Sample Opinion Survey - ?· Sample Opinion Survey BRASIllA, ... Representative Osmar Terra ... Representative…

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  • ASSESSMENT OF UNESCO'S IMAGE WITHIN THE NATIONAL CONGRESS

    FIN A l REP 0 R T

    Sample Opinion Survey

    BRASIllA, AUGUST 2001

  • Introduction

    Objective of the Survey

    In May 2001 Unesco's Office in Brazil contracted a specialised consultant to plan,coordinate, and implement a Qualitative Opinion Survey with senators and federalrepresentatives. The objective was to assess Unesco's institutional image with thistarget aUdience, and also to prepare recommendations of strategic actions inpartnership with the National Congress in order to improve its performancein the country.

    Methodology

    Since this is a qualitative opinion survey, the methodological procedure consistedin open interviews lasting 30 minutes on average. The intenriewed congressmenwere asked to answer freely and spontaneously with whatever came to theirminds. They were reassured that the contents of their answers would be keptwithin Unesco's premises exclusively for internal use. All of the intenriewees weregiven a partly structured intenriew model in which they could express theiropinions, value jUdgements, and suggestions.

    The basic script for the intenriews was based on nine key questions, some ofwhich intentionally overlapped to encourage interviewees to express themselves.Depending on each person's performance the script was slightly changed in formand content. However, in essence it was applied to the interviewed target pUblicas follows:

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  • I) What image do you have of Unesco in general and what is yourperception of its activities in Brazil?

    2) Do you think that Unesco works in Brazil to eradicate povertyand to support social development?

    3) Among Unesco's themes of concern - Education, Science, Culture,Social Communication and Informatics, Environment, Human Rights, HistoricHeritage, Culture of Peace, Youth, Drugs, Aids - which, in your opinion,are most relevant in Brazil and which deserve more efforts?

    4) How do you assess Unesco's work in partnership with the government atfederal, state, and municipal levels?

    5) What about Unesco's relationship with civil society organisations ingeneral and with NGOs and Third Sector organisations in particular?

    6) How would you assess Unesco's performance compared to that ofother agencies of the United Nations system in Brazil, such as UNDP, Unicef,WHO/Opas, Fao, and others?

    7) How do you assess Unesco's relationship with the National Congress ingeneral and with the Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senatein particular?

    8) Do you have any suggestions as to how Unesco could intensify itsrelations with the congressmen?

    9) In short, what is your opinion about Unesco's contribution to thecountry, and how do you assess the performance of Unesco's Office in Brazil?

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  • ActivitiesUp to 18 July, 26 interviews were carried out, transcribed, analysed, andinterpreted. They involved seven senators (9% of the total) and 19 federalrepresentatives (4% of the total), out of a group of 40 congressmen selectedamong the benches of the main parties from both government and opposition.They also involved presidents and members of the Permanent Commissionsfrom the two Houses, whose concerns are connected with Unesco's mandate.The interviews lasted about 30 minutes and were carried out and recorded inBrasilia at the National Congress, at the offices of the respective congressmen.There were only four exceptions to that: an interview carried out througha long distance call, two others answered by fax, and one through e-mail.

    The following letter was sent by fax to the selected group of 40 congressmen:

    Mr Senator / Mr Representative,

    I present to you our consultant, who "ill plan, coordinate, and implement a Qualitative

    Opinion Survey to Assess the Institutional Image of Unesco in Brazil. The assessment will be

    based on the statements of Senators and Federal Representatives, in particular those who develop

    activities connected to the

    issues under the scope of our organisation.

    I thank you in advance for the attention given to him, and request your time for

    a 30-minute interview. The contents will be kept solely within the premises of our organisation for

    the purposes of the survey. I will be at your service if you need further information.

    My earnest regards and renewed personal consideration.

    Sincerely yours,

    Jorge Werthein

    Director of UNESCO Office in Brazil

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  • Problems encountered

    The main problems had to do with the congressmen's lack of time to answerintenriew requests. Congressmen are known to spend only three days a week inBrasilia, particularly Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, when major votingsand important debates mostly occur. On the other days, they are usually bUsywith their constituencies in their original states.

    It is then a hard to reach target pUblic, especially when it comes to taking theirtime for thirty minutes consecutively to collect perceptions that require a certainamount of reflection. Both federal representatives and senators are more prone torespond and/or react to the demands of the ever changing political-economic agenda- giving priority to those issues raised by the media - and less willing to discourseon issues pertaining to long-term social processes. Hence the difficulty to schedulesuch interviews. Many times they had to be rescheduled or simply cancelled.

    To make it a little more complicated, the period chosen for the survey (.May andJune) was full of denunciations and political scandals in the media, involving boththe Senate and the House of Representatives, besides announcements of the energycrisis and the threat of economic instability. This ended up pushing the surveyinto the constitutional congress recess period (July).

    Results achieved

    A final report of the activities carried out, comprising full interviews, summary ofmain topics, final conclusions, and recommendations of strategic actions in tunewith the survey conclusions.

    congressmen intenriewed

    1. Senator Ricardo Santos (PSDB-ES)

    2. Senator LUcio Alcantara (PSDB-CE)

    3. Senator Hugo Napoleao (PFL-PI)

    4. Representative Rita Camata (P.MDB-ES)

    5. Representative Father Roque (PT-PR)

    6. Representative Leo Alcantara (PSDB-CE)

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  • 7. Representative Geraldo Magela (PT-DF)

    8. Representative Feu Rosa (PSDB-ES)

    9. Representative Esther Grossi (PT-RS)

    10. Representative Maria Elvira (PMDB-MG)

    11. Representative Laura Carneiro (PFL-RJ)

    12. Representative Nelson Marchesan (PSDB-RS)

    13. Representative Marisa Serrano (PSDB-MS)

    14. Representative Fernando Gabeira (recently left the PV and joined the PT-RJ)

    15. Representative Dr Helio (PDT-SP)

    16. Representative Osmar Terra (PMDB-RS)

    17. Representative Marcos Rolim (PT-RS)

    18. Senator Pedro Simon (PMDB-RS)

    19. Representative Eduardo Jorge (PT-SP)

    20. Representative Atila Lins (PFL-AM)

    21. Representative Ivan Paixao (PPS-SE)

    22. Senator Emilia Fernandes (PT-RS)

    23. Senator Luiz Otavio (No party-PA)

    24. Representative Nelson Pellegrino (PT-BA)

    25. Representative Inocencio Oliveira (PFL-PE)

    26. Senator Eduardo Suplicy (PT-SP)

    According to the party political and ideological orientation of the above listed 26congressmen, 15 integrate the government support basis (right, centre-right, andcentre-left) and 11 compose the opposition (left and centre-left). As to theiroriginal regions, the interviewed congressmen are distributed as follows:Southeast, nine; South, eight; Northeast, six; Midwest, two; North, two.Regarding gender, there are six women in the group.

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  • Analysisand transcriptionof the interviews

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  • I El Senator Ricardo Santos

    Republic Senator since June of 2000 for the State of Espirito Santo, he is amember of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). President of theCommission of Education of the Federal Senate, he is also a member of thecommissions of Infrastructure, Social Matters, Foreign Affairs, and Surveillance

    and Control. He was three times part of the first team of the state of EspiritoSanto government as a state secretary of Planning, Agriculture, and Finances.

    Analysis of the interview

    The senator presents a high knowledge of Unesco's work. His references are highlypraising and well based. He is a strategic partner as president of the Commissionof Education, where the possibilities of joint work with Unesco are broad, as hehimself proposes. It should be pointed out that his information on Unesco inBrazil concern mainly the partnerships with the state of Espirito Santo, that is,they are based on his personal experience. He is an ally with whom Unescoshould keep a good relationship and explore new possibilities of partnershipwork, such as social mobilisation projects to which the Senate's communicationinfrastructure can be applied.

    Partly edited content

    - I consider Unesco a highly trustworthy institution due to the work that has beencarried out along decades with the United Nations Organisation in the fields ofeducation, culture, science, technology, and others. I am acquainted with Unesco'swork in partnership with Third World countries and mainly with some states inBrazil. In Espirito Santo, my state, in particular, Unesco has a very interestingperformance in articulation with the Secretariat of Education in significantprograms: grade acceleration and elaboration of educational plans.

    - Recently we, the state government and Unesco, developed a joint work towardsestablishing a policy for the prevention of violence against youths at social risk.Today, when we talk about a culture of peace, prevention of violence, and combatof poverty by

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