The Public Opinion Research Center was founded in 1982 as a special scientific and consultative research and training unit to be affiliated with the Faculty of Mass Communications at Cairo University. The center is a technically, financially and administratively independent entity and was established in the context of the Cairo Universitys taking direction into reviving research into the public opinion, taking an interest in the peoples issues, and organizing research efforts to be integrated and harmonious with one another in order to create a tightly-knit atmosphere that will help increase the scientific output of researchers and Cairo University as a whole and ensure the positive interaction with the local community issues and those policies and programs concerned with the peoples problems and those pivotal issues that are of interest. Several leading academic figures and experts in the media and public opinion fields in Egypt have presided over the Public Opinion Research Center. Work in the center is based on a consultative panel, the capabilities of the Faculty of Mass Communications and the facilities provided by the Cairo University with all its faculties and various centers.
2- Mission and Interests
The Public Opinion Research Center aims at exchanging scientific opinions through holding conferences, symposiums, specialist workshops, seminars and constructive lectures which look into matters related to the center and its research interests.
3- Spheres of work
Work in the Public Opinion Research Center is based on three spheres: Scientific Study and Research, Community Service and Research Cadres Training.
a) The sphere of Scientific Study and Research
The Public Opinion Research Center conducts scientific study and research into issues that are of interest to people and decision-makers and measures up the public opinion trends with respect to important issues. The center employs all its potential to serve this aim, and, therefore, the Public Opinion Research Centers analytical, in-depth field studies, quantitative and qualitative, are the hallmark of the centers scientific research activity. In this regard, the function of the Public Opinion Research Center is:
* To conduct scientific studies in the field of public opinion polls and their regular periodic measurements which provide the required information to support decision-makers.
* To methodically examine the public opinion issues and their impact on the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Middle East.
* To develop the public opinion and marketing research studies in Egypt and work on taking them to some modern international levels in accordance with the methodical accuracy standards, guarantees of trust and the credibility of results.
* To study those political, economic, social and international media issues which are of interest to the Egyptian society, as well as the local issues that have to do with the economic policies. The center also studies issues related to organizing the labor market, the demographic composition of Egypt, and human resources development and its contribution to the labor market.
* To study and follow up on the political, economic, social and various media issues and developments, at the local, regional and international levels, which would have an impact on the Egyptian society, recognize the significance of these developments, and, consequently, manage to make some scientific predictions and reach future results. Additionally, the center prepares lists of topics that are of interest to the Arab Republic of Egypt at the local, regional and international levels, prioritize those topics according to their importance, and then form team works to study such topics and produce practical recommendations.
* To prepare future studies built on facts for the selection of the best alternatives so as to cope with the event before it occurs and to avoid taking snap decisions.
* To prepare memos and studies that are like "concentrated extracts or sources of information" to be placed at the disposal of the concerned authorities, such as governmental bodies and institutions, research centers and universities. In addition to this, the center has database to measure the Egyptian public opinion trends.
b) The sphere of Community Service
In this area, the activities of the Center for Public Opinion Research are as follows:
* To strengthen scientific relationships with regional and international associations and organizations, ministries and local bodies, research centers and specialist academic departments in the Egyptian, Arab and foreign universities.
* To contribute to raising the social and cultural awareness and enrich the Arabic library through publishing books and accurate studies in political, economic, social and media fields.
* To take up the cause to promote and develop scientific research, writing and translation studies, especially those studies which address various issues in the Egyptian society, in particular, and the Arab community, in general.
* To organize conferences, symposia, seminars and lectures to discuss the media and public opinion studies and examine their practical applications, enhance cooperation with scientific institutions, improve communication between professors, experts and specialists, and take part in conferences organized inside and outside Egypt.
c) The sphere of Research Cadres Training
In this area, the functions of the Public Opinion Research Center are as follows:
* To take all possible measures to encourage and motivate the Egyptian and Arab researchers to carry out in-depth studies of issues and problems the Arab world is facing, thats through awarding researchers scholarships, adopting their studies and scientific activities, and offering encouraging prizes for the outstanding research papers.
* To organize training courses in specific areas for individuals who work for governmental agencies and organizations with regard to their scientific activities and interests.
* To organize specialized training courses for the media, political and social researchers and develop their scientific and practical skills with respect to conducting studies and research.
4- The Public Opinion Centers Potential
Over years of practice and development, the center has had growing academic experiences, especially the teaching staff members of the Faculty of Mass Communications and their assistants. The center has attracted numerous specialists, experienced professors and researchers from other faculties of Cairo University. The center also has technical and technological potential, such as computer laboratories, an up-to-date printing office, audio-visual production studios, and various types of media.
5- The Public Opinion Centers Relationships:
The Public Opinion Research Center cooperates with many of the Egyptian authorities and bodies, like the national press institutions (such as Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar and Al-Gomhuria newspapers), the National Population Council, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF), Cultural Development Fund, etc.). The Public Opinion Research Center has previously cooperated with some foreign and international agencies (especially those agencies of the United Nations and its specialized agencies).
6- Examples Of The Activities Carried Out By The Center
The Public Opinion Research Center has carried out various activities in a way that is compatible with its objectives and mission. Here are some examples of these activities:
1 – Collaborative research with the Radio and TV Union. Those research papers were conducted into the public opinion trends with regard to the radio and television programs, as well as the communication behavior of the Egyptian youth.
2 – Joint research with the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics into young peoples conviction that family planning is important.
3 – A field study on the Egyptian public opinion trends towards cultural services in collaboration with the Cultural Development Fund.
4 – A field study into reading newspapers in Egypt in cooperation with Akhbar Al-Youm.
5 – A study on the role NGOs play in the family planning programs with the National Population Council.
6 – A study on the Al-Ahram newspaper: a vision (in collaboration with Al-Ahram).
7 – A study on the Egyptian childrens vision of the future (in collaboration with the UNICEF.)
8 – A prospective study on the local environmental media assessment of the Delta area in Egypt (in collaboration with the Central Association for Media and Environment and the Environmental Initiatives Fund).
9 – A study to assess Ramadan shows in 1425 A.H., October / November 2004.
10 – A study to assess Ramadan shows in 1426 A.H., October 2005.
11 – A study on the Cairo Universitys teaching staff members inclination towards the new layout of the campus and the services provided to them.
12 – A study on the Cairo University students attitudes towards the new layout of the campus and the services provided to them.
13 - A study on "the reality of womens work in the small and medium-sized projects in the province of Alexandria," in collaboration with the Association of Businesswomen of Alexandria and the Environmental Initiatives Fund. The study was conducted by an elite group of professors and researchers at the Faculty of Mass Communication, Cairo University. The small projects law was being discussed in Egypts Peoples Assembly at the same time of carrying out the research, and, therefore, the research helped provide useful database to decision-makers.
14 – A prospective study on the reality of womens work in the small and medium-sized projects in the province of Alexandria.
15- A study entitled "Tracking Poll On The Audiences Opinion On The Egyptian Societys Problems". This study was carried out in collaboration with the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, and it included a field survey on a sample of 840 people from 7 governorates in Egypt. It was found out that the Egyptian society was facing 114 problems in the political, legal, economic, health, administrative, educational, social, facilities and services, media, cultural, environmental, and religious fields. This study has helped decision-makers identify the problems afflicting the Egyptian society.
B) Training Courses:
1 - Running training courses on communication skills and the public opinion research design for the State Information Service employees.
2 - Offering a training course on the quantitative and qualitative survey methods and public opinion research in collaboration with the Bahrain Center for Studies and Research.
3 – Running a training course on the establishment of a public opinion polls center and the analysis of its results to a group of cadres from Armenia in cooperation with the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with the Commonwealth.
4 - Organizing seminars and workshops, which is one of the most prominent activities of the center. Here are some of the examples of these activities:
- A seminar on the problems of political communication in Egypt in cooperation with the German Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
- A seminar on womens work in the small and medium-sized Enterprises and its future prospects in cooperation with the Association of Businesswomen of Alexandria and the NGOs Initiatives Support Program.
C) The Egyptian Journal of Public Opinion Research:
The Public Opinion Center issues the "Egyptian Journal of Public Opinion Research", which publishes meticulous academic research in the fields of media and communication with the public. And in order to make the best use of the journal, the journal sticks to methodical accuracy. The issues of the journal are for sale to enable researchers and scholars to benefit from the accurate scientific research papers published in each issue. The center is also keen to provide the libraries of the various departments of the Faculty of Mass Communications with copies of the journals issues. Meanwhile, the Public Opinion Center uploads the issues of the Egyptian Journal of Public Opinion Research to this website: WWW.askzad.com
D) Provision of Specialized Services:
The Public Opinion Center offers a variety of services, such as taking scientific research and studies, carried out by Egyptian and Arab professors and researchers, to arbitration, performing statistical analyses (on all levels) of research papers done by individuals or bodies, along with offering courses and specialized consultation services.