Monday, November 18, 2019

Sida sees ‘Hans Rosling effect’ in new poll results

In Sida’s annual opinion poll, 80 per cent of those who were asked said Sweden plays an important role in the development of poor countries. 

There was little significant change in many of the indicators examined by the poll.Two-thirds of those polled said the current aid level of 1 per cent of GNI was appropriate or should be increased, while 18 per cent were negative and another 18 per cent said they did not know. There has in fact been a steady increase in positive attitudes to the Swedish aid level since 1996, while negative attitudes have gradually dropped.

But when it comes to knowledge about progress in developing countries, the poll registers a big improvement. Sida’s Director General Charlotte Petri Gornitzka suggests this might be a result of a “Hans Rosling effect”; referring to the popular Swedish professor of international health whose highly accessible presentations of statistics on global health and economics have been seen by millions.

The poll shows that a steadily increasing number of Swedes believe that living conditions in the world are improving. In 2004, only 19 per cent believed this to be true. By 2015 almost half of those asked were aware of this progress, according to the poll.

Moreover, the increase between 2014 and 2015 of 8.3 per cent is the largest recorded since the polling began.

The most well-known “aid organisations” in Sweden are the Swedish Red Cross (26 per cent) and Sida (25 per cent), followed by Unicef (13 per cent) and Save the Children (10 per cent).