Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's not about methodology. It's obvious, officer!

From The Jakarta Post,
"The police force is seen by the business community as the most bribe-riddled institution, while corruption at judicial institutions is the most costly, according to a survey revealed Wednesday."
The police department had made record twice in first place according to the survey as they also become the most bribe-riddled institution during 2007 survey. The most interesting part after this finding being announced is the respond from police department. As mention by the National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Abubakar Nataprawira, they questioned the methodology used in the survey. How can they used the same argument twice? They used the same argument after 2007 survey result being announced.

I believe that methodology is not the critical issue here. Instead, the police department should be careful as well as paying attention on what being suggested by the survey's finding. When the first survey in 2007 found that police department is seen as the most corrupt institution, the methodology issue argument perhaps still relevant as it might be due to sample selection and possible bias. However, if we assumed that similar methodology being used and expectantly the sample will different (since they will be randomly selected) then it is hard not to accept that the respondents perspective is valid. In this case, even with different - randomly selected - respondents still the results show similar findings, it is obvious that the survey results is valid. That means the police department indeed is seen as the most corrupt institution.

You may assume that the respondent will be the same as the previous survey. We call this kind of survey data - supposed to be - as longitudinal data. Even if it is so, if the police department could be introspective against themselves, then same respondents with similar answers could lead into conclusion that the police department haven't done anything to improve their image. It means, according to respondents opinion, police department still seen as the most corrupt institution.

All I want to say is, survey results may not telling you the whole story or perpective. But, if we carefully analyze and understand the nature of the survey then we will understand that there are a lot of information could be derived from them. Those information - no matter bias it is - still significantly representing public opinion, given the sample being selected. For police department, you can learn a lot for sure from the survey if you wish to improve your performance, particularly in the area of public services.

The next issues is whether police department could learned from survey that - almost always - mentioned them as the most corrupt institution? It is useless for them only denying the results and blaming on the survey techniques. Even without survey at all, it is already become a public secret that police officer is the most bribe-riddled officer in the face of people. Denial only makes them even more worse rather than instrospects and recover from the dust.

*picture: courtesy of The Jakarta Post

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