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In 2004, LAPOP established the AmericasBarometer as multi-country, regularly conducted survey of democratic values and behaviors in the Americas, organized by a consortium of academic and think-tank partners in the hemisphere. The first round included voting-age respondents from 11 countries. The second round of surveys took place in 2006 and represented 22 countries from the hemisphere. In 2008, 24 countries throughout the Americas were again included, and over 36,000 individuals. In 2010, which marks the latest round of surveys, 26 countries were included with Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname added for the first time, and over 43,000 individuals were surveyed.
Through years of polling an expanding set of countries using sophisticated techniques, LAPOP has developed a treasure trove of high quality data on political views within the Americas. The data are used by academic researchers, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in its efforts to promote Latin American democracy, the World Bank in its Governance Indicators series, the Inter-American Development Bank in its numerous research projects, and the United Nations Development Programme and the Organization of American States in their democracy programs, and perhaps most significantly, by the governments of several Latin American countries as a source of independent information with which to assess public opinion and shape policy.
The 2008 round of the AmericasBarometer included 24 countries and over 40,000 respondents. Each survey was implemented based on a national probability design. In some cases oversamples were collected to allow precise analysis of opinion within sub-national regions. Survey participants were voting-age adults.
LAPOP prides itself in employing rigorous methodology, employing carefully designed stratified and clustered national samples, dozens of pretests for each new questionnaire module introduced, the widespread use of handheld computers to collect the data, extensive training of interviewers by LAPOP faculty and staff, and free on-line access to all of our data.
LAPOP also provides extensive training in the protection of the rights of human subjects following all applicable regulations and, as well, support to local firms with respect to safety issues.