METHOD 26: Surveying Opinion and Information Gathering
1. Opinion Polls: Conducting a "person-in-the street" survey on human rights issues can provide useful data about the local community. Help participants formulate unbiased questions that will elicit the desired information and discuss the components of reliable data.
2. Documenting Evidence: Data gathering can also involve observing and recording day to day events related to human rights (e.g., gender roles in the family, number of times participants hear a racial slur).
Examples of Method:
The Human Rights Education Handbook: "Activity 8: A Dialogue with Your Lettuce," p. 83; "Activity 18: Taking the Human Rights
Temperature in Your School," p. 90; "Model 3: Three-day Workshop," p. 121.
ABC: "Who's Who?" "Food," "Water."†[www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]
First Steps: "She Doesn't Work." [erc.hrea.org/Library/First_Steps/index.html]
3. Voting with Your Feet: Participants are asked literally to take a position according to their degree or disagreement with a statement. Designate areas in the room that represent positions on a continuum (e.g., "Strongly Agree," "Generally Agree," "Don't Know," "Generally Disagree," "Strongly Disagree"). Read a statement on a controversial issue (e.g., "Health care is a human right"), allow for reflection time, and then ask participants to take a position. When groups have formed, ask people to explain their opinion or dialogue with others who hold opposite positions. Encourage those who are undecided to ask questions. After discussion, invite anyone who wishes to change places.
4. Democratic Voting: Practice democratic rules of order and voting methods to make group decisions. Help participants decide which methods are appropriate to different situations (e.g., formal nominations, voice vote, straw votes, run-off elections, open and secret ballots).