2006Workshop on Public Opinion Surveys
In fulfillment of its key objectives, the Arab Reform Initiative organized a workshop in Amman in mid-December to introduce academics, analysts, and reformers to important operational tools required to conduct regional cross-country opinion polls on the status of Arab reform in six selected countries: Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Opinion polling can serve more than measurement purposes. Polling can also help researchers to conceptualize reform and illustrate transitions towards democracy in quantitative and comparative terms. It is thus imperative to devise a survey instrument that will stand the test of time. Participants decided to begin constructing an “Arab Reform Index” to record and measure the fluctuations and trajectories of reform over time. The polls will focus not only on empirical indices of reform, but also on public perceptions and conceptions of reform processes. Therefore, questions will be formulated and posed within an outcome-based framework.
A second workshop will take place in Amman on May 12, 2006 to discuss:
a) Definitions and Conceptions of Reform; b) Assessing Specific Components of Reform: i. Political and Administrative Reform; ii. Economic Reform; iii. Social Reform; iv. Cultural and Religious Reform; v. Security Sector Reform.