Letter from WAPOR President (December 2020)

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Marita Carballo, WAPOR President

Dear WAPOR Colleagues,

A very unusual year comes to an end, and in this strange scenario I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you once more  for  giving  me  the  honor  to  serve  as  President  during these past two  years.  It has been a great experience and I feel very proud and grateful for the chance to work together with this extraordinary Council towards our goals as an Organization. We’ve faced highly unexpected challenges and I believe we’ve managed to continue strengthening WAPOR through them.

In the past week we held our last Council meeting for the year. I’ve shared a summary of what 2020 has been like for WAPOR in my previous letter. WAPOR is in very good shape and in this new meeting with the Council we planned together some actions moving forward.  We have already welcomed the newly elected members -Robert Chung as Vice President/President-Elect and David Jodice as Chair of the Professional Standards Committee- and are very pleased to announce that Tatiana Karabchuk -Chair of the Conference Committee- and Tamás Bodor – Chair of the Membership Committee- will remain in their roles for a new two year period. I feel very confident that the new Council under Tim Johnson’s leadership will continue to work hard towards our goals and I’m eager to support from my new role as Past President.

One of the main events in the agenda for 2021 is WAPOR’s Annual Conference. It is planned for October and we decided to hold it virtually.  Though we all look forward to meeting in person and miss face-to-face relations, we believe going virtual in 2021 is a safer option and many of our members manifested through our recent survey feeling more inclined to attend if it was by the virtual mode.

Another point discussed in the meeting was that WAPOR will be calling for applications and nominations for an editorial team for IJPOR, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. The selected candidate or candidates will be responsible for processing manuscripts as well as ensuring timely publication of issues, working together with guest editors and with the staff of Oxford University Press and WAPOR’s Publications Committee to strengthen the reputation of the Journal. Jibum Kim, Chair of the WAPOR Publications Committee, will be receiving applications, and the Council decided that the search committee will include Claire Durand, Murray Goot, Christian W Haerpfer, Hernando Rojas, Tom W. Smith, Irina Tomescu, and Michael Traugott. You can find the call for proposals for editors on our website.

The Council also approved the new award initiated by Claire Durand, Tim Johnson and myself: the Tocqueville Award on Democracy. The award refers to Alexis de Tocqueville’s well-known book “On Democracy in America” published in 1835, where he studied the first steps of democracy, and will be given annually to a paper presented at the WAPOR conference referring to democracy and public opinion in the world.

WAPOR will continue to offer free webinars and we are already rolling out plans for next year. In the recent Council meeting we examined the proposal prepared by Claire Durand in collaboration with Kseniya Kizilova and Michael Traugott where they describe different categories, formats and themes for coming webinars. The plan is to have them monthly starting in January. The ideas sound very exciting and of course some of them were inspired by your answers to the survey.

We value highly your participation in the membership survey and post-conference survey: your opinions are always very helpful to guide our actions and plans.   Communication is key to keep our network alive, so please remember WAPORnet is at your disposal to connect and share information with other members. It has proven to be a valuable resource for many members so we encourage you to make the most of it. Also I advise you to follow WAPOR on social media and stay on top of the news, and to participate and collaborate with our network of knowledge that is more active every day.

Once again, a big thank you for all of your support in the past two years and my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. We all hope that 2021 will be a better year and that the pandemic is under control.

Please take care and keep safe. Big hug to all,

Marita Carballo
WAPOR President