Dakar on March 31, 2016 (APS) – An initiative was launched to conduct a ”Deliberative Poll (DP)” in Tivaoune Peul, a suburb of Dakar, by a research team from Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD), a network plus partner of the West Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (WA RI Lab) to promote resilience and help bridge the gap between researchers, experts, civil society and communities.
“It is through this research model that a survey will be conducted in this community to enable community members themselves identify their priority needs,” explained the focal person of the lab in Senegal, Dr. Tidiane Ndoye, who is a lecturer at the Sociology Department of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UCAD.
In an interview with the media on Thursday, during the inauguration of a Technical Committee [DP Stakeholder Advisory Board] at the conference hall at UCAD II, Tidiane stressed that “it is a first step of a global concept which aims to voice to the people of Tivaoune Peul before any decisions affecting their daily lives are taken”.
”This is an area that is experiencing rapid urbanization where real estate developers and many activities affect the original inhabitants and their economic activities”, Tivaoune Peul stated as a justification for choosing Tivaoune Peul [for the Dakar DP].
As the activities of local farmers are progressively replaced by housing facilities, this leads to problems such as unemployment, land grabbing and land litigation. Also, with this model of survey, the research team will begin by soliciting the views of the people to indicate their most pressing needs.
The idea is to put the University research activities at the service of the people. A local community that knows the needs of its population is in a position to act, that is why the committee of experts has as its mission to advise policy makers on the best approach,” he added.
The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Prof. Amadou Abdoul Sow, who inaugurated the Technical Committee, stressed that Deliberative Polling (DP) is a great idea for identifying social, economic and environmental issues that affect people. “Thus, by leading this research,” he continued, “the University meets one of its fundamental missions, that of putting the scientific knowledge and the results of research at the service of the economic and social transformation of communities”.
Prof. James Fishkin of Stanford University [originator of the concept of Deliberative Polling (DP) who attended the meeting stated that ”Deliberative Polling allows you to assess the real thinking of the people on any question”. Deliberation implies “profound reflection” on a subject and its real impact on public decision-makers, who are going to base their decisions on the real needs of the people rather than on “speculative ideas,” he added.
Deliberative Polling is a scientific process of public consultation in a new and constructive way.