The recently published National Poll of Guyana by the International Republican Institute (IRI) for the period January 4 to January 24, 2022 has been deemed by the Guyana Government as lacking integrity.
Specific areas touched on by Government spokeswoman, Gail Teixeira, are the limited data pool, low response rate, the methodology, and whether all parties involved followed ethical guidelines.
The findings of this survey were published on April 13 last and can be downloaded from the IRI website. According to the survey, the sample size was 1500 Guyanese adults aged 18 and older hailing from the 10 administrative regions.
Commenting on the response rate, which has been recorded as 20 percent, Ms Teixeira has noted that such a low rate of responses changes the sampling methodology from “a random sample to what is called a convenient sample.”
“The problem therefore with a convenience sample is that because it is not random the results cannot and should not be generalised to the entire population because it is likely to be biassed.”
She pointed to other surveys conducted in the past three years that had response rates of 78 percent in case of the Women’s Health and Life Experiences Survey in 2019, and the Covid Survey of 2020 which has a response rate of 67.1 percent.
The Minister of Governance also raised issues with the ambiguity of questions asked in the survey. She mentioned specifically, a question that dealt with whether respondents felt there was voter discrimination.
“Voter discrimination and voters feeling that someone may have discriminated against them by making comments of an ethnic basis are not the same thing. Voter discrimination is very specific in meaning where they (voters) don’t have access to the ballot, they don’t have access to the polling station because they’ve been prevented from doing that.”
Cases of voter discrimation as described by Ms. Teixeira has not been found nor reported by international and local observers during Guyana’s General and Regional Elections in 2020.
It is with these many concerns in mind, that has led the Guyana Government to withhold their support of the findings of the National Poll of Guyana.
“We are not in support of much of what the findings are because one must be convinced that a survey is done according to ethical issues, scientific issues, and technical issues and that the methodology must be above board.”
According to Teixeira, the integrity of the survey must be above board.