asking people what they think (I)

this is only a small splinter off my much larger soapbox of “why don’t we ask a multitude of stakeholders at all levels what they think and why they think x program did/not work?” but… check it out.

instead of channeling the world’s poorest citizens through malfunctioning microphones, I am proposing a radical, yet extremely simple, approach. let’s just ask them. not through some kind of “inclusive” process where a handful of token representatives have a chance to speak their minds. no, that is hardly better than what’s currently on the table. we should ask the masses directly.

organizations like Afrobarometer already do this in sub-Saharan Africa. their surveys ask households across the demographic spectrum to state their most pressing concerns. And, some of their responses might surprise you. for example, poor infrastructure (e.g. roads and power) is the biggest concern for roughly one in five households in sub-Saharan Africa. just one in 20 say that health is their biggest concern, while education is even less important. who would have known? we need to build upon these existing efforts with a more targeted survey specifically for the MDGs 2.0 debate – which would be standardized across the developing world.

sign me up.