In the Phnom Penh Post of August 9 - 22, 1996 the article entitled "Rainsy-linked
poll picks the most popular leader... Rainsy", describes Sodeco as a "Cambodian
NGO linked to political rebel Sam Rainsy". This kind of title and comment definitely
casts doubt on the reliability of Sodeco as a pollster.
Therefore, it is important for us to make clear the following points:
- As in any properly run organization, any work has to be done properly regardless
of political opinion, religious creed or any other personal consideration. Sodeco
strives to abide by this principle which implies adherence to a clear methodology
for statistical analysis and to a strict professional code of conduct. Any allegation
of bias or any preconceived judgment about Sodeco is just unfair.
- Taking into account the specific political, economic and social conditions prevailing
in Cambodia, Sodeco conducts public opinion polls through a representative population
sample defined on the basis of three criteria: diversity (the structure and characteristics
of the Cambodian population as a whole are reflected in the population sample in
terms of diversity of respondents with regard to their genders, age groups, occupations
and places of residence), random selection (interviewers go to public places to talk
to people at random, without any conscious choice of the respondents) and anonymity
(in order to minimize fear, no information is asked regarding the precise identity,
address or professional position of the respondent so that the latter cannot be traced
after the interview).
- Sodeco wants to promote transparency and objectivity by inviting all interested
persons (journalists, representatives of diplomatic missions, government officials
and experts, NGO workers, scholars etc.) to check and appraise its methodology and
ethics by directly and actively participating in the public opinion polls it has
been conducting. The Washington-based International Republican Institute and the
French-language newspaper Cambodge Soir have already responded to the invitation.
We are looking forward to working with more organizations which do not fear pressure
from the government, because we think that opinion polls are a fair, lawful and peaceful
means to let people express themselves and therefore to strengthen democracy in Cambodia.
- Sok Vann Khema, President, Solidarity and Community Development Association