Letter from WAPOR President (December 2023)

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Robert Chung, WAPOR President

With the year 2023 coming to an end, I would like to share a piece of good news to all members –our membership has broken a 10-year record to reach another historical high! According to the latest records organized by Kseniya our Executive Director on December 22, our membership size now stands at 640, plus another 42 who hold chapter-only membership. This sums up to 682 members of one kind or another and has comfortably beaten our previous record of 604 set in 2012.

This is certainly the best gift of the year! WAPOR ventured forward bravely in 2012 by changing our biennial conference cycle of Europe-America-Europe-America into a triennial cycle incorporating “other places”. Hong Kong was the breaking point and membership surged by 36% that year, measured end to end. That record stayed for 10 long years, partly due to the dampening effect of the pandemics when we had to meet online. Now that we have resumed our physical mode and manage to continue our globalization effort by increasing our transparency, accountability, and susceptivity to new changes. Our efforts have paid off, and I want to thank every one of you, especially colleagues in the Council, Committees and Regional Chapters for working so hard to make it happen. I must also mention our Australian colleagues who hosted our WAPOR Asia Pacific Annual Conference in Canberra earlier this month, thereby giving the final kick of the year to recruit new members. In late October, our membership size was slightly below 600. We now have a big house!

To ride on this success hopefully due to increased communication and transparency, I now try it for the first time to share an abridged version of the draft minutes of our Council Meeting held on December 21, so that members at large can know more of how our organization works, and will one day help us do even better. Since there is not enough space to share everything, I will just abstract the most relevant and informative parts but skip the regular updates.

Council Meeting held on December 21, 2023, with 10 voting and 7 non-voting members present

Adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting

The decision previously endorsed by the Council that no honorarium would be paid for invited speakers and workshop lecturers at annual conferences was revoked because our Finance Committee has decided to change its views after discussing with our Conference Committee.

WAPOR timeline

Week of Jan08: Reminders on the call for papers and the conference awards for 2024. Week of Jan15: Advanced draft of the WAPOR 2023 annual report; end of data collection for the 2023 NatReps Annual Reports and the 2023 Membership Survey…

Council and ExCo meetings in 2024

Based on views collected at the last ExCo Meeting held on December 12, colleagues will be consulted on the following meeting schedule for 2024:

  • ExCo meetings (6 times): January, March, May, July, September, November
  • Council meetings (5 times): January, April, July, October, December
  • A Policy Forum will be held in June and all Committees and Chapters will be invited.

As for Committee Meetings, the schedule of meetings for 2024 will be finalized by the Committee Chairs after consulting their Committee Members no later than January 31, 2024. The Chairs submit workplan to the Council laying down the goals for 2024 and the activities planned to reach those goals. Every Committee should meet at least once every two months, and all Committees should meet in person during the Annual Conference.

Welcoming new members

Rosario Aguilar: “I am of Mexican origin, a scholar right now located in the UK. I am a senior lecturer in comparative politics in Newcastle University. I used to work in Mexico, I was WAPOR representative in Mexico for 3 years and I also participated in the Elizabeth Nelson Award Committee for 3 years. I love the community and I love the combination of different regions and different kind of like points of view between the academics and practitioners. I am very excited about being elected [as the Chair of Liaison Committee] to contribute to WAPOR.”

Hayk Gyuzalyan: “I did my Masters and PhD at the London School of Economics. I taught for some time. From 2005 to 2015, I worked in Ipsos Mori with Robert Worcester. My area is mostly methodology of cross-country surveys. Then I worked for a few years in TNS in Brussels and in 2018 I established my own company. In WAPOR, I was part of the task force on the standards of comparative survey quality. I am very glad that I was elected [as the Chair of Membership Committee]. I hope to contribute to the WAPOR activities.”

Munqith Dagher: “I was a member of Baghdad University faculty in public administration. I served the Iraqi army before I established my own company in 2003. It is a group of 5 different companies and has become one of the biggest groups in public opinion in the Middle East. I am also director for the Middle East and North Africa region at Gallup International. I joined WAPOR 15 years ago. I am happy to be elected as the President of the WANA Chapter, I hope to help its membership grow.”

WAPOR-PARC agreement

Robert Chung presented the WAPOR-PARC agreement already vetted by the ExCo. The PARC service is a web-based “software as a service” database search and retrieval application consisting of data entry, search screens, and document uploading capabilities. The Council approved the agreement.

Policy on Requests from Pollsters Regarding Threats

David Jodice explained the aim of the new policy document to address requests from members or non-members seeking our help to address threats to freedoms to conduct and publish polls. If the criteria for engagement are met ExCo shall decide how to handle the request, including but not limited to: (a) recommend the setting up of a Special Committee to handle the request, or (b) designate a representative (most likely to be the Vice President or the Chair of the Standards Committee) to interact with the requester(s), or (c) issue a public statement to address the request. In all cases, advice and consent of the Council has to be sought, even in retrospect if the case is urgent. The Council approved the policy.

IJPOR Editor-in-Chief renewal

Henning Silber reported that the Publications Committee has previously approved Porismita Borah for a second term as the IJPOR Editor-in-Chief, from September 2024 to August 2027. Pori has been very active in supporting the journal, she created a social media account for it, and initiated several special issues. The Council approved renewal of the contract.

WAPOR 2023 Annual Report to membership

Timothy Johnson presented the outline of the report. All Committee Chairs shall start working on the drafts of their sections, including information such as membership of the Committee, main activities, event, achievements, and so on. The report will be published in mid-February.

Budget update

Yulia Baskakova updated the Council on the budget status: It has a positive balance at the end of the year; the income from conference constitutes about $12k; the Global Development Fund is actively promoted and supported, with the specific amounts being earmarked for various funds.

Update from Honorary Historian

Tom Smith presented an update on the list of chapters to be included into the WAPOR History book. The first draft is due in 18 months, by April 2025. Communication with authors will proceed on the quarterly basis.

Special Committee on the Use of Opinion Polls in Candidate Selection

Michael Traugott reported that the Committee consists of Alejandro Moreno, Rosario Aguilar , Carlos Muniz Mariel, Ricardo Gonzalez Toro, Tim Johnson, and Michael Traugott as the Chair. The Committee will focus their attention on Mexico as there are current issues leading up to an election this coming summer, and that was the basis for the memo sent to Council. However, they intend to look at other instances across the world where a similar use of polls is current or under consideration as a way of documenting the occurrence of the phenomenon. The Committee plans to have the report presented at the Annual Conference in Seoul. The Council consented to the committee composition and study plan.

Update from the Executive Director

As stated in the Regional chapters memo as of August 17, 2023, regional chapters can now set up their own chapter fees. Two out of four chapters have chosen to change their fees; Asia Pacific and WANA chapters kept their old fees… From 2024 onwards, WAPOR will accept organizational membership, the registration system is expected to be up in the first few days of January… Post-conference and membership survey is currently in progress; 124 responses have been received, the survey will continue until mid-January.


This year of 2023 has been a year of success, but we shall not be complacent. WAPOR was established in 1947. In the 7th month of next year, 2024, we will be holding our WAPOR 77th and WAPOR Asia Pacific 7th Joint Annual Conference in Seoul, to continue our soul search exercise. I hope it will be an even more productive and successful year, for us to break new grounds and reach new heights. If you believe in lucky seven, and just in case you want to add more sevens to our list of lucky signs, you can consider adding 1957 which is my birth year, and that I will be 67 in the year to come.


Humbly yours,


Robert Chung

WAPOR President