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Polls and surveys on public opinion and development

Bond supports NGOs to enable their supporters and others to take action for international development. This resource of polls and surveys of public opinion forms part of this work. 

If you would like to contribute, please contact the Bond Advocacy team: advocacy@bond.org.uk

Recent research

  • 'Mind the Gap: What the Public Thinks About Charities'. This report from NPC, published in March 2014, explores whether recent attacks on charities from politicians and the media have adversely affected the public’s attitude to the sector, based on the results of a poll carried out by Ipsos MORI. The key finding is that trust in charities remains relatively stable, a third (32%) of the public say that their views towards charities have become more positive in the last three years, compared with almost a quarter (23%) who have become more negative.
  • 'Audit of Political Engagement - the 2013 Report' by the Hansard Society is an annual health check on the UK's democracy. The report, now in its tenth year, offers insight into the public’s attitudes to politics and Parliament. Amongst other key facts, the 2013 report shows that only half the public (50%) have undertaken at least one or more political activities in the last year, with fewer than one in 10 people having signed a petition or contacted an elected representative.
  • Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) released their 'World Giving Index of 2013' in December 2013. The report uses data from the Gallup World Poll to establish the proportion of people in 135 countries that have given money to charity, volunteered and helped a stranger in the past month. The report contains a range of findings and recommendations that will be helpful for fundraisers, campaigners and communications staff alike.
  • Eurobarometer on 'Development Aid and the Millenium Development Goals' released in November 2013. Download the full report or look at the UK Factsheet for a snapshot of the findings.The report explores the views of Europeans on the importance of development aid, on their personal committments to tackle poverty and their general awareness of extreme poverty.
  • ONE released a ComRes poll on UK public attitudes to aid in October 2012 – the summary of findings and the full results tables are available on the ComRes website.
  • Occasionally, the UK print media run or commission polls on UK aid which range in methodological quality. Examples include a Sunday Times/YouGov poll (March 2012) on aid - level of spend/ 0.7%/ legislation/ India – see pp 10/11.
  • IPPR and ODI with Linguistic Landscapes researched public opinion on aid and development and why people hold the attitudes they do. The findings, published in June 2012, include how the public feel about images used by charities; how they distinguish between ‘development’ and ‘aid’, and how the use of language, values and frames shape how people engage.
  • Intermedia's Building Support for International Development study (March 2012), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on 'Interested citizens' – members of the public who are predisposed to engagement with international development issues with the UK as one four leading donor countries examined 
  • Understanding Public Perceptions of International Aid (February 2012) is a report of quantitative and qualitative research conducted by YouGov focused on the engaged public with the UK a key country (available to Bond members upon request to the Bond Advocacy team)
  • DFID Public Attitudes Towards Development (spring 2010) (see also DFID below)
  • Independent story on Downing Street poll: Generous' Britons back foreign aid rise (November 2011)
  • PoliticsHome report with opinion research of YouGov on public attitudes towards the Coalition government’s international aid policy (June 2011)
  • YouGov/The Taxpayers' Alliance Survey on UK aid spending (June 2011)

Ongoing research

Other notable research

Articles and other sources

European Commission research

The European Commission monitors the evolution of public opinion in EU Member States through Eurobarometer and other initiatives. This includes occasional surveys of opinion on aid and development as well as other issues NGOs work on (eg. climate change). The results include breakdown by country providing both a snapshot on the UK and how the UK compares with others.  

International surveys

World Opinion on Economic Development and Humanitarian Aid (January 2012): Digest of existing polling data on US and 'global' public attitudes on the world's most pressing challenge

Other research

From 2004-2007, DFID funded Comic Relief through the Development Awareness Fund that existed then to carry out research into public perceptions including the impact of Make Poverty History in the End of Year Notes (April 2006). 

ActionAid Opinion Poll on Public Attitudes to Aid: Summary (December 2006)