PRESS RELEASE: 19TH NOVEMBER 2008
DANQUAH INSTITUTE, GABBY OTCHERE-DARKO CANNOT BE POLLSTERS AND
REGULATORS AT THE SAME TIME
London, United Kingdom— The shameless attacks of the Danquah Institute and it's Executive Director, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko on the recent opinion polls conducted by the Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. was not only an attack on democracy but also smacks of gross intolerance for serious research and academic debate.
Following an emergency official conference call of members of the Research Committee on Tuesday 18 November 2008, Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. would like to inform the general public that rather than taking the low road to attack serious academic research conducted by other groups, it would prefer to have a healthy debate concerning opinion polling in Ghana to promote the nation's young democracy.
In the last few months, the Danquah Institute conducted several opinion polls. Other organizations including the Primary Research Associates, National Commission for Civic Education, Research International, Mr Ben Ephson's polling agency and Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. carried out their separate polls. Under no circumstance did we attempt to impose our findings on the Danquah Institute. We did not attempt to regulate or question their polls either. For this reason, we would like to urge them to mind their own business, while we mind our own—this will spare the Ghanaian people the hypocritical holier-than-thou attitude being exhibited by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and his Danquah Institute. Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. is not answerable to the Danquah Institute.
As a matter of respect to the public, we find it necessary to correct the false information being put out in the media by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and the Danquah Institute. Much of our identity as a group was disclosed in our November 15, 2008 Press Statement regarding the polls conducted in Ghana which we legitimately sponsored as a Ghanaian Diaspora organization. Our identity was never hidden in our Press Statement.
Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc is a U.S incorporated not-for-profit entity that brings together like-minded young Ghanaian working professionals based outside the country, interested in academic debate and practical research on Ghanaian public policy issues. Our members are mainly in the United Kingdom and a few in the USA and Canada. Membership is also exclusively by genuine interest and full participation and we are not a profit making “firm” or “company” as being portrayed by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and his Danquah Institute, neither did we claim anywhere that we are a foreign-owned institution seeking to interfere in Ghana's young democracy.
In fact, our opinion poll press statement made it clear “this polling exercise is the third research exercise sponsored by young Ghanaian professionals who are independent, multi-partisan working associates of the Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. in the Diaspora”. The Danquah Institute's claim that its preliminary check “has drawn a blank on the existence of Policy & Strategy Associates anywhere in the world” is therefore false and
misleading. They must therefore stop the cheap-shots and name-calling and straighten their own background. We are not ready to descend into the political gutter with the Danquah Institute because our objectives are not as political as theirs. Among our objectives is to provide Ghanaians with credible information and analysis
without any form of bias.
Since Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko does not seem to get it, we would like to tell him that the formula for determining margins of error is not fixed. His outfit does not have full details of the data we collected and how we arrived at our final computation, so they should mind their own business. Also, our November 15 opinion poll press
statement stated the reason for the significantly large margin of polling error which read: “All in all, the overall outlook indicate election 2008 will be the most challenging to both the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC given the statistically significant large margin of error (+ or – 4%) that allows for a balanced assessment of the various strategies and risks associated with
forecasting the eventual outcome of the election. This poll is just a
scientific sampling of voter opinion.”
We are not obliged to provide Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and the Danquah Institute details of our polls. The good people of Ghana must be made aware that prior to launching baseless attacks on our polls, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko personally emailed the Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. to furnish him with our internal polling
information, a request we found too absurd and unprofessional since no organization or group shares confidential information with others unless under a previous agreement. Our question is: Why the desperate and panicky interest of Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko and his Danquah Institute in other organization's opinion polling and research work if they do not have any diabolic agenda?
Regarding the claim about the Editor of the Report, Prince Kassim, he is an Associate member for research at Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc. with a hardworking professional life as a Researcher since 2006, well known by his peers. He worked to edit the final polling report as well as the original press release as part of his
professional duties. He lives in London just like over half of our total membership. His contact details are with those websites and media organizations that we vetted appropriate to speak to since we received several requests and emails both from Ghana and internationally, all of which we cannot reply to.
Policy & Strategy Associates, Inc.
E-mail: [email protected]
**If you are an organization or researcher wanting to contact us, please provide genuine full contact details in your email so that someone can get in touch with you. Unfortunately, we had several rogue characters who dishonestly tried to contact us, hence this measure.