Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Nationwide Survey Reveals Voter Demands

From all over Afghanistan, ordinary people are crying out for security, water and jobs, according to a national survey conducted by Afghan journalists.
By IWPR

The survey included more than 3,000 people in 21 provinces. It was carried
out in mid-August by 100 journalists, as part of a workshop
on civic journalism and the presidential elections, produced by IWPR (Institute
for War and Peace Reporting) in cooperation with Internews.


The results of the survey and stories exploring the problems faced by Afghans
are being published and broadcast this week.


A 16-page newspaper, with 50,000 copies in Dari and 50,000 in
Pashtu, will be distributed free via 100 Nye Distribution points nationwide.
And an eight-programme radio package has gone out to 45 independent and government
stations across the country via the Tanin Distribution Network. Radio
stations receiving the stories include the network of 21 independent stations
set up by Internews and other regional and state stations around the country.


The goal of the survey was to give voice to the problems encountered by ordinary people, present
them to the candidates before the election, and demand answers to help
voters make their decision.


The newspaper, Demands of the People, includes 4 pages comparing
the 18 presidential candidates. They submitted answers to five questions,
which were based on the results of the survey.


Journalists interviewed men and women of all ages and education levels,
from villages and cities.


The survey results showed that:



  • About 82 per cent of citizens plan to vote in the election, saying
    they want to exercise their right to choose a president. Another 15
    per cent said they won’t vote; only 3 per cent weren’t sure.


  • Security is the top problem in most regions, with citizens living in
    fear of local commanders who kill, steal water and land, and demand
    money.


  • Shortage of water, economic problems, lack of healthcare and education
    were the other top problems cited by people nationwide.


  • When asked what they would say to the president, citizens said they would ask for
    help with these problems, and expressed anger and frustration with the
    lack of progress.




The survey was the focus of a two-week workshop, held in eight cities,
led by 10 IWPR Afghan journalism trainers.


The project was made possible with funding from the European Commission
and USAID, via Internews
and IWPR.


English versions of some stories are being published in the Afghan
Recovery Report
.