“Trust Index 3” and “The state's anti-crisis policy against the pandemic in public opinion”
Zahid Oruj: Trust and confidence in the President is the main assurance of security, economic, political and moral renewal, the rule of law, and the policy of building a new government!
The Social Research Center (SRC) regularly studies and researches changes in the state and society, observes trends, new approaches, dynamics in society, and prepares references for presentation public, as well as government agencies.
STM regularly conducts a public poll/survey of the President's activities in a special issue of Trust Index and conducts a scientific analysis of President Ilham Aliyev's activities, the place of his large-scale economic, social, and foreign policy course in our national life, and the goals set.
The third issue of the Trust Index is dedicated to the activities of the President of Azerbaijan in the second quarter of the year - in April and June.
Public opinion research reveals that in the last 5 months, political leadership against the global coronavirus pandemic, the ability of the state to mobilize potential resources, forces, and capabilities, maintaining public trust and confidence has become a key condition for ensuring national unity.
The Social Research Center also published a large-scale survey on "The state's anti-crisis policy against the pandemic in public opinion." The anti-crisis strategy adopted by the Azerbaijani government in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the assessment of relevant public policy based on public opinion, plays an important role in planning government decisions for the coming period.
The analytical report assesses the government's response to urgent social support measures in the near future in order to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic on macroeconomic stability, employment, and entrepreneurship in the country, based on public opinion.
Opening the briefing for the public presentation of both reports, Zahid Oruj, Chairman of the Board of the Social Research Center, said that trust and confidence in the President is the main assurance of peace, economic, political, and moral renewal, rule of law and new government policy!
Z. Oruj also mentioned that the coronavirus pandemic in the world, it covers the economy, social welfare, internal and external relations, in short, all spheres of public life. The previous months have shown that the leaders of countries have reacted sharply to the threat of a pandemic at different times and in different forms, both from historical and political figures and from modern professional leaders. Now, we certainly see the special demeanor of societies.
• To what extent have leaders been able to ensure national unity in times of crisis?
• To what extent do they have managed to maintain the unity of the central government, i.e. the state, within the framework of national and international cooperation, taking into account the fate of their nation?
• Were the leaders responsible for protecting the health and security of the people able to ensure their monolithic rather than blaming the various state, government, and local authorities?
• The new socio-psychological and political changes in the behavior of each nation, individual - in most cases against the background of the awakening of nationalism and historical memory, choosing the course of a gradual exit from the pandemic, economic, social life, jobs, and employment, in short, normalization measures. Was it possible to maintain public order and peace? ”
The Chairman of SRC specifically mentioned that the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan was able to take on all the threats to bring his nation out of the biggest trials in world history. He showed a strong character, a strong will, and therefore his charisma and prestige remain strong among the people. This authority is the main guarantee of security, economic, political, and moral renewal, the rule of law, and, most importantly, the policy of building a new government on a larger scale than in 2019. As in the last 5 months, Mehriban Aliyeva has stood shoulder to shoulder with the President in all spheres of state and national life.
Zahid Oruj also noted the study and monitoring of the dynamics of public opinion on the activities of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan were first initiated by the Social Research Center: “The next report is the third in this series, the second in 2020 covers the quarter - April-June. The analytical report prepared based on a sociological survey, monitors the public attitude to the multifaceted activities of the President of the country during this period, its dynamics, and analysis compared to the previous period.
You will see from the report that the countries that have resolutely passed the secular test in this period will be strengthened by the reforms required by the new reality. On the other hand, other groups will find themselves in a difficult position due to their weak leadership, poverty, instability, and economic stagnation. Another worrying point is that the number of countries in the second group will be higher than the first.
Based on the results of the public opinion poll, we confidently say that Azerbaijan is among the successful and tested countries.
The reason for this is that in the year since the beginning of the pandemic in the world, researchers and experts have identified three key factors that determine the success of the pandemic:
1. Political leader factor;
2. Potential resources, power, and capabilities of the state;
3. Existence of public trust and confidence.
In countries that have three pillars of these "success factors" that will help them emerge from the pandemic crisis and further develop, political leaders trusted by citizens can neutralize the blows of the pandemic by establishing flexible strategic governance. In societies where there are mutual trust and national unity, these qualities create a completely new value against the background of the coronavirus, becoming a national force.
In conclusion, the chairman of the SRC said that during the pandemic, the countries were faced with political, moral, and spiritual choices. When choosing whether to "save the health of citizens or the economy," different countries made different choices. The President of Azerbaijan stated that nothing can be more important than people's lives. Thus, the priority is given by the Azerbaijani leadership to the health, well-being, and security of its citizens as a strategic priority was one of the most correct decisions made in the current situation.
The content of all anti-crisis activities carried out under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev - from economic support programs, social packages to adaptation and modernization of health infrastructure, construction of new clinics - serves this purpose - to keep the citizen as the highest value.
In his speech, Deputy Chairman of the SRC Board Elshad Mirbashir spoke about various aspects of the "Trust Index" and said that one of the priorities of the President's activities is army building. Of course, the special attention paid to the armed forces is, above all, because our country is at war. The results of the survey clearly showed that the population appreciates the activities of the President in the field of military building:
"Thus, 70.7% of the respondents think that the activities of the President in the field of the military building are very effective. 24.6% of respondents consider the activity of the head of state in this direction to be effective. The interest rate of citizens who take the opposite position is 2.5. Effective activity in the field of the military building is a key factor in increasing trust and confidence in the President. Thus, 82.6% of the 24.6% of respondents, who expressed an increase in trust and confidence in the president, praised his work in building the army. 27.6% of the 2.6% of respondents who expressed a decrease in trust and confidence positively assessed the activities in the field of army building.
New challenges and development goals at the international and national levels make it necessary to increase flexibility and efficiency in public administration. Personnel reforms as an important solution in this direction are always in the focus of the head of state. The personnel reforms implemented by the President are assessed by 53.9% of respondents as very effective, and by 32% as mainly effective. 6.5% of respondents do not consider personnel reforms effective. Personnel reforms implemented by the President have also played an effective role in increasing trust and confidence in him. Thus, 68.6% of the 24.6% of respondents, who expressed an increase in trust and confidence in the president, praised the personnel reforms. 2.6% of respondents, who expressed a decrease in trust and confidence, and 8% positively assessed the personnel reforms. 81.2% of those who consider the personnel reforms implemented by the President very effective, also support his initiatives in the fight against corruption. A significant part of those who negatively assess the personnel reforms - 74.3% - believe that it is right to prosecute officials who commit corruption.
New challenges and development goals at the international and national levels make it necessary to increase flexibility and efficiency in public administration.
"The fight against corruption in the country has intensified, especially recently. One of the main goals of both personnel reforms and institutional reforms is to prevent corruption. The activity of the President in this direction was assessed by 56.1% of respondents as very effective, and by 27.2% of respondents as effective. At the same time, there are still some expectations in the fight against corruption. Thus, 12.3% of respondents do not think that the work done in this direction is very effective. 4.4% of respondents had difficulty expressing their views. 56.1% of respondents expressed a positive attitude to the activities carried out in the fight against corruption, 36.5% said they trusted the Cabinet of Ministers, and 33.4% - the Parliament.
E. Mirbashir mentioned the flexible strategic steps taken by the President in the field of security and foreign policy always attract attention. At this stage, Azerbaijan has been able to establish a system of effective multifaceted cooperation, having a serious position in the system of international relations. The majority of those polled by the Social Research Center share this view. Thus, 54% of respondents consider the President's activities in the field of security and foreign policy very effective, 28.9% mainly effective. Those who disagree make up 6.5% of respondents. There has been an increase in the percentage of those who have difficulty responding in this direction. Thus, 10.7% of respondents had difficulty answering the question about security and foreign policy activities.
Seymur Aliyev, Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Analysis of the Social Research Center, mentioned that the decisions made in the framework of strategies to combat crises caused by natural disasters (now pandemics) are calculated in two stages. The study assesses the anti-crisis strategy and relevant state policies of the Azerbaijani state in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic based on public opinion. The study of citizen opinion on anti-crisis policy based on complementary strategic decisions and recommendations aims to ensure accountability and reference for future decisions: “The analytical report aims to reduce the negative impact of the state pandemic on macroeconomic stability, employment and entrepreneurship soon. The attitude indicators of the urgent social support measures implemented for the purpose are evaluated based on public opinion.
To achieve the aforementioned goals, the Social Research Center conducted the following nationwide surveys, focused group discussions, and analyzed the results of the research team to study public opinion on the anti-crisis measures adopted and implemented by the Operational Headquarters on different dates.
- The first stage (April 24-30, 2020). Study of public attitudes to policy in the field of pandemic prevention and strengthening of social welfare (sociological survey of 1212 respondents);
- The second stage (May 8-11, 2020). Survey of public opinion to measure the satisfaction of beneficiaries of state social support measures (sociological survey of 1212 respondents);
- The third stage (May 22-23, 2020) Study of the attitude of the state to social support measures of those who lost their jobs during the quarantine period as a special group (sociological survey with 124 out of 365 respondents);
- The fourth stage (June 9-10, 2020) Study of public attitudes to the tightening of the quarantine regime in the fight against the pandemic (a sociological survey of 384 respondents);
- The fifth stage (July 3-7, 2020) Study of public attitudes to the measures applied in some cities and regions and the tightened quarantine regime in the framework of the fight against the pandemic (sociological survey conducted with 1212 respondents).
The head of the department emphasized that the survey covered a total of 4,144 respondents in 5 (five) stages, covering Baku, Absheron, Ganja-Gazakh, Sheki-Zagatala, Lankaran, Guba-Khachmaz, Karabakh, Aran, and Mountainous Shirvan economic-geographical regions. The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the occupied regions were not included in the survey.
10 times more landline telephone numbers were randomly selected from the relevant databases than the number of respondents to participate in the survey for each economic region. After that, the selected numbers were called until the required number of respondents ensured their participation in the survey.
Because of the quarantine limitations, the survey was conducted by phone interviews. In addition, the modern survey program SurveyToGo was used.
The analysis is mainly prioritized in the following areas:
- Study of public opinion on preventive measures of the state in the fight against pandemics
- To study the impact of the special quarantine regime on the daily life and income of the population
- Social support measures in the fight against pandemics
- Measures related to the provision of products and services during the special quarantine period
- Financial measures implemented in the framework of pandemic control
- Measures related to exit from the special quarantine regime
- International cooperation in the fight against pandemics
"Assessment of the activities of relevant persons and organizations in the fight against pandemics."