Letter from WAPOR President (July 2023)

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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

I wrote this letter two days after the close of our referendum on constitutional review. I am delighted to report to all members that our proposed amendments have received landslide support, as 94% have voted in favour of them. Our Executive Council met immediately after the close of poll and decided to implement all changes as soon as possible but no later than our Council Meeting to be held in Salzburg concurring with our Annual Conference. To me, this is a big relief because this important task entrusted to us by the previous Council is finally complete. I have already thanked everybody last month, let me add here that I feel tremendously indebted to all of you, for placing so much trust in us and in the process!

Now that all Council seats will become elected. Coupled with the constitutionalizing of our Education Committee, the number of elected posts will grow from seven to ten, each filled by an election requiring two or more candidates. By September 15, we shall call for nominations for the posts of Secretary-Treasurer, and Chairs of our Liaison, Membership, and Publications Committees. Next year this time, the posts of Vice President and President-Elect, and Chairs of our Conference, Education, and Professional Standards Committees will be open. We thus need a lot more committed members to come forward, to work together as a team to make WAPOR bigger, stronger and more global.

To increase our reach and impact, we will need to strengthen our commitment, resources and membership. Our constitution now accepts organizational membership, which will bring in new connections and resources. Our recently established WAPOR Global Development Fund will become a vehicle to solicit funding for such developments, and our new affiliation system in the pipeline, called “Friends of WAPOR”, will become a new platform to attract potential members. We now have four Regional Chapters at different stages of development, they attract members in different ways and through different means. Our revised constitution will provide a framework to generate synergy among different sectors of our WAPOR Community, including our National Representatives, Committee Members, Chapter Officials, Members and Friends.

This year in Salzburg and next year in Seoul will be the start of our new journey. I look forward to seeing all of you at least once in these two occasions. Before that, let me introduce three more colleagues to you here. They are our Chair of Publications Committee Henning Silber, IJPOR Editor-in-Chief Porismita Borah, and President of our WAPOR West Asia and North Africa (WANA) Chapter Samir Abu Rumman. Since July is the time for me to share my second quarterly update to members, I will also abstract some information from our Executive Director’s monthly reports for your reference after these colleagues’ sharing:

  • Henning: The WAPOR Publications Committee currently has six members from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, and USA. It coordinates all publication activities like journals, newsletters, bulletins, reports, and social media publications. The committee is also responsible for the appointment of the Editor-in-Chief of the IJPOR, and Porismita Borah has held this position since 2021. The committee also organizes meetings of the IJPOR international advisory board, regularly publishes in the reactivated WAPOR News section in IJPOR, maintains the relationship with the publisher of IJPOR, puts together a WAPOR brochure for the annual conference, reviews the WAPOR website, and posts on social media mainly by our Executive Director Kseniya Kizilova. I hope to see many of you at the upcoming Annual Conference in Salzburg, to talk about current and future activities. Porismita will lead a question-and-answer session during the conference.
  • Porismita: It is my utmost honor to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for WAPOR’s flagship journal the International Journal of Public Opinion Research (IJPOR). This is my second year in the post, and we have assembled a diverse team of associate editors from around the globe with expertise in different disciplines. We are working on two special issues centered on “Global Misinformation and Disinformation” and “Global Perspectives on Science, Polarization, and Populism.” In addition, we have a virtual issue on survey research in the making. We now welcome format-free submissions, which means that you do not need to change your citation style for the first round of submissions. We are always looking forward to receiving your excellent papers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our editorial team, if you have any questions. See you in Salzburg!
  • Samir: WAPOR firmly believes in diversity, which is why we strive to attract new members to our community and establish chapters in different parts of the world. I have had the pleasure of contributing to WAPOR in various capacities, but establishing the WAPOR WANA regional chapter has been particularly rewarding. Now is the time to infuse new energy into our chapter by selecting a new president and leadership team. Through the efforts of our WANA team and the WAPOR leaders, we have provided lectures, conducted studies, published reports, made our resources accessible to everyone, such as translating the codes of ethics and covering a wide range of countries in our Freedom Report. Together, let us strengthen our mission to create a lasting impact in the field of public opinion research for the greater good of our societies.

Here comes an activity update based on our Executive Director’s Reports up to June, presented in a table format:


Portfolio / Area

Progress / Update

Constitution Review

Proposed amendments were deliberated at the Council Meeting on Apr26, then ExCo meeting on May05. The semi-final versions were shared with members on May16, calling for their feedback and participation in an online consultation session with Council on Jun05. A total of 14 members attended the meeting, and 9 members sent in their comments by email. The final amendments were decided at a Council Meeting held on Jun08, then put to vote by a referendum which closed on Jul27.

Membership and General Communication

As of Jun30, WAPOR has 393 members, excluding 32 chapter-only members, meaning 425 members if we include them. Messages sent to members in May-Jun include announcements on conference awards, announcement and videos of webinars, monthly sharing from the leadership, call for conference papers and sponsorship, new issue of IJPOR. The monthly sharing has been translated into many languages, like Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, and Portuguese by a group of volunteers. The Executive Director will nominate some of them to receive the first ever WAPOR Translation Service Awards.

Regional Chapters

WAPOR Asia Pacific annual conference will take place on Dec03-05 in Canberra, Australia, submissions deadline being Aug31. WAPOR Sub-Saharan Africa has registered itself as a legal entity, as our newest Chapter it receives a donation of $5,000 to build up itself. WAPOR LATAM and WAPOR WANA continue to join other Chapters in discussing with the ExCo and the Secretariat on how best to streamline their operation to attract more members.

Finance and Administration

The Finance Committee met on Jun02 to discuss, among other things, investment policy, travel grant policy, change of legal/postal address, provisions for the chapter support/budgeting.

Conference Committee

WAPOR 2023 conference has received 347 submissions, including proposals of 10 pre-organized panels. All authors have been notified of their paper acceptance/ rejection on May30. The Conference Committee met on May22, Jun16, Jun23 to develop the program and decided the registration fee jointly with the Finance Committee. Registration for the conference is open. All awards committees have been established. An exhibition booth will be set up in Salzburg to promote the WAPOR 2024 Conference in Seoul, representatives from the local organizing committee will be there.

Education Committee

All four spring webinars have been completed, videos and slides available at WAPOR website. The committee met on May17 and Jun28, and considered the following topics for future webinars: data visualization, spatial sampling,  cross-national surveys, climate change, surveying in non-democratic countries, and so on.

Liaison Committee

Chair of the committee, Christian Haerpfer, represented WAPOR at the meeting of the International Science Council on May10-12 in Paris, France. Members of the committee expressed interest in applying for an accreditation for WAPOR at the United Nations.

Membership Committee

The committee met on Jun01, and discussed re-contacting former members regarding membership renewal, ideas about running exit surveys and membership growth. The committee endorsed the Friends of WAPOR initiative, which was subsequently approved by the Council on Jun08.

Professional Standards Committee

The Freedom Report 2022 has been published at the WAPOR website. The committee is currently setting up the template for National Representatives to compile their annual reports.

Publications Committee

The committee met on May30 to discuss the use of social media, website development, news to be carried in IJPOR, book series, booklet about WAPOR for the 2023 conference, and so on. Also, the JPOR International Advisory Board Meeting met on Jun06 with the IJPOR Editor in Chief.

Just cannot believe that more than one-quarter of my two-year term has passed so quickly. However, as I always say, growth is not linear, so let us aim at achieving more and more in each of the quarter-terms to come!

Humbly yours,

Robert Chung

WAPOR President