Monday, April 25, 2016

"How the 'Arab Youth Survey' was skewed"

"One problem with the survey is that while ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller's account of its findings is strong on presentation, with lots of colourful infographics, there are issues with the underlying data and methodology that it doesn't address. This raises doubts as to whether the survey accurately reflects the views of "Arab youth" as a whole.
In its description of the methodology, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller says the polling firm conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arabs aged 18 to 24, divided equally between male and female. It continues: "Respondents, exclusively nationals of each of the surveyed countries, were selected to provide an accurate reflection of each nation’s geographic and socio-economic make-up. The gender split of the survey is 50:50 male to female. The margin of error of the survey is +/-1.65 per cent."

So far, so good. But there are a couple of problems. One is that the interviews were conducted in large cities, though not just capital cities. ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller boasts about this, saying it "provides a more accurate national picture than findings based solely on the responses of those living in capital cities". That may be true, but it also means the survey only reflects the opinions of urban youth – excluding those in rural areas and smaller towns whose views are not necessarily the same.
A more serious problem, however, is the geographical spread of interviewees across the region..."