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Who cares what you think? Do people's voices matter for Sustainable Development?

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As the world embarks on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) era, efforts abound to improve development planning and measure impacts. The talk is of a "data revolution".

But does the sector that once talked endlessly of participation and ownership care any more about the voices of citizens and beneficiaries? Or has a focus on value-for-money and efficiency obscured this previously central mantra. Of the 230 SDG progress indicators, only four relate to people's perceptions.

In this context, we ask if, by accident or design, the international development community has de-prioritised listening. We also discuss the value of perceptions vs "objective" data. Is giving people a voice an expensive and methodologically complicated luxury or does it need to regain its place at the heart of the debate?

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Who cares what you think? Do people's voices matter for Sustainable Development?

  1. 1. DO PEOPLE’S VOICES MATTER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT? WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK?
  2. 2. BOBBY DUFFY DIRECTOR, Ipsos Social Research Institute
  3. 3. 3 © 2015 Ipsos. Agenda: Director, Ipsos Sustainable Development Research Centre Jonathan Glennie Director and Co-founder, Gapminder Ola Rosling Director, Ipsos PA, Sub-Saharan Africa Virginia Nkwanzi QUESTIONS DRINKS Director, Ipsos Social Research Institute Bobby Duffy Exec Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data Claire Melamed Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development Michael Anderson
  4. 4. 4 © 2015 Ipsos. Two intertwined themes… The Power and Perils of Perceptions… 1 The importance of putting peoples’ voices at heart of sustainable development 2 The importance of acknowledging and understanding misperceptions…
  5. 5. 5 © 2015 Ipsos. PERILS OF PERCEPTION 2016 A 40-Country Study
  6. 6. 6 © 2015 Ipsos. [COUNTRY] ABOUT HOW MANY DO OUT OF EVERY 100 PEOPLE IN Actual… Guess… 1% 17% YOU THINK ARE MUSLIM?
  7. 7. 7 © 2015 Ipsos. OUT OF EVERY 100 PEOPLE IN PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT 2020, Projection… Guess… 1.1% 23% [COUNTRY] HOW MANY DO YOU THINK WILL BE MUSLIM?
  8. 8. 8 © 2015 Ipsos. We struggle with maths... – and we’re thinking “fast”… But also Emotional Innumeracy… Media and political discourse… SO WRONG…? WHY DO WE GET IT
  9. 9. JONATHAN GLENNIE DIRECTOR, Ipsos Sustainable Development Research Centre
  10. 10. 10 © 2015 Ipsos. THE IPSOS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT RESEARCH CENTRE
  11. 11. 11 © 2015 Ipsos. A global commitment
  12. 12. 12 © 2015 Ipsos. WHOSE PRIORITIES MATTER?
  13. 13. 13 © 2015 Ipsos. My team’s work has been quadrupled, but my budget has not! Only 4 indicators are based on perceptions 8MDGs 17SDGs 169 Data overload? targets 230 indicators!!
  14. 14. 14 © 2015 Ipsos. “Do women have the same opportunities as men in South Africa?” 70 58 47 Men Overall Women 59 44 29 Men Overall Women Yes, there is gender equality in South Africa (%) Yes, the government is doing enough (%)
  15. 15. 15 © 2015 Ipsos. “Do women have the same opportunities as men in India? 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 Actual inequality (higher = more equal) (UNDP Gender Inequality Index, 2014) Perceivedinequality (IpsosGlobal@dviser,2016) India China
  16. 16. 16 © 2015 Ipsos. Why am I showing a photo of Michael Gove?
  17. 17. 17 © 2015 Ipsos. John Gray, writing in the New Statesman Much of what has passed for expert knowledge consists of speculative or discredited theories… When rattled liberals talk of the triumph of emotion over reason, what they mean is that voters are ignoring the intellectual detritus that has guided their leaders and are responding instead to facts and their own experiences.”
  18. 18. 18 © 2015 Ipsos. Experts in this country don’t understand the lives of people like me” 31% 29% 8% 4% Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree
  19. 19. 19 © 2015 Ipsos. WHOSE REALITY COUNTS?
  20. 20. 20 © 2015 Ipsos. Thanks for listening. We look forward to working with you.
  21. 21. CLAIRE MELAMED EXEC DIRECTOR, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
  22. 22. 22 © 2015 Ipsos. Data Revolution
  23. 23. 23 © 2015 Ipsos.
  24. 24. 24 © 2015 Ipsos. Data is the raw material for information governments to people people to governments
  25. 25. VIRGINIA NKWANZI DIRECTOR, Ipsos PA, Sub-Saharan Africa
  26. 26. 26 © 2015 Ipsos.26 Lessons and Experiences from Africa VIRGINIA NKWANZI Director Public Affairs, Sub Saharan Africa The Influence of perceptions © 2017 Ipsos. All rights reserved. Contains Ipsos' Confidential and Proprietary information and may not be disclosed or reproduced without the prior written consent of Ipsos.
  27. 27. Its people and influences
  28. 28. 28 © 2015 Ipsos. …influenced by: Influence of the East (China) and West (America and Europe)
  29. 29. 29 © 2015 Ipsos. Factors that shape people’s perceptions in Africa AFRICA • Values and social norms are strong and are the main identity for the society • Male dominated society – implications on gender and human rights • Strong society relationships affect change and influence perceptions. • Mass inclusion – UBUNTU (I am because you are). CULTURE AND RELIGION CLOSE KNIT SOCIETY
  30. 30. 30 © 2015 Ipsos. Factors that shape people’s perceptions in Africa AFRICA • Word of Mouth is more effective and trusted than mass media • The power of the Elite and political leaders • Most countries in Africa have come out or are in war and conflict situations. • Displaced and moving population – transformation of culture and perception. COMMUNICATION AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS WAR AND INTERNAL CONFLICT
  31. 31. 31 © 2015 Ipsos. Factors that shape people’s perceptions in Africa AFRICA • Affects the general outlook of individuals society. • Feeling of selflessness POVERTY
  32. 32. Relevance for the SDGs
  33. 33. 33 © 2015 Ipsos. How to encourage handwashing AFRICA • Triggers of handwashing with soap in studies done in East Africa show that handwashing is associated with: • Spirituality: Purity among Muslim women • Attractiveness: for married women • Purity? Babies are pure, do not need to wash hands after changing nappies. 33 © 2015 Ipsos.
  34. 34. 34 © 2015 Ipsos. Men need to be actively involved in gender related interventions AFRICA • Involving male spouses in family planning interventions leads to better results • Working with men in gender based violence interventions reduces the incidence of violence
  35. 35. 35 © 2015 Ipsos. Malnutrition can be driven by misperception that expensive = healthy food AFRICA • People in rural areas think that processed food is more nutritious than fresh food because it is more expensive – so even relatively well-to-do households are malnourished
  36. 36. 36 © 2015 Ipsos. The need to work with community structures to achieve positive behaviour change AFRICA ― The role of women groups in: ―Financial inclusion ―Early Childhood Development and maternal health ―Health workers played an important role in Ebola crisis in West Africa, undertaking birth registration etc. ―Local council chiefs in Uganda important for the success of Census
  37. 37. 37 © 2015 Ipsos. The importance of dealing with cultural bottlenecks using role models AFRICA •Funeral rituals: West Africa and Ebola •Inheritance rights: HIV/AIDS in Uganda
  38. 38. Thank you!
  39. 39. Thank you! Watch this space for more…
  40. 40. 40 © 2015 Ipsos.

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