People’s Alliance for Credible (PACE) is preparing to conduct a Public Opinion Survey on citizens’ democratic aspirations in Myanmar. The PACE Survey is trying to find the public opinion on democratic mechanisms, constitutional reform, the peace process, national and local priority issues and the performance of Government and Pyithu Hluttaw representatives. More importantly, the PACE survey is examining the citizen participation in Myanmar politics and interpersonal trust among citizens.
There are several ways to gather information about people. One way is to contact every person and ask them questions about what you need to know. However, doing a survey of every person is very costly. Another way to collect information is through a sample-based survey, which can collect information more quickly and at low-cost. The PACE survey is not going to focus on every adult citizen (18 years old and older) in Myanmar;
instead, it will be conducted to focus only on randomly selected people by using appropriate methods. From this sample of people, the survey can reflect people’s opinions regarding citizens’ democratic aspirations in Myanmar.
The accuracy of a survey depends, among other things, on the enumerators correctly completing all assigned interviews. This way, PACE can be confident that the survey reflects the accurate picture of citizen perceptions in the whole country.
The accuracy of the survey also depends on another major factor: the absence of bias. To prevent bias, the selection of people included in the sample must be absolutely random. This is why it is so important to follow the instructions exactly and to go back and try again to reach those people who were not at home during your first visit. For example, it may be that married men are more likely to be working away from the house during the day, and if we don’t go back at a different time to interview them, then we may systematically miss working men in the survey.
PACE will deploy nearly 400 enumerators to 600 villages and wards throughout the country. An enumerator will be sent out to a selected ward or village to randomly choose and interview five people from five different houses. We expect to interview 3,000 citizens (18 years old or older in this survey. The enumerator will conduct face-to-face interviews with randomly selected persons using a structured questionnaire.