The Asia Foundation Releases Single-Largest Public Opinion Survey Ever Conducted in Afghanistan

The Asia Foundation Releases Single-Largest Public Opinion Survey Ever Conducted in Afghanistan

Afghans give opinions on security, democracy, poppy cultivation, the economy, and the roles of Islam and women in society in first of three polls to be conducted through 2008

Kabul and San Francisco, November 9, 2006 — Kabul and San Francisco – November 9, 2006 – Today, The Asia Foundation released findings from the single-largest, most comprehensive public opinion poll ever conducted in Afghanistan.

The poll, “Afghanistan in 2006: A Survey of the Afghan People,” reflects perceptions of democracy, security, poppy cultivation, and the 2005 parliamentary elections — as well as attitudes towards governing institutions, the role of women and Islam in society, and the impact of media. It was conducted between June and August 2006 and consists of a random sample of 6,226 in-person interviews with Afghan men and women, 18 years of age and above, from different social, economic, and ethnic communities. Rural and urban areas in 32 of the 34 provinces were covered, with Uruzgan and Zabul — representing approximately 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent of the population, respectively — excluded due to extreme security conditions.

Click here to view the 2006 survey in its entirety (pdf, 3.9MB).

The survey is separated into seven different categories and opens with findings on the overall national mood in Afghanistan in 2006, which states that 44% of Afghans think the country is headed in the right direction, 21% feel it is moving in the wrong direction, 29% had mixed feelings, and 4% were unsure. This is in comparison to The Asia Foundation’s 2004 survey, “Democracy in Afghanistan,” when 64% of Afghans believed the country was headed in the right direction, 11% felt it was moving in the wrong direction, 8% had mixed feelings, and 16% were unsure.

The survey’s findings will be scrutinized by experts in a companion, analysis document due to be released in December 2006.

The 2006 poll — which was funded through the Foundation’s ongoing cooperative agreement with the U.S. Agency for International Development — was designed, directed, and edited by the Foundation, with all in-person interviews completed by Afghan men and women employed by the Afghan Center for Socio-economic and Opinion Research (ACSOR) in Kabul. This year’s poll builds on the 2004 Foundation survey, with two more set to be conducted in 2007 and 2008, allowing for the measurement of changing opinion among average Afghans.

Related locations: Afghanistan

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