Ukrainian Political Issues and Media Focus Groups: A summary of findings

Publication Date: 
30 Jun 1999

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INTRODUCTION AND METHODOLOGY

The International Foundation for Election Systems commissioned Gary A. Ferguson, IFES Consultant and Senior Vice President of American Viewpoint, Inc., along with Socis-Gallup of Kyiv, to conduct a series of focus group discussions to examine Ukrainians' views toward a variety of issues regarding democracy, politics and the media, and the last election in 1998. The discussions also assessed their reactions to specific advertisements. A detailed moderator's agenda was prepared to guide the group discussions. All materials were designed by Gary Ferguson in conjunction with Svetlana Pototskaya of Socis-Gallup and Michael Conway, IFES Europe and Asia Program Officer.

Participants were selected on the basis of their answers to a screening questionnaire, with regard to age, voting patterns, party vote, and a variety of other factors. Our goal was to recruit a cross-section of participants for each group. Despite these efforts, it must be remembered that the findings from small samples of focus group participants cannot be projected to the population and may not represent their views.

Participants were recruited using a random route method designed by Socis. Voters are defined as those who voted in 1998 and are likely to vote in the 1999 presidential elections. Non-voters did not vote in 1998 and have a low likelihood of participation in the 1999 elections. In addition, participants had not participated in another focus group within the past 12 months, were not connected to the research industry, and did not know one another.

Each session lasted approximately two hours and consisted of between 8 and 11 participants. In all groups that contained both voters and non-voters, 75 percent of the recruits were voters and 25 percent non-voters. All groups were moderated by Svetlana Pototskaya of Socis-Gallup. Her report provides the basis for this summary. Additional observations drawn from participants' verbatim comments and earlier survey findings are also included.

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