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Vision Groups' presidential poll was spot-on

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th August 2010 03:00 AM

VISION Group recently released results of a national opinion poll it had commissioned. New Vision outlined how the poll was conducted, but this has not stemmed the criticisms from the opposition and NRM party.

VISION Group recently released results of a national opinion poll it had commissioned. New Vision outlined how the poll was conducted, but this has not stemmed the criticisms from the opposition and NRM party.

By Ventorino Otto

VISION Group recently released results of a national opinion poll it had commissioned. New Vision outlined how the poll was conducted, but this has not stemmed the criticisms from the opposition and NRM party.

Both the ruling party and the opposition have spat venom at the poll results because what they revealed about the prospects of their presidential hopefuls in the 2011 elections. NRM supporters complained that the 52% support President Museveni reportedly garnered in the poll understated the true popularity of their candidate.

The FDC, on the other hand, said the lowly 16% voter popularity the poll found for its presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, is a government-inspired propaganda designed to demoralise their supporters ahead of the 2011 elections.

Empirical research, be it surveys or opinion polls, are always grounded in scientific methods.

The quality of a research relies not only in the integrity, training and experience of the researcher, but also in the “appropriateness” of the research design and data-collection instruments.

When faced with a research outcome that one finds disagreeable, it is advisable for one to focus on analysing the research design and the data-collection instruments.

How was the sampling done? It is important to take cognition of the study limitations the researcher declared. Find out if the research was guided by any ethical considerations.

The benchmark is that the same research should produce a similar outcome even if it were conducted by another adequately trained researcher using the same methodology and tools.

Recently I carried out a survey in northern Uganda for candidates in the on-going NRM primary elections, and the survey closely resembled that of the Vision Group in northern Uganda.

The survey, like that of the Vision Group found that in northern Uganda health and roads topped the priority list, followed by agriculture and education.

The writer is a development trainer and researcher

Vision Groups' presidential poll was spot-on

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