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We surveyed our stakeholders, and here’s what they thought

June 20th, 2017

It’s always important to reflect on a coalition’s role in the broader movement, and take the temperature of key partners and friends. So this spring, we asked our email list of approximately 6,000 people, our 6,800 Twitter followers, and our 164 Allied Organizations what they got out of the FTC, and what they’d like to see from us in the future.

We got well over a hundred responses, which, while not statistically significant, nevertheless revealed some clear themes. Here’s a breakdown of what we learned.

What questions did we ask?

We asked people to tell us their region and their sector, which illicit flows they’re following most closely, how they see the FTC’s role, what they’d like to see us do more of, and to share any further insights they have.

Who responded?

Responses came from a range of industry sectors: 32% were from civil society, 17% from government and from the private sector respectively, 14% independent, and 8% from both academia and media.

There was also a broad regional mix: 29% from Europe, 24% from North America, 19% from Africa, 14% from Asia, and 9% from Latin America and the Caribbean.

What illicit flows were they most interested in?

Beneficial ownership transparency and the institutional architecture of who’s making the rules on illicit flows were of the most interest at 24% and 20% respectively. Open data (16%), the gatekeepers of the global financial system (14%), and public country-by-country reporting (11%) were next. Automatic exchange of financial information was of interest to only 7% of respondents.

How do they view the FTC?

We asked people to tell us what they perceived to be the primary function of the FTC. Many saw the FTC as primarily conducting advocacy and research on illicit financial flows (37%). Next came bringing together civil society, governments, and experts in a multi-stakeholder alliance (20%), followed by organizing civil society to change norms and standards at the global level (17%). Only 15% of respondents saw the FTC as serving as a clearinghouse for information and intelligence on illicit financial flows. Finally, only about 9% of respondents saw the FTC as supporting civil society efforts at the regional or national level.

What do they value most about us?

Respondents valued our infographics and data visualizations the most (64%). Next came connecting with experts on IFFs at 63%. A solid majority valued the press releases we send out when major news stories hit (59%). Respondents also highly valued our quarterly newsletter with all the global developments on illicit financial flows from the past three months (54%).

What should we be doing more of?

Many people wanted to see us share more intelligence on illicit financial flows on a timely basis (41%). Some people were interested in more learning opportunities about illicit financial flows like webinars, factsheets, and conference calls (22%). Thirteen percent of respondents wanted to see the FTC partnering more with others.

Are we communicating too much or just enough?

We were bold enough to ask whether we were sending too many emails, about the right amount, or not enough emails. It turns out people want to hear more from us! 81% said we got this balance right, 14% said they wanted to hear from us more often, and only 2% said they heard from us too often.

What did we take away from the survey?

The overwhelming message was the outside world’s desire for more interaction with the FTC. The survey revealed a reservoir of untapped potential for collaboration, intelligence sharing, and learning opportunities. Now is probably a good time to make the selection bias disclaimer, as those who took the time to respond to the survey are likely to be more interested than the average person in the FTC. But 150 stakeholders across civil society, government, the private sector, academia and the media on five continents are nothing to sneeze at. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more on our future direction!

Many thanks to the Pew Research Center for pro bono advice in designing the survey.

Written by Porter McConnell

Porter is Director of the FTC.

Background image used under Creative Commons license / Flickr User Francois Schnell

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