VOA Poll Shows Somalis Want Vote on Constitution
According to a recent Voice of America press release, “a Voice of America telephone survey in Somalia shows a majority of those polled want a national referendum on the draft constitution that will soon be considered by a select group of community elders.”
- Low-cost innovation: VOA used pre-existing, open-source software to create and carry out the poll.
- Mobile-friendly: 3,000 Somalis agreed to voice their opinions via mobile technology (SMS)
- Closing gender and age gaps: Both men and women, young and old, are in favor of direct voting privileges versus a traditional elder voting system
- Actionable data: Using the survey’s data, policymakers have plans to submit the document to be considered by a Constituent Assembly and eventually by Somalia’s new permanent Parliament.
- Cultural evolution: Most Somalis said they wanted Sharia law and a strong central government, but that they would like to have freedom of expression–including freedom of the press and media.
- Country-wide participation: The survey included people from all around the country–and also the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.
- Interactivity: VOA’s Somali Service published parts of the proposed constitution on its website. Every Sunday evening, VOA invites listeners to call in and debate the issues on live radio.
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