(This is the fourth post in a series reporting topline results from the recent aid/development blog reader survey. Please go here for full results and other commentary.)

We only had one question that asked about issue interests. That means this post will be shorter than the others. And no crappy Excel charts either! Without further ado, I present…

Issues the audience is interested in (Q7)

This question was pretty straightforward. Respondents were asked: “What issues are you most interested in?” They were instructed to choose no more than 5, though the survey form allowed them to choose more or less if they wanted. The list of options was culled together from the lists used by various sites to classify aid/development job postings, with some edits made.

The most popular choices were “economic development” (57%) and “governance & institutional development” (44%). In some ways, this is unsurprising given that these are broad categories. Many of the other options could easily be sub-topics to these two.

The full ranking is given here, with the percent of respondents choosing each in parentheses:

  1. Economic Development (57%)
  2. Governance & Institutional Development (44%)
  3. Peace & Conflict (38%)
  4. Social Development (38%)
  5. Humanitarian Aid (37%)
  6. Human Rights (36%)
  7. Education (32%)
  8. Gender (28%)
  9. Health (28%)
  10. Agriculture & Rural Development (27%)
  11. Food Security (25%)
  12. Environment & Natural Resources (22%)
  13. Urban Development (18%)
  14. Water & Sanitation (16%)
  15. Information & Communication Technology (16%)
  16. Microfinance (16%)
  17. Media & Communications (14%)
  18. Law & Justice (13%)
  19. Infrastructure (13%)
  20. Youth (12%)
  21. Banking & Finance (12%)
  22. Trade (12%)
  23. Energy (9%)

I was surprised to see ICT so far down the list. I always got the impression that the ICT4D blogosphere was very strong, so I thought we would see a large number of responses from people interested in those issues. Same with microfinance.

We gave respondents the option of selecting “other”. 10% of respondents (169) used this option. Many of the write-ins could easily be sub-topics of the categories above. Rather than pull out representative entries or try to devise a way of actually analyzing the submissions, I just threw it in a wordle:

Apparently wordle calls this font "Kenyan coffee" -- I thought that would be appropriate.

In case you’re not familiar with wordles, you basically just dump in a bunch of text and it creates a graphic where the more common words are bigger. In this case, I dumped in the 169 entries (minus the words “development” and “aid”). Looks like a lot of people mentioned evaluation, research, politics, migration, etc. You can click on the image above to see the smaller words more clearly.


This is a lot of data for one little survey, huh? Hang with me, we’re almost at the end! Next up: why the audience reads blogs. For complete results, go here.

  1. […] findings combine with the data on issues of interest to paint a picture of what our audience wants. On the whole, I think these results are a testament […]


  2. I’m also surprised that ICT and microfinance are so low on the list. It makes me wonder if there are other aid/development blogs I should be reading that are more focused on these two topics.


  3. […] with that in mind that I was disappointed that only 12% of development blog readers listed trade as an area of interest in the huge survey conducted by Dave Algoso and others a few weeks ago. I’d like to see that […]


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: