Opinion Survey for better governance
Contract for Haiti
Lastly, please tell us a little about yourself.
Your votes will remain anonymous, but this basic data will help us provide more meaningful results and prevent multiple voting.
By filling this out, I pledge that this is my single vote in the VoteHaiti global survey.
I will not vote more than once.
Basic general questions answered
Background: the Contract for Haiti
"What made China the world’s factory? What made India the world’s technology hub? What made Israel a leading innovation centre? Connecting with their diasporas. Today Haiti can and must do the same..."
Currently, there are an estimated 4.5 million Haitians residing outside of Haiti. The Haitian diaspora has formed hundreds of associations to strengthen and support each other in their new countries and to mobilize resources for the country they left behind. There are reportedly more than 200 HTAs in New York, Miami, Boston, Montreal, Ottawa, and the French Caribbean. In addition to HTAs, there are dozens of humanitarian, faith-based, and professional diaspora organizations.
In partnership with multilateral, bilateral, and private players, HAA seeks to further enable and enhance the human and financial capital contributions of the Haitian Diasporas to the economic development of Haiti. Over the next two years, HAA will focus on strengthening policy, financial, and human capital development in Haiti through a portfolio of activities and support in partnership with other Haitian Diaspora associations, partner countries, partner donors, and Haitian Diaspora Professional Networks and Hometown Associations
This survey is a first step towards getting a more cohesive and coordinated Diaspora involvement.
What is HAA?
The Haitian American Alliance of New York, Inc. (HAA) is a private 501-(C) (3) non-profit organization established in New York City in 1996. It grew out of the local chapter of the national Haitian American Alliance, based in Washington, D.C. The New York chapter focused on social/cultural and economic/political issues that impacted the Haitian community nationally and in the United States. HAA developed a special task force to address compelling community issues such as police brutality and Haiti disaster relief. We provided legal clinics, citizenship classes, Youth and Adult education classes in English as a Second Language, Computer classes. The organization has since evolved into a 9-Member Board of Directors and a Global Advisory Board. Staff members work with an array of volunteers, mostly young Haitian professionals. HAA has several committees overseeing program development, budget and finance, marketing practices, membership and partnerships, fundraisers and events including social media to support the goals of the organization.
How will it work?
- The survey is available online at http://www.votehaiti.com/participate/ in three languages. Citizens will also be able to participate in this survey through mobile technologies such as SMS and IVR (toll-free phone numbers) from May first 2013.
- The survey will also be available offline in paper form – distributed through a network of grass roots organizations, faith based communities, youth groups, private sector bodies and NGO partners. The support of these organizations is vital in reaching out directly into communities and drawing the digitally disconnected communities into the global debate.
- Participants will be asked their gender, age and country, to allow for disaggregation of data and to present decision makers with an accurate global picture of what the Diaspora thinks.
When and where will this all happen?
- From now until July 2013, we want as many people from the Diaspora as possible to be involved: Haitians of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
- Contract for Haiti will be available from early May 2012, so organizations hosting consultations can take it into account.
What will happen to the survey results?
- Data from mobile phones, website and offline surveys will be continuously consolidated and available on the HAA website.
- Results will be submitted to all candidates and government officials. HAA will continue gathering people's voices and results will be shared with Haitian leaders.
Basic methodology questions answered
What is this survey for?
Vote Haiti/Participate is a way of listening to what Haitians from the Diaspora think a new Haiti should look like. It will complement other initiatives bringing Haitian diaspora voices into Haiti's Development discussions.
Vote Haiti/Participate complements other efforts to bring the Diaspora together by providing quantitative data on priorities. The options in the survey are deliberately framed in a broad way: ‘better healthcare’ for example, or ‘equality between men and women’ to make these issues understandable to ordinary citizens. The other consultations will be complementary and provide additional information to allow policy makers to understand people’s views and priorities within each of these broad headings, and to consider if and how these could be translated into goals, targets and indicators.
Vote/Haiti Participate provides a bridge between the other consultation processes, and the political process focusing on how to prioritize to create a manageable agenda for Haiti.
The intention is not to create a definite 'answer' as to what Haiti’s priorities should be , but to contribute information to decision makers to ensure that what emerges as country priorities is informed by the views of the Haitian Diaspora. The survey will also provide the basis for a contract for Haiti which will outline values, legislation and policies to be enacted by the executive and legislative branches of government during their tenure in office. The Survey will create the basis for a written commitment with no fine print, where the expectations of the Haitian Diaspora are clearly defined.
Why these 20 options?
Choosing a list of options for a proposal like this is a very difficult task. This is the process we went through to choose the 20 options:
- An initial list of 30 top-line options and explanatory paragraphs was drawn up based on the current development issues, a review of civil society and other proposals, various Sustainable Development Goals proposals, and existing data from participatory research and polling. The options chosen were those which emerged as clear themes from these sources, and which were likely issues for global.
- This list then went out for consultation, among a group of individuals from the Diaspora, policy makers, academics and development partners. Following the feedback, it was decided to reduce the list to 20, in order to make the survey simpler and more accessible. This list then went out for a second round of consultations among a smaller group, including an opinion polling company, for a second round.
- Following this consultation, it was decided to increase the number to 16 to accommodate the new round of comments.
- A final test was conducted through an SMS survey in Miami, where an open question was asked and the responses coded back to the 20 options. When asked about issues of most importance to individuals and their families, less than four per cent of responses did not fall under the 20 options categories.
But what if I want to choose a different option?
The survey provides an opportunity for participants to enter their own priority, through a 21st ‘your own option’ choice. Answer provided here will analysed very carefully to see if there are missing themes or new ideas that are generating support. The analysis of these free-form options will be made available.
Why are the options worded like this?
The options have to be understandable to everyone everywhere, not just development experts. We worked with a polling company and with communications experts in three organizations to revise the language to ensure that it is accessible and as free as possible of jargon or culturally specific references.
Why have you asked ‘what matters most to you and your family’?
While governments think of a Development agenda on an aggregate level, ultimately its purpose is to make life better for people. So asking what is important to people seems a better and clearer starting point than asking people to imagine a remote government program agreement and what should be in it. The survey is framed around individual priorities, but we recognize that for many people their personal interests and choices are inextricably linked to those of their families (parents, for example, might answer the question with their aspirations for their children in mind). We have therefore tried to get across the idea that while we are asking people what matters to them as individuals, we recognize that their happiness is bound up with that of others.
In addition, wording the question like this means that there is less room for respondents to interpret the question differently, which is a risk if we asked a broader question on the priorities for global governance, or one about country or community priorities.
Why limit people to 20 options …couldn’t you just ask an open question?
VoteHaiti/Participate is just one part of a global consultation effort, and all the others involve open questions. There are lots of ways for people to put forward their points of view, and these different methods can complement each other. The role of VoteHaiti/participate is to offer insights about the Diaspora’s priorities, and for that it was necessary to predetermine the list of options. As described above, great efforts have been made to ensure that the priorities are representative of the things people have said are important.
In addition, there are two technical and methodological reasons for asking closed questions:
- Given that the survey is going to be done in multiple languages, and through different mediums (web, SMS and offline), current technology is not good enough for the responses to an open question to be grouped consistently and credibly into clusters for analysis using available software. Manual coding of the several thousand responses we are hoping for in this project would make the project prohibitively expensive and time-consuming.
- Major polling partners have shared their experience that participation rates are very significantly lower in surveys with open questions. This is not surprising as they require more thought and effort from the participants. Therefore, in order to maximize participation and make the survey as accessible as possible, offering closed options is a better solution.
But you can’t really tackle Haiti's problems through a list of single issues – everything is connected.
We agree. That’s why it was important to give people a large number of options and to allow them to choose more than one. Choosing 10 out of the 20 will allow people to think about what combinations of actions might produce the best effect. It will also allow people to select options which tackle the same problem in different ways: a parent concerned that their daughter should get a good education, for example, might want to choose both 'equality between men and women' and 'a good education' to represent the different dimensions of the changes they want to see.
We tested the poll with three pilot groups to see whether it made a difference if people were asked to choose 3, 5, or 7 options. Respondents were asked whether the survey was harder/easier and more or less enjoyable. No noticeable differences were found.
How will you know if people answering the survey are representative of the Diaspora as a whole or of different groups within it?
We are going to find out as much as we can about the people answering the survey, so we can say as much as possible about whom they are. But we will be extremely careful not to over-claim, by being open and transparent about the content and limitations of the data. In addition, we are taking advice from a global expert opinion polling company about how to analyze and present the data. The levels of information are as follows:
- Gender – all respondents will be asked their gender so this applies to all data
- Age – again, all respondents
- Country – all respondents
- Method of response – we will be able to analyze the data according to how people take the survey, which will establish any broad differences between the three groups.
- Date and time of response – to evaluate the impact of any marketing campaigns and to pick up any automated programs that could rig the results.
- Educational level – all off-line and SMS participants will be asked this question. In addition, all online participants will be asked this question as an optional extra (this is to minimize the dropout rate)
- Sub-national region – we will have this information about SMS participants from the mobile operators, and about offline participants from the surveyors. Online participants will again be asked this question as an optional extra, to minimize dropout rates.
How will you present the data?
It will be possible to view the data from the web survey in real time, and data from the SMS and offline surveys will also be added as rapidly as possible to ensure the results are up to date.
In addition, the extra information collected from people taking the survey will be used to disaggregate the data to provide a picture of how priorities differ between countries, demographic and socio-economic groups. We will report on the priorities of different groups and countries separately.
We will also aggregate the results by country, region and globally. In doing so, we will use the information collected from participants to weight the responses so that when data is aggregated, it is done so in a way that provides as representative a picture as possible of the whole population. Options for weighting include:
- Demographic factors: weighting the responses from each country in line with population size, from men and women and different age groups to reflect the balance in the population.
- Socio-economic factors and sub-national regional demographics. We expect to have information about level of education and sub-national region of residence for a sizeable sub-group of the total respondents. Once the numbers are large enough it will therefore be possible to weight responses in a way that reflects the socioeconomic as well as demographic composition of countries.
- Proxies for income: to some extent the three response methods are proxies for different income groups, with the wealthiest being more likely to have access to the web and the poorest most likely to be among those participating offline. This is particularly the case given that the focus for the offline survey will be the poorest regions in the different countries in which it is administered. We will experiment with different ways of weighting the responses according to how the survey was carried out, to reflect regional population patterns and the distribution of income groups within countries.
Isn’t there a bit more to a new framework than just short-listing the most important issues to people round the world?
The Vote/Haiti participate survey is just one of a whole range of consultations and political processes that will contribute to a new Haiti agenda. And knowing about priorities for different groups will be important in shaping those politics.
In framing the 20 options, we were very aware that this process is about designing global goals, so the options all represent issues that could usefully and feasibly be tackled through international action. We excluded some things, like, for example, religion, which we know are very important to people but which would be less appropriate as subjects for new global goals.
"VoteHaiti" is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
"VoteHaiti" may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page regularly to ensure that you are happy with any changes.
What we collect
We may collect the following information:
- The ten priorities you have selected
- Optional priority you have suggested
- Your Name, Phone, Email, Gender, Age, Country
- Origin of your vote (IP address)
- Identification cookie for potential future website membership
"VoteHaiti" does NOT sell or share your survey responses with third party advertisers or marketers.
Results from the website, mobile phone and offline surveys will be submitted to the independent committee in 2013.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
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- VoteHaiti is a non-partisan platform to promote democracy and good governance in Haiti. Vote Haiti has been endorsed by the Haitian American Alliance, the Haitian Diaspora Federation, Bandwam, TNJH, and many other diaspora organisations.
We are looking for Volunteers and Reps. in New York, Miami, Boston, Montreal, Paris, Antilles.
About Haitian American Alliance
The Haitian American Alliance of New York, Inc. (HAA) is a private non-profit volunteer organization established in 1996 to empower Haitian Americans through increased participation in areas of social, political, and economic endeavors.
The organization's membership includes dynamic and dedicated volunteers who work for the delivery of effective programs and services to the New York Haitian Community. HAA strives to be a model of leadership in the Community.