Hargeisa, Somaliland – IRI released its first survey of public opinion for the electoral district of Hargeisa.  This rare poll, fielded September 28-October 8, 2011, is part of IRI’s democracy and governance program and is designed to enable leaders to identify citizen priorities, appropriately manage expectations and better inform the electorate of their progress.

Residents of Hargeisa District are largely optimistic about their future and credit the Somaliland government with moving Somaliland in the right direction.  The government and president have a very high support rating; however, a significant number of respondents also believe that the current government is out of touch with the needs of the people.

Outside of their desire for state recognition, most respondents believe poverty, unemployment and a lack of development and industry are Somaliland’s biggest problems.  A majority of respondents also indicated that the government is doing a fairly bad or very bad job with regards to job creation and keeping prices down.  Of note, 95 percent of respondents feel very safe, but chief among their fears is conflict or civil war. 

The study was designed and analyzed by Opinion Research Business (ORB).  The survey was fielded by Data and Research Solutions (DARS) under the supervision of IRI and ORB.  The margin of error for the district sample will not exceed plus or minus four percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.  The survey was conducted in Somali language only, by local Somalilanders who were trained in survey methodology by DARS and ORB.

The randomly selected sample consists of 600 men and women of voting age (16+) from the five rural and five urban sub-districts of Hargeisa District.  The representative random sample is proportional to the population distribution and is based on the number of registered voters in each of Hargeisa’s 10 sub-districts.

A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, IRI advances freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections, good governance and the rule of law. 

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