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Baseline Survey 2004 Presentation of Results and Highlights Lusaka, November 10th, 2005 Introduction Summary and highlights Who participated How do people participate in the political process (existing modes and potential means) Perceptual realities and obstacles The Good News Concluding thoughts The Basic Facts – Who Participated Citizens 80 Stakeholders 60 MPs Citizens Stakeholders Stakeholders MPs Staff of National Assembly Media 1200 NGOs working with NA The “How” of Democracy at work. Zambians feel strongly about Accountability. Elections make a difference… Nine in ten citizens believe that “if the members of the National Assembly ignored what the people of Zambia have to say” they would “probably” (12 percent) or “definitely” (79 percent) lose the next election. 81% of MPs are “fairly certain” that they would lose an election if they ignored public opinion. And in the middle: 55% of Stakeholders believed the MPs would lose the election. More on the “How”… Public participation can influence MPs… When asked if it was possible to make an MP listen by contacting them… 92% of MPs thought it possible; 48% of citizens thought is possible; And, 58% of Stakeholders thought is possible. Question: what kind of contact? Is one form better then another? Inducing responsiveness of MPs through collective community groups. Joining Community organisations: Citizens Stakeholders MPs 63% 74% 72% Joining large churches or trade unions: Citizens Stakeholders MPs 63% 80% 76% Interesting numbers on Church Organization Collective organization through Church organizations in Zambia is very strong 90 percent belong in some form to a religious group 55 percent saying they are “active” members Zambians’ level of affiliation in church organizations is the highest recorded in any of the 16 Afrobarometer countries. Structures that can enhance democratic participation of Zambians exist. Democratic history of voting and elections Strong collective organisation via churches and other bodies Strong and active civil society So what is the problem? Perceptual Gaps One quarter of citizens think that MPs are interested or very interested in hearing what people like think. This is a decline from the 36 percent in 1999. Nine in ten MPs feel that they and their colleagues are interested or very interested. And, 48% of Stakeholders believe that MPs are interested or very interested in hearing what other Stakeholders think. Some agreement on performance of MPs When it comes to the actual performance of MPs, such as representing the people of Zambia, 49% of MPs thought they were doing well or very well. 39% of Citizens thought MPs were performing well or very well in representing Zambians. And, 25% of Stakeholders thought MPs were performing well or very well in representing Zambians One possible explanation for underperformance… MPs too sick to work. Stress and travel, amongst other factors, makes the job of MPs a challenging task. 16 percent said they were “often” so worried or anxious that they felt tired or worn out (a classic definition of depression) In the past month, how much of the time: Never Rarely Sometimes Often NA Has your physical health reduced the amount of work you normally do 17 37 32 15 (14) inside or outside your home? Have you been so worried or anxious that you have felt tired, worn out, or 10 36 31 16 (14) exhausted? A second reason: Travel a major obstacle for MPs Although MPs expressed a strong desire to spend more time listening to and meeting the people, it is personally costly to MPs. Nine in ten say that travel costs constitute a “major burden” to them (88 %), and one half say the time costs are a major burden (49 %). A third reason…? MPs dissatisfied with their salaries Not Satisfied Not Very Satisfied At All Satisfied Satisfied Your current salary as member of the 75 19 3 2 National Assembly Current allowances for constituency 81 16 2 0 work Resources for constituency offices 83 16 0 0 Possible linkage - this is a common factor in assessments relating to corruption, which was a component of the survey Perceptual Gaps (return) One quarter of citizens think that MPs are interested or very interested in hearing what people like think. This is a decline from the 36 percent in 1999. Nine in ten MPs feel that they and their colleagues are interested or very interested. And, 48% of Stakeholders believe that MPs are interested or very interested in hearing what other Stakeholders think. What should MPs be doing? Setting priorities for MPs Asked to indicate three key areas a vast majority mentioned various elements of development work. Development Deliver development 51 Improve infrastructure 46 Implement health policies 19 Improve agriculture / Help farmers 20 Implement Education policies 14 Help the poor 7 Social welfare issues 5 Representation Listening to people 29 Represent people 28 Knowledge and information gap Interestingly, even though people think MPs aren’t performing adequately, 34% don’t actually know what an MP spends most of their time doing. Negative perceptions, however, dominate. Half said they thought MPs spend most of their time looking after personal affairs. 6% felt that MPs actually spent time developing the community (which was a priority for 40%) More perceptual differences… With regard to Committee work, a majority of MPs feel it is easy for CSOs to access hearings, make submissions, or offer testimony. Stakeholders, on the other hand, were less positive regarding the ease with which it is possible to interact with Committees. However, both agreed overwhelmingly that there is too little interaction between CSOs and Committees. The Good News 1. Citizens perceive government to be more transparent Mostly due to a substantial increase in media output and access to media. 2. Citizens perceive government to be less corrupt Perceptions of corruption in the National Assembly and amongst government officials have declined markedly since 1999, but have increased for police, border officials and teachers and school administrators. And finally… The political process is an enigma wrapped in mystery. Since 1999, surveys have consistently shown that seven and eight of every ten people agree or strongly agree with the statement: “Politics and government seem so complicated that you can’t really understand what’s going on.” The 79 % agreement in 2003 was the highest level recorded for the 16 Afrobarometer countries in 2002-3003. Thank you for you attention and attendance.
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