Listening to Kazakhstan uses monthly, nationally representative surveys of the population to monitor rapidly changing situations, with a focus on wellbeing and public opinion. The survey has been applied in many countries around the world – including Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic. It consists of a comprehensive face-to-face baseline survey, followed by monthly phone interviews with a randomly selected subsample of respondents who participated in the baseline.
Results from these surveys are often most useful during rapid change or important reforms. “Listening to” surveys are some of the few sources of data providing real-time insight into the impacts of policy changes on households. They can also demonstrate citizens’ perceptions of the impacts and support for key government reforms and monitor the impacts of policy.
For instance, in Kazakhstan the initiative also monitors the attitudes and concerns of citizens during the rollout of vaccines and recovery programs. In addition, and as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic, having a system to quickly collect views and information from the public is very valuable to respond to unpredictable shocks, when rapid decision-making is necessary, and when face-to-face data collection is too expensive or too slow.
Following experience from other countries, Listening to Kazakhstan (L2Kaz) began with a single face-to-face baseline interview, followed by a continuous monthly phone-based survey of households. The sample size now stands at about 2,000 respondents per month. The baseline focused on core socio-economic characteristics of the household and its members that do not change or only change very slowly.
In contrast, the monthly phone interviews focus on themes that may change from one month to the next, such as employment status, income, life satisfaction, and electricity or heating outages. The surveys also include comprehensive modules on personal views related to consequential policy reforms. We maintain a set of standard questions that are asked every month, in addition to modules that can be flexibly added considering changing circumstances or information needs.
The baseline face-to-face survey was implemented in October 2020. Monthly phone interviews began in December 2020.
Listening to Kazakhstan is led by the Poverty and Equity Global Practice of the World Bank in close collaboration with our partners, UNICEF, and NAC Analytica.