NDI North Macedonia, 2020 Elections

Sometimes I get to work on public issues and share reports. North Macedonia has important challenges as it has recently entered NATO and seeks entry into the EU. It is a small country of 2+ million people, with closely divided political parties and a sizable Albanian minority. The citizenry wants to escape a system of organized corruption and develop its economy, but the two main parties offer different paths. And, of course, there is the pandemic. Elections in April were postponed and finally conducted in July, under COVID-19 health protection protocols. Here are the public March 2020 and June 2020 reports.

Second Survey of Civic Leadership Programs

We recently wrapped up our work on a second survey of senior executives of Civic Leadership Programs. Click here for the memo. With this survey, we have demonstrated our methodology is sound. In the memo, you will find interesting insights on a variety of topics including professional development topics, use of endowments and commonly held views on leadership programs.

Our next step is to conduct a pilot program in which civic leadership programs will collaborate with us on developing evidence-based measurements of impact in communities and better understanding the mechanisms for engaging alumni of core programs.

Thanks again to the many executives who participated in the survey.

Poker with Nate Silver (Not): When to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em

Kudos to AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) for adding a new, fun twist to this year’s conference.  They added a Texas Hold ‘Em charity event.  Finally, some numbers-friendly competition with other pollsters, and only our dignity on the line.

Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight fame and a recipient of an AAPOR award, was kind enough to join us. Cool.  As we entered the poker parlor, Nate and I were chatting, and I thought it would be a nice challenge to sit at his table — until Nate’s voice dropped to a whisper and shared, “it has been a while (playing poker), but I did play professionally for a few years.”

So, I moved to another table.  Yes, Kenny Rogers’ ditty was playing in my head.

In the end, I failed to make it out of the first round, and Nate made it to the final group of three.  Our celebrity host, a World Series of Poker veteran, pulled out some impressive moves and won the event.

Nate Silver’s first influential work was in baseball statistics.  He would probably enjoy playing in my fantasy baseball league, full of other professional political/sports-junkie quant types.  Too bad there are no seats left at our table (phew).