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The Development Engagement Lab project

Published 3 September 2019 in Surveys

Phase 2 of the project, 2019-2023: a series of opinion polls to better capture and analyse public feeling and understanding about international development

The Development Engagement Lab research project (DEL, 2019-2023) aims to measure and better understand what the general public think about international development issues, and why (and how) they become involved.

The term "development" refers to poverty reduction and development of poor countries but also the Sustainable Development Goals.

The DEL project, which is a second phase of the Aid Attitudes Tracker research project (AAT), will be run over five years. Like the AAT, DEL research will be based principally on quantitative data from opinion polls carried out to measure feelings, opinions, behaviour or expectations of the general public in four countries: France, Germany, the UK and the US.

The results from the DEL project will provide data and information to development actors (development NGOs, Foundations, think tanks, ministries and public institutions) to support the design and delivery of their communication and advocacy.

Focus 2030 is the partner for the DEL project in France. We co-construct the questions and content of the opinion poll, according to the needs of our partners, and then analyse and publish the results. Focus 2030 works with data concerning France specifically but also to produce comparative analysis of France against the other three countries surveyed.

The DEL project, financed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is led by Professor Jennifer Hudson of University College London and Professor David Hudson from the University of Birmingham.

There are three different types of polling tools used in the project:

  • The Tracker: to measure trends in answers across all four of the DEL countries (France, Germany, the UK and the US). 10 identical questions are put three times a year over five years to a sample of around 2000 respondents, and once a year to a sample of around 6000 respondents.
  • The Sandbox: to measure views on specific issues to each one of the four countries. For this survey, there are 30 new questions each time, put twice a year to around 2000 respondents.
  • The Panel: finally, to measure views on subjects common to all four countries, this tool contains 60 questions which are put to a panel of around 6000 people once a year.


YouGov, which is in charge of conducting the polls, is a opinion polling institute established in 2000 in the UK, with 31 offices in 21 countries (including in France, since November 2011). YouGov has a panel of 5 million people across 28 countries, representing all ages, socio-economic categories and genders. This panel enables a representative sample of national populations for different opinion polls. In France, the panel has 175,000 people.

You can find out more about YouGov here.

Survey methods used by YouGov

YouGov carries out its opinion polls on line, mostly using a system called ‘active sampling’. For each poll, emphasis is on the quality rather than the quantity of respondents.

With this system, restrictions are introduced to ensure that only those people contacted are authorised to participate in the survey. This means that all of the respondents to the survey have been pre-selected by YouGov, from their panel of registered respondents, and only those chosen from the panel can participate.

To represent the French population according to the quota method, YouGov uses socio-demographic data published by the French national statistics bureau, INSEE.

Survey samples for each poll take into account the following categories for respondents:
 annual income
 level of education

The panel members are recruited from several different channels, such as classic advertising, or through various different websites.

Which respondents take part in DEL surveys?

Various socio-demographic information is recorded for each new panel member.

Respondents have a log-in and password, and can only reply once to each online survey.

Data analysis

Once the survey is complete, the final data are weighted statistically against the national profile of adults aged over 18. The weighting is carried out for age, social class, region, level of education, political votes at recent elections, and political preference.

‘Active sampling’ therefore ensures an accurate and proportional representation in participation in the survey. Combined with statistical weighting, the sample provides representative findings for the whole of the population of the country under study (including those who do not have access to internet).

Reimbursement for participation

Respondents earn ‘YouGov points’ each time they take part in a survey. Depending on the size of the survey, taking part in between 10-15 polls will earn around 400 points. 5000 points equal a monetary value of around 56 € (£50). Participants must reach a minimum of 5000 points before being able to claim any kind of reimbursement.

Margin of error

The margin of error for DEL surveys (which involve between 2000 and 6000 respondents) is ± 2%.

Any other questions?

Further reading

En savoir plus sur le projet DEL - Development Engagement Lab Pour suivre le projet DEL sur Twitter

Documents to download

En savoir plus sur le projet DEL - Development Engagement Lab Pour suivre le projet DEL sur Twitter