Conflict of Interest in IRI Surveys

Opinion polls are valid methods of gauging the sentiments of a community but a survey is then critically weighed as to its balance & authenticity when there is a Conflict of Interest specially of financial nature (def: Conflict of Interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in another)

International Republican Institute (IRI) has been conducting political surveys in Pakistan for many years and have generally been accepted as an unbiased outlook into the political pulse beat of Pakistani. Conducting survey is a very carefully excersise, mere framing of a question can sway the responses but what hurts any study is when the surveyors do not declare their conflict of interest – IRI on its website does mention that it has outsourced the excersice to Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR) based in Islamabad.

IRI outsources Pakistan survey to IPOR

IRI having outsourced the survey work to a company in Islamabad failed to acknowledge anywhere in its disclaimer or methodology that IPOR has a conflict of interest since it caters to PML-N, PML-Q & MQM as business clients

IPOR have the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as its primary clients.  Within the short span, IPOR has developed a diverse clients-base of major political parties like PML-N, PML-Q, MQM

This revelation to any survey is a serious conflict of interest and should have been declared by IRI openly when presenting its research findings and should have not been subjected to “accidental revelation” which hence forth immediately puts this entire organization and their survey methodologies in serious doubts

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