IPPR hits back

The IPPR has hit back at claims that the Afrobarometer survey has an agenda to turn Namibians against the government.

11 July 2018 | Local News

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), as the local partner of the Afrobarometer survey, has expressed concern over comments made by some government officials who have suggested the survey has an agenda to turn Namibians against the government.

“Neither Afrobarometer nor the IPPR, as the local partner, are pushing any agenda or providing our own opinion,” the IPPR said in a statement. “It is disappointing to be subjected to such attacks by government leaders who should welcome independent, high-quality research that could help them better shape their policies.”

This follows Nampa reporting that poverty eradication minister, Zephania Kameeta, had said: “It is clear that [Afrobarometer research] has an agenda to turn the people of this country against the government, and for the citizens not to work with the government in place.”

Furthermore, deputy urban and rural development minister, Derek Klazen, was quoted as saying: “Who sent them, and where are they coming from? They just want to pump lies into the people of this country, and discourage the good work the government is doing.”

According to the IPPR, the aim of the survey is to find out what ordinary Namibians think about a range of political and economic issues.

“On some issues, Namibians are critical of government performance - as with poverty, where a majority of Namibians say that government has not done enough to fight it.”

The IPPR explained that when the survey finds that Namibians are critical of government, it does not mean that Afrobarometer as an organisation or the IPPR as the local partner is condemning government. The survey reflects what ordinary Namibians think about these issues. Respondents to the survey were negative about some aspects of government's performance and positive about others.

The IPPR said it is therefore incorrect to portray the survey as simply having negative findings about government.

“We previously reported that Namibians have very high levels of trust in the president - some of the highest levels on the continent, in fact.

“Such parts of the survey did not draw accusations of a hidden agenda from government ministers,” said the IPPR.

It also pointed out that Klazen spoke at the event where the figures showing high levels of confidence in President Hage Geingob were first presented.

“It is therefore surprising that he spoke out against Afrobarometer's methodology over the weekend.”

According to the institution, Klazen suggested that because Afrobarometer interviewed only a subset of the population the results are not representative of the nation as a whole.

However, the IPPR says this is a common misconception about polling and is not an accurate description of their work.

“In fact, we are confident that our results represent the opinions of voting-age Namibians to a high degree of confidence (95% confidence level with a margin of error of about 3%).”

ELLANIE SMIT

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