D3 Releases AAPOR Presentations

Vienna, Virginia, , June 25, 2012 – D3 Systems recently presented several papers and current research projects at the 67th Annual American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference held in Orlando, Florida, during May 17-20.  Recent projects in Africa and Afghanistan were the focus of the presentations.

South Sudan: Voices from an Emerging Democracy”, written and presented by Brian Kirchhoff, explores the attitudes and opinions of South Sudanese since achieving independence from Sudan in July 2011. In order to measure a variety of attitudes of the South Sudanese people, D3 Systems and its partner, Infinite Insight of Kenya, conducted a survey of urban respondents in five of South Sudan’s largest urban areas in the fall of 2011. Among the major findings was that there was an overwhelming sense of optimism following independence, primarily directed toward key leaders and government, despite the fact that many challenges were identified. The months following the survey’s field period were plagued by renewed violence and instability and may have impacted this optimism, something D3 hopes to follow up on in another wave of the study later this year.

Dameka Williams and Amanda Bajkowski hosted a poster session entitled “Economic Turmoil in Kenya,” sharing the findings from the Kenya National Survey also done by D3 and Infinite Insight.  Kenyan respondents reported being most concerned with economic issues in their country, mentioning unemployment and inflation/high prices as Kenya’s most important problems. Left unaddressed, these sentiments could prove decisive in upcoming Kenyan elections.

On Afghanistan, John Richardson’s “Taliban Reconciliation: The Afghan Perspective” explores Afghan perceptions and opinions of the reconciliation process with the Taliban. Despite overwhelmingly negative views of the Taliban, most Afghans favor a negotiated peace with the Taliban rather than continuing violence, indicating possible fatigue with the on-going stability and signs that a decade of fighting have not eliminated the Taliban or other anti-government elements.  More so than ethnicity, gender, or other basic demographics; Afghans’ perceptions of whether the Taliban has become more or less moderate than when it previously ruled the country is the strongest predictor of Afghans’ position on Taliban reconciliation. Those who believe the Taliban are moderate are far more likely to support negotiations, leaving those concerned that the Taliban is still as strict and harsh as during the previous rule to favor continuing to fight.

And as part of D3’s Women in Muslim Countries (WIMC) project, “Perspectives on Attitudes and Behaviors of Pashtun Women in Pakistan and Afghanistan”, by Anne Pessala, compares survey results from Pashtun women between these two countries and with their non-Pashtun compatriots.   Pashtun women in Afghanistan and Pakistan share a common culture and value system but there is a significant difference in their standards of living and access to basic services.