Download the results of the public opinion poll 2013
Should Poland help less developed countries?
According to the research from 2013, 60% of Poles say that Poland should support less developed countries. The highest support for Polish development assistance was recorded in 2008 and 2009, when it reached 84%. Public support for the Polish assistance to poorer countries recorded a decline of 6 percentage points compared to 2012, when it amounted to 84%. Twenty percent of the respondents were of the opinion that Poland should not support the development of less developed countries. According to the results of the research, the percentage was much lower in 2013 than in 2004, when it reached thirty-five percent. Most of the opponents of Poland’s engagement in providing development assistance can be found among respondents with primary education (24%), basic or vocation education (25%), labourers (27%) and the unemployed (28%).
On what basis do Polish people form their opinion about the activities in the frame of development assistance?
The number of citizens using the access to the information concerning development assistance is still quite limited. The result of the survey indicate that in Poles’ common opinion, there are only 72 countries out of about 200, which are poorer and less developed than Poland. Only 13% of the respondents correctly answered that there are more than 100 such countries. In fact, Poland is ranked 39th in the Human Development Index, so it is placed before 147 other countries for which the statistics are being kept in the frame of the UN (in 2012, a total of 186 countries were analysed).
Low level of knowledge about development assistance among Polish people may result from the lack of appropriate information in the media. Most of the respondents (69%) during the last two, three months did not have a contact with information about Poland’s development assistance to other countries. The result is 4 percentage points lower than last year.
A contact with such information depends to a large extent on a degree of “the respondents’ interest in politics”. In the group of people with no interest in politics, 24% of the surveyed had a contact with the news about Polish development activities. Among people very interested in current affairs, on the other hand, the percentage was twice higher and reached 50%. The information concerning Polish development assistance reached people with higher education (47%) twice more often than people with primary education (20%).
According to the results of the survey, the most important medium in terms of the source of the information about Polish assistance to other countries is television (89% of the respondents, i.e. 2 percentage points more than in 2012). Other sources were mentioned much less frequently.
What information about development assistance reached the Polish people the most frequently? One third (34%) of the respondents indicated contact with information regarding assistance to Asian countries and the victims of cataclysms. According to the surveyed, it is a result of intensified information campaign after the earthquake in the Philippines in October 2013. The percentage of people who heard about the UN Millennium Development Goals is slightly higher than last year (an increase of 3 percentage points to 14%).
How willing are we to financially support development in poorer countries?
Every third Pole (33%) would allow the government to allocate PLN 5 from her/his taxes to development assistance. The current amount of the funds that were in fact donated to that purpose in 2012 is somewhat more that PLN 3 per month for each citizen. One fifth of the surveyed (20%) would be willing to agree to support development activities but with the amount lower than PLN 5. 26% of the respondents would not want to fund development projects and programs to be financed from their taxes. At the same time, every second person (50%) thinks that Poland is a country allocates to development assistance to poorer countries exactly as much money as it should be spend, taking into account an economic potential of Poland. The answers indicating that we spend too much and too little are given similarly often (12% and 11% accordingly).
How can Polish people help to support developing countries?
Although according to the surveyed the biggest challenges for the global south countries are access to drinking water (42%), infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS (43%) and armed conflicts (42%). 42% of the respondents claim that Poland would have more to offer those countries in the field of improving level of education and health service (39%). Every third respondent (33%) thinks that Poland could contribute to the development of poorer countries by making it easier for students from those countries to study in Poland. One quarter of the surveyed (24%) claims that it would be effective to send volunteers to those countries. According to 54% of the respondents, specialized international organizations should monitor whole process of financing the assistance. 51% of the surveyed indicate Polish non-governmental organizations and companies as subjects appropriate to deliver the assistance.
Where and how should development assistance be sent from Poland?
More than a half of the respondents claims that Africa should be the main recipient of development assistance. As compared to the last year’s survey, the support of Polish people for development assistance in Southeast Asia increased (4 percentage points to 22%), but it relatively decreased in the case Poland’s eastern neighbours – Ukraine and Belarus (10 percentage points to 18%) and other Post-Soviet Republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia (3 percentage points to 14%).
The surveyed were also asked about the criteria which „should decide about taking or not actions in the field of democratization in particular countries by Poland.”. However, the respondents did not give any clear answer. Relatively most important issue seems to be a consent of particular country to become a recipient of an aid (26%). Invariably since 2006, most of the supporters of development assistance consider youth exchange as very important action of promoting democracy in non democratic countries (35% in the last survey). In their opinion, independent radio and television broadcasting from abroad should be supported (27%), representatives of democratic opposition should be invited to Poland (26%), and particular issues should be raised in the forums of international organizations like the UN or the European Parliament (25%).
Prepared by Magdalena Albrycht, Jan Hofmokl, DWR
 The results of the public opinion research about Polish development assistance conducted by TNS Polska on 22-27 October 2013 on a representative sample of 1,000 inhabitants of the country at the age of 15 and more.
 United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Index trend, https://data.undp.org/dataset/Table-2-Human-Development-Index-trends/efc4-gjvq, access on 26 January 2014.
 In 2012, the sum amounted to PLN 3,08 mln monthly per statistical citizen of the Republic of POLAND, according to the data about Polish official development assistance, reported to the DAC OECD (PLN 1,423 mln), and the data of the Central Statistical Office (GUS) concerning the number of population in 2012 (PLN 38,533 mln), “Rocznik Demograficzny” (“The Demographic Yearbook of Poland”), p. 28-29, 2012.