The Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) is a non-profit, non–governmental organization established and registered in January 1999 as a “Trust” in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Zimbabwe to undertake, publish, and discuss public opinion research. The Institute’s main objective is to gauge public opinion on topical issues of governance and public concern, and make this known to policy makers, implementers, and the public itself. The Institute believes that public policy should be informed by public opinion. Further, whereas dictatorships thrive where a “culture of fear and disengagement” prevails, it is hoped that by constantly asking citizens to express their views on pertinent issues of concern this “culture of fear and disengagement” will progressively decline and a critical mass of citizens emerge.
Hitherto, public opinion has been elite driven. Public opinion has had no independent channel of expression, while the elite has also lacked independent sources of information about what the citizens feel on public policy and what that policy should be. The Institute seeks to provide the independent channel of communication between those in leadership positions and the citizens on public policy issues.