviews – so called paradata that provides additional insight into the conditions surrounding the interviews (e.g., whether someone besides the respondent and the interviewer was present during the face-to-face interview), as well as interviewers’ subjective assessments of, for example, level of sincerity of the respondents.
22.06.2015 | ორშაბათი
[Note: Over the next two weeks, Social Science in the Caucasus will publish the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015.]
12.05.2016 | ხუთშაბათი
2012 წლის საპარლამენტო არჩევნების შემდეგ ძალაუფლების მშვიდობიანი გადაცემის პირველი პრეცენდენტის შედეგად საქართველოს პოზიცია Freedom House-ისა და Polity IV-ის რეიტინგებში გაუმჯობესდა. ამის მიუხედავად, ბოლო პერიოდში ჩატარებული გამოკითხვების შედეგები მოწმობს, რომ საქართველოს მოსახლეობის მხრიდან დემოკრატიის მხარდაჭერა მცირდება.
15.05.2016 | კვირა Fearing for the children - the blog looks at how homophobic attitudes vary along gender lines taking into account whether men and women live in a household with children:
29.06.2014 | კვირა
CRRC Methodological Conference on Measuring Social Inequality in the South Caucasus and its Neighborhood
The second annual CRRC methodological conference took place on the 25th of June at Tbilisi State University. With over fifty attendees and a packed program of presentations, the conference drew together policy practitioners and researchers from the South Caucasus and beyond.
14.03.2012 | ოთხშაბათი
Recently, a nuanced article in an Indian magazine discussed "How Georgia Did It" to get rid of corruption. This has, of course, been a topic of extensive debate in India. It's good to see that lessons are being drawn from the Georgian case, and that they travel beyond the immediate neighborhood.
09.02.2011 | ოთხშაბათი
In February 11, 2011, the CRRC-Azerbaijan office launched the third stage of its Junior Research Fellowship Program, funded by the Open Society Institute Think-Tank Fund. Fifteen selected participants will attend the next round of extensive trainings that will prepare them for writing public policy papers.
12.02.2011 | შაბათი
CRRC has conducted a research project on access to justice in Central Asia. The project includes nationwide surveys in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, focus groups and in-depth interviews. We will be presenting the results in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 15, 2010, in case any of our readers are in the region.
17.03.2011 | ხუთშაბათი
Under which conditions would IDPs be willing to return to Abkhazia? Should past injustices be addressed or left alone? What do IDPs consider the main reasons for the outbreak of the war in the early 1990s? The research project “IDPs in Georgia”, conducted by CRRC for Conciliation Resource (CR) with the financial support of the European Commission’s Instrument for Stability, provide insight to these questions and many more.
06.04.2011 | ოთხშაბათი
On March 11, 2011, the participants of CRRC-Azerbaijan’s Junior Research Fellowship Program (JRFP) competed for the best PowerPoint presentations based on data from the 2009 Caucasus Barometer (CB). The event was their first time demonstrating their skills in organizing and presenting data. The fellowship selection committee and organizers were anxious to see what the fellows would present after many months of training in quantitative data analysis.
07.04.2011 | ხუთშაბათი
What are the social, political and economic attitudes of people in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan? Do Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijanis think employment or territorial integrity is the most important issue facing their respective countries? How do they judge the fairness of elections or media independence? How trusting or supportive are they of the European Union, NATO membership or local institutions?
05.05.2011 | ხუთშაბათი
CRRC conducted a survey on political and economic attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), funded by the Swedish International development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The fieldwork of the survey took place in March, 2011 and surveyed 2,893 respondents in Georgia. The survey covered the issues of public importance, perceptions and attitudes toward democracy and ongoing reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign affairs.
10.05.2011 | სამშაბათი
CRRC is happy to announce its new Online Data Analysis (ODA) program! Crunching numbers from CRRC surveys is now easier than ever.
10.05.2011 | სამშაბათი By Tamar Zurabishvili
In September 2009, CRRC conducted a baseline survey on the Georgian media landscape within the scope of an EU-funded project entitled, “Strengthening the Media's Role as a Watchdog Institution in Georgia”, implemented by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation.
11.05.2011 | ოთხშაბათი
By Sarrah Bechor
CRRC recently completed its 8th annual Caucasus Barometer survey, gathering data about perceptions of trust, livelihood and social realities during face-to-face interviews in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Some of the results from these countries have been compared to results from 22 other countries that were surveyed as part of the 2010 Pew Global Attitudes Project Survey.
28.07.2011 | ხუთშაბათი
This past summer, Freedom House launched the 14th edition of its Nations in Transit (NIT) report. The publication comprehensively monitors democratic developments in 29 countries from Central Europe to Eurasia, amongst them Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. CRRC is represented in the report with data from the 2010 Corruption Survey in Armenia.
08.10.2011 | შაბათი
The Mobilizing Action Against Corruption (MAAC) effort in Armenia, led by Casals, has come to an end. We undertook four surveys for this USAID project, three household surveys and one business survey. Unfortunately it proved impossible to do a survey among civil servants. The surveys showed that Armenia made practically no progress against corruption, over the three years.
10.02.2010 | ოთხშაბათი
Wondering what Georgians do in their free time? Do they read, listen to music, go to cinemas and theatres, stay at home and spend time with their families, watch TV, or just sleep?
18.05.2010 | სამშაბათი
The CRRC’s annual Data Initiative Survey will be renamed into the Caucasus Barometer starting from 2010. At CRRC, we think that the new name better reflects the essence of the survey and is more understandable for the general public and the journalists.
30.05.2010 | კვირა
In running an election-day survey (not an exit poll, which we are not so enthused about), we have decided to attempt something new: we are now aggregating the information via SMS. This gives us the information in real time, and the data will be available for immediate analysis the moment the last SMS has been received.
31.10.2010 | კვირა
So! Our SMS project worked quite well. Critical to its success was the systematic error control early in the day. Our interviewers still made a fair number of mistakes in the early morning. It was the first time we introduced this system, and transferring the number correctly to SMS requires significant attention to detail.
17.06.2010 | ხუთშაბათი
By Jesse Tatum and Vazha Burduli
From environmental catastrophe to violence, our world currently faces serious challenges with long-term consequences. In this context, what do people in the Caucasus consider to be the most acute problems?
From environmental catastrophe to violence, our world currently faces serious challenges with long-term consequences. In this context, what do people in the Caucasus consider to be the most acute problems?
Regarding the greatest threats to the world today, the spread of nuclear weapons and poverty are foremost on the minds of people in the South Caucasus, according to the 2009 CB.
20.06.2010 | კვირა
Looking at the recent data from the Global Attitudes Project of the Pew Research Center, we came across a curious survey item. Who do people across the world think will win the World Cup?
02.07.2010 | პარასკევი
Freedom House has just released its Nations in Transit report for the year 2010. The report attempts to quantify democratic development in Central European and Eurasian states by observing 8 separate factors – for instance, Electoral Process and National Democratic Governance - which affect the level of democracy in a given country. Each category is graded on a score of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress, and 7 representing the lowest. Much of the media attention has typically focused on Russia.
05.08.2010 | ხუთშაბათი
The 2010 Georgian Constitutional Reform in the Eyes of the Public report is now available. As a product of the study commissioned by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) and carried out by CRRC-Georgia, it presents the results of the opinion survey on constitutional and governance processes and their development in Georgia.
23.08.2010 | ორშაბათი
Over the last few weeks and months, we have regularly posted updates about what's going on, and where we stumbled on information we thought was interesting. We think these are useful contributions: small snippets, searchable, easy to find through Google, and a way for us at CRRC to think about synthesizing complex research into a handful of paragraphs. Note some of the emerging themes, such as the question of life satisfaction.
25.08.2010 | ოთხშაბათი
When presenting our work, or talking about it informally, we are asked fairly similar questions: do you do your interviewing in all of the country? How do you select the respondents? How do you know they are not lying to you? Are people willing to say things critical of the government? How do you design a questionnaire?
27.08.2010 | პარასკევი
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center showing that 18% of Americans think that US President Barack Obama is Muslim, and that a further 43% respond that they don't know what religion the President practices, has raised discussions about the level of political knowledge in democracies. Indeed, Newsweek has published a slideshow showing dumb things that Americans believe.
10.09.2010 | პარასკევი
In August 2010, the Fellowship Selection Committee of the Junior Research Fellowship Program (JRFP)-Azerbaijan had the difficult task of selecting the three best policy papers submitted by program participants. The voting, which was held by secret ballot was extremely difficult because these three papers had minimum differences between scores. Thus, the distribution of the top three winners was unknown until the very last moment. CRRC-Azerbaijan is proud to present the winners of the JRFP policy paper competition: Aynur Ramazanova (first place), Shabnam Agayeva (second place) and Gulnar Mammadova (third place).
24.09.2010 | პარასკევი These are the CRRC Georgia team members who work hard on the numbers we usually present!
05.10.2010 | სამშაბათი
The recently updated database of the World Governance Indicators (WGI) shows an improvement in Armenia’s ranking in political stability, fight against corruption, government effectiveness and regulatory quality. A project of World Bank and Brookings Institution, WGI provides governance ranking of over 200 countries since 1996 on six indicators: Voice of Accountability, Political Stability and Absence of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption.
06.10.2010 | ოთხშაბათი
External migration from Georgia since its independence in 1991 has significantly influenced the shape and dynamics of modern Georgia. For instance, almost everyone in Georgia knows at least someone who has migrated. Entire families are supported by remittances sent home and entire communities have been altered by these movements. Georgia's supply of labor, particularly highly skilled labor, has also been significantly affected.
06.10.2010 | ოთხშაბათი Q: What’s the difference between a survey and a census?
10.10.2010 | კვირა
We recently undertook a small online survey of PhD students at Georgia's two major universities. This comes at a time when significant programs and support are already available to Georgian PhD students: CSS is launching a new PhD program, ASCN is offering significant research opportunities, the US Embassy will launch a program with Ilia State University, and now there is CARTI as a further opportunity.
29.10.2010 | პარასკევი
On October 26 Transparency International released the results of the 2010 Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The CPI is a measure of domestic, public sector corruption in 178 countries, rating them on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). Nearly three quarters of the countries in the index score below five and the South Caucasus countries are no exceptions.
10.12.2010 | პარასკევი
According to Transparency International’s recently released 2010 Barometer, rates of corruption in the world are rising. Six out of ten respondents say that corruption has gotten worse over the past three years, and most alarmingly, rates of bribe-paying to the police have nearly doubled since 2006.
17.12.2010 | პარასკევი
Our 300th post is by Ani Navasardyan, from the Civilitas Foundation in Armenia, who was working with our Georgian and Regional office for a month.
01.02.2008 | პარასკევი
The alpha version of our Data Initiative data set, broad household data, covering lots of household data, but also political attitudes, social development, some health, education, migration, and social capital questions (and more) is online now. We interviewed more than 8000 people, so this really is the single largest dataset that is available on developments across the South Caucasus.
21.03.2008 | პარასკევი
Corporate Social Responsibility, a fashionable issue, is becoming a topic in the South Caucasus as well. CRRC research fellow, Giorgi Meladze, explored Georgian corporations’ generosity in his research undertaken in 2006.
01.04.2008 | სამშაბათი
We have recently conducted 20 focus groups across Georgia. (More on the content later.)
Here are some basic tips and tricks we found useful.
Here are some basic tips and tricks we found useful.
17.04.2008 | ხუთშაბათი
Richard Rose, a renowned specialists in the field of Social Capital, is currently visiting Georgia to deliver trainings at CRRC. He offered a public lecture setting out the case for conducting surveys, and entitled "Counting People Helps Make People Count". Not that we needed convincing, but we still enjoyed the way the argument was set out.
03.05.2008 | შაბათი
06.05.2008 | სამშაბათი
Sometimes it's worth clicking on those Gmail links. "Ask 500" is a website in beta, the web version of a straw poll. Polling? Surveys? Obviously I wanted to know more. To say it up front: it's about as unrepresentative as you can get, since it assembles those that suffer from terminal curiosity.
12.06.2008 | ხუთშაბათი
Yet another survey has been sent around as a PDF in Georgia. The survey attempted to measure the postelection mood in Tbilisi. According to the information provided in the PDF, 503 respondents have been selected randomly and interviewed by telephone. According to the results 46.92% of respondents say they "fully disagree with the announced results of the 2008 parliamentary elections". 25,65% say they totally agree with the announced results. We have been asked to comment, and some of the things we have to say will sound pretty obvious.
09.07.2008 | ოთხშაბათი
Recently, we happened upon an article that talks about the use of Russian across the Caucasus. Is Russian becoming obsolete? According to the article, some Georgian politicians suggest this is the case. At the same time, the article points out that the uptake of English is too slow to replace Russian as a lingua franca.
30.07.2008 | ოთხშაბათი
As many of you may have heard, this week saw the launch of a competitor to Google. Cuil, which apparently is an old Irish word for knowledge, has been set up by several former Googlists and promises a search that's more oriented on content, and says it can do a more comprehensive job in the ever-expanding worldwide web.
05.09.2008 | პარასკევი
Georgian IPResearch (first time we heard of them, actually) conducted a phone poll between Aug.25 and Sept.2. 450 respondents were questioned countrywide. While we have our strong reservations about these telephone polls (they are biased towards people with phones, picking up calls from strangers, and bored enough to chat), they may serve as a preliminary indication.
17.09.2008 | ოთხშაბათი
How do urban Russians view the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia? From September, 5th-8th, 2008 the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada conducted a survey in ten big cities of the Russian Federation, interviewing 1000 Russian respondents. We have translated the results into English here, as they are only available in the original Russian on the Levada website.
23.09.2008 | სამშაბათი
As last year, we again went to the annual conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS). This year, it was held at Georgetown University. CESS conference focuses on issues that pertain to Central Eurasia (from the Kurds to the Mongols). What makes this conference attractive, then, is its geographical focus, and that it brings scholars together from a broad array of disciplines: demographers, sociologists, political scientists, ethnographers, linguists, historians, as well as a scattering of other niche groups.
24.09.2008 | ოთხშაბათი
Interested in urban development? Want to know how outsiders describe the urban experience of Baku? Two young researchers from Germany have set up a blog to follow their project in tracking changes in Baku. Oriana Kraemer and Sebastian Burger take photographs, attend lectures, and comment on what they observe. Given the inflow of sudden wealth, Baku witnesses comprehensive change. A great project, therefore.
26.09.2008 | პარასკევი
And here is an update on Russian views, made available by the Levada Center on the 22nd of September. As previously stated, this indicates that Russian public opinion generally supports the government's course.
02.10.2008 | ხუთშაბათი
In Georgia, attention now turns towards sorting out the impact of the short August conflict. How plausible is the reporting we are seeing? Do the journalists get it right?
18.12.2007 | სამშაბათი With the election in Georgia approaching fast, polls are beginning to appear every week. Unfortunately, many of these polls are taken at face value. The reality is that at this point there is not a single pre-election poll that has demonstrated credibility. This does not ...
23.10.2008 | ხუთშაბათი
So here's something that we are a little puzzled about. The Economist is undertaking a poll to see which American Presidential candidate is favored by the world. In a very blue worldwide map, rooting for Obama, two noticeable yellowish spots, Macedonia and Georgia. McCain, of course, is popular in Georgia for having said "Today we all are Georgians" during the recent conflict.
29.10.2008 | ოთხშაბათი
Earlier this year CRRC-Georgia conducted a survey “Public Opinion on the Parliament in Georgia” for Transparency International. CRRC used a random walk methodology for the household selection and Kish table for the individual respondents with the sample size of 1895 respondents (1538 completed interviews; 19% non-response).
08.11.2008 | შაბათი
World Public Opinion is the initiative of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) of the University of Maryland that explores public opinion on a variety of topics in 25 countries across the globe, including Azerbaijan, the only South Caucasus country represented in the survey. Russia and Ukraine are the other two former USSR countries that the project includes.
13.11.2008 | ხუთშაბათი
Indices are engaging and instructive, but some really baffle us. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the organisation that organises the annual high-profile Davos meetings, has come up with a gender index, and the Caucasus is featured. The index is intended to measure how the world is closing the gender gap in education, health, and political and economic participation. In principle, this is a great idea, since there are significant challenges and discrepancies (as our data itself shows).
22.11.2008 | შაბათი
One of the most impressive recent survey efforts, measuring attitudes about different countries in transition, has been undertaken by EBRD. Called Life in Transition Survey (LiTS), this is an attempt to look at how 29 'transitioning' countries have developed following 1989. The survey tracks "public attitudes, well-being, and the impact of economic and political change".
10.12.2006 | კვირა The Georgian Research Institute on Addictions (GRIA) in 2003 conducted a survey of about 700 students in Tbilisi's universities.
03.12.2007 | ორშაბათი With upcoming elections in Georgia, the attention is back on a theme that otherwise often gets neglected: what does the Georgian electorate want?
22.12.2006 | პარასკევი
Diana Ter-Stepanyan evaluated the effectiveness of the civic education training program implemented in Armenian high schools (upper grades of secondary schools). She conducted a quantitative (questionnaire based) survey among 494tenth grade schoolchildren from all of Armenia’s regions to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of “Human Rights,” “Civil Society” and “State and Law” courses offered since 2001 in the scope of the civic education program in the schools.
16.10.2017 | ორშაბათი
Visa liberalization: How much do people in Georgia know about the conditions of visa-free travel to the EU?
CRRC’s previous blog posts have shown that the population of Georgia had rather moderate expectations of the recent visa liberalization with the Schengen zone countries, especially when it comes to the question of how much ordinary people will benefit from it. Europe Foundation’s latest survey on Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia, conducted in May 2017, provides a more nuanced understanding on how people in Georgia feel about this process and to what extent they are familiar with the conditions of visa liberalization.
16.10.2017 | ორშაბათი
Visa liberalization: How much do people in Georgia know about the conditions of visa-free travel to the EU?CRRC’s previous blog posts have shown that the population of Georgia had rather moderate expectations of the recent visa liberalization with the Schengen zone countries, especially when it comes to the question of how much ordinary people will benefit from it. Europe Foundation’s latest survey on Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia, conducted in May 2017, provides a more nuanced understanding on how people in Georgia feel about this process and to what extent they are familiar with the conditions of visa liberalization.
23.10.2017 | ორშაბათი Why do people take the time to respond to surveys in Georgia? A telephone survey experiment CRRC-Georgia carried out in May 2017 suggests that small financial incentives may actually discourage people from participating in surveys. This finding suggests people may respond to surveys for intrinsic (e.g. because they are curious or want to help) rather than extrinsic reasons (e.g. doing something for the money).
13.11.2017 | ორშაბათი Georgian parliament recently adopted constitutional amendments. Among the many changes were those regulating the sale of agricultural land. According to the amendments, “Agricultural land, as a resource of special importance, can only be owned by the state, a self-governing entity, a citizen of Georgia, or a union of Georgian citizens.” While the constitution allows for exceptions, which should be regulated by a law yet to be written, it is expected that foreigners will not be allowed to buy agricultural land in Georgia as freely as Georgian citizens. This blog post looks at public opinion about foreigners owning land in Georgia.
27.11.2017 | ორშაბათი Professionalism, honesty, and fair competition are important in any institution. Yet, incidents involving corruption, nepotism and/or a lack of professionalism are sometimes reported in the Georgian media when the work of local government bodies is covered. How does the public perceive local government? This blog post describes data from the June 2017 CRRC/NDI survey, which show that a majority of people in Georgia thought that there were problems with nepotism and a lack of professionalism in local government. Moreover, roughly half of the population thought that their local government also faces a problem with corruption.
11.12.2017 | ორშაბათი CRRC-Georgia carried out a quasi-experimental, post-hoc, mixed methods impact evaluation of the Agricultural Support Program (ASP) between December 2016 and April 2017 in collaboration with the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The Agricultural Support Program took place in Georgia between 2010 and 2015. It consisted of two components: 1) Small Scale Infrastructure Rehabilitation and 2) Support for Rural Leasing. For the infrastructure component, the project aimed “to remove infrastructure bottlenecks which inhibit increasing participation of economically active rural poor in enhanced commercialization of the rural economy” according to project documentation. Within the infrastructure component, three types of infrastructure were rehabilitated or built: 1) Rehabilitation of primary and secondary irrigation canals; 2) Rehabilitation of bridges used to bring cattle to pasture; 3) The construction of drinking water infrastructure.