Afrobarometer survey reflects what ordinary Namibians think about – IPPR
The local partner of the Afrobarometer survey, the IPPR, notes with concern some of the comments made by Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Rev. Zephania Kameeta and Deputy Minister of Urban and Rural Development Derek Klazen regarding the Afrobarometer survey in Namibia.
The Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) reported that Minister Kameeta suggested, “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.”
Minister 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.”
The aim of the Afrobarometer survey is to find out what ordinary Namibian citizens 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 poverty.
When the Afrobarometer survey finds that 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.
Rather, the Afrobarometer survey reflects what ordinary Namibians think about these issues. It is incorrect to portray the survey as simply having negative findings about government.
Previously, the IPPR publicised those issues on which Namibians praised government. For example, 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. It is important to understand that neither Afrobarometer nor the IPPR as the local partner are pushing any agenda or providing our own opinion.
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 +/-3%).
The methodology which Afrobarometer uses is based on best statistical practices and has been used successfully around the world. The Afrobarometer has been recognised as a gold standard in Africa and across the globe.
We are therefore confident that what we report are the best available data on the opinions of Namibians.
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.
We also repeatedly invited Minister Kameeta to speak at our event on poverty, but his office never responded to us.
Finally, it is disappointing that neither Nampa nor the various other media outlets reporting on these speeches reached out to us for comment. We would have liked to explain our stance: that Afrobarometer results are not our opinions, but those of the Namibian people, that our methodology follows best practices, and that we believe the criticisms we have received are based on a misunderstanding of our work.