Letter from WAPOR President (February 2024)

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Note: This document was translated from English into many different languages. In case of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the English version and any other translation, the English version shall always prevail.

Robert Chung, WAPOR President 2023-2024

February 22 was the date when our new Council first met, and February 29 will be the deadline for submitting abstracts for our WAPOR 77th and WAPOR Asia Pacific (WAP) 7th Joint Annual Conference, due to be held from 28 to 31 July in Seoul. When you read this letter, it should be very near the deadline, if not just after. At the time of writing this letter, we already have 125 submissions, and we are expecting some last-minute rush.

If you are part of this rush, please do so as quickly as possible, by clicking onto our conference platform at https://2024-wapor-conference.events.wapor.org then click “Abstracts” at the top menu. Non-members of WAPOR will be requested to create a free WAPOR portal online account first before making submissions.

In case you encounter any problem, or would need a little more time to get things organized after our online platform is closed after a grace period, please email us at waporoffice@gmail.com and we will try our best to help. We will work together to make this Joint WAPOR and WAP Conference another big success. After the close of abstracts, we will plan for the plenary keynotes, special panels, workshops, meetings and so on, and then fix the conference registration fees considering the amount and scale of such activities. Hopefully this will give all conference participants enough time to make good plans financially and logistically. I hope all National Representatives and members of different committees will be able to attend the conference.

For all leaders and members of our dear Regional Chapters, please try your best to join our Seoul Conference too. Although it is a joint conference with WAP this time, I hope to see special panels or roundtable presentations organized by LATAM, WANA and SSA as well. WAPOR is developing fast as a global community, it would be nice to have all Chapters working together in all our annual conferences.

Article II(2) of our Constitution says, “Functions and activities of the Association include… maintaining close relations with other research agencies…” and a number of organizations are named as examples. My wish is that reciprocal arrangements can be developed between WAPOR and other organizations in terms of running special sessions in each other’s annual conferences, like waiving registration fees, co-publishing conference presentations, and the like. At our last Council Meeting, our Liaison Committee has already set plans to strengthen its work internally with our Regional Chapters and externally with other organizations. I look forward to some breakthrough on these fronts at our Seoul Conference later this year.

To conclude my final call for conference participation, I really hope to see our Seoul Conference live up to its aim of soul searching, involving as many members and friends as possible. This will only be possible if all of us will work hard together to make it happen, in the coming few months. If any reader of this letter has any new idea, please do not hesitate to let me know, in whatever way you prefer.

Other than making my conference call, before I write off, I would like to share with you the following important news:

From our last Council Meeting (without overlapping other parts of this letter)

  • As of February 18, WAPOR has 399 members, plus 4 Friends of WAPOR, 3 organizational members, and 24 chapter-only members. We thus have 436 persons/friends/organizations in our WAPOR Community, representing an increase of 53 over the last month.
  • WAPOR Archive has already been launched at https://wapor.org/resources/wapor-archive/ and 780 documents have been uploaded.
  • WAPOR Policy on Requests Regarding Threats to Polling and Ethics Code Violations was re-confirmed by the Council and the document will be uploaded onto our website.
  • WAPOR is recruiting an IT and Administrative Assistant working anywhere in the world at 50% loading to support the Secretariat, initially for 6 months and renewable upon mutual agreement. Renumeration is expected to be $1500-$2000 per month depending on skills and experience. The primary area of competence has been identified as web design, social media, associational membership, and other IT knowledge and skills. We hope members can recommend good candidates to the Secretariat.
  • First time ever, thanks to the effort of the Professional Standards Committee, WAPOR has compiled a National Representatives Report, comprising 100 individual submissions which can be grouped into regions like those in the Freedom Report. More analyses are being conducted and the final report will be presented at our Annual Conference.
  • In the area of publication, our Publications Committee has set new goals to develop new ways to increase WAPOR’s voice in the public opinion research community. Among other tasks, it will work closely with the Regional Chapters and National Representatives to support their websites, publications, blogposts, and general promotion.
  • Our Education Committee, on the other hand, will continue our tradition of offering high-quality webinars that are open to all who are interested and indefinitely archived and available on the web, with a good balance between regional, topical and methodological webinars. It will try to broaden the audience base of webinars to citizens, journalists, and non-scientists. For the conference in July, it will help to run 3-5 training workshops, and it has also told Council the need to draw up a robust long-term plan for co-sponsoring special panels with Regional Chapters and National Representatives. I am appealing to colleagues and members to make this happen in Seoul.
  • Finally, after reviewing the latest progress of submissions and editing, the WAPOR Annual Report of 2023 is expected to be published by mid-March.

Highlights from WAPOR Membership Survey 2023

Thanks to the participation of 146 members, our Membership Survey has yielded very useful findings. I highlight some of the findings compiled by our Executive Director Kseniya Kizilova, and some of the very inspiring remarks made by our Vice President and President-Elect David Jodice:

  • The most important factors of membership consideration include: quality and diversity of conference presentations, networking opportunities, access to WAPORnet, and the prestige of WAPOR membership. WAPOR is about knowledge sharing, education, and defending (some say promoting) the Two Freedoms.
  • Conference is the key to our mission and existence, followed by our journal and webinars. Respondents are generally very satisfied with our 2023 Annual Conference, and those who attended our webinars are happy with their quality. New software, exit polling, surveys in difficult political environments are the most popular topics.
  • On communications, members seem to enjoy reading the President’s Letters, and David has pledged to keep this good tradition through at least 2026. Externally, we should take a look at our social media presence and perhaps focus more on LinkedIn.
  • It is high time to plan ahead for Conference 2025 in St Louis, and possibly also 2026 for a city in Europe, with easy access by air and rail, at a prominent university.

With Seoul around the corner, and St Louis ten more months after that, I urge all of you to plan fast and hard to join us five months later, whether as paper or poster presenters, panel or roundtable speakers, session chairs and/or discussants, committee and national representative meeting participants, workshop attendees, or simply as general conference goers. I am sure you will find your time and effort worth spending.

This is my second and last year as the President of WAPOR, so this July’s Annual Conference should be the last one which I can call for your support in my capacity as your number one servant. I do want to meet up with old friends and make new ones, around the world! Please come!

Humbly yours,

Robert Chung

WAPOR President