According to the findings from a first-of-its-kind global survey, citizens across 23 countries are largely unsatisfied with their own governments’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Western governments faring worse than their Eastern counterparts.
Jointly conducted by Singapore’s leading social research agency Blackbox Research and international online panel specialist Toluna, the Toluna-Blackbox Index of Global Crisis Perceptions measured the sentiments of citizens from 23 countries towards their national COVID-19 crisis management efforts. This is assessed across four key performance indicators: national political leadership, corporate leadership, community, and media.
With an index score of 85, China tops the index with the most citizens rating its performance favourably across all four indicators. Vietnam came in second (77), followed by a tie between the United Arab Emirates and India (59). However, New Zealand (56) is the only Western country with an index score higher than the global average of 45 – indicating that citizens in Western countries are generally less satisfied with their countries’ performances.
The United States (U.S.), Australia, as well as all four western European countries – Italy, Germany, United Kingdom (UK), and France – were all rated below the global average, with France scoring lowest in the region and the second lowest globally at 26.
On the other end of the index, Japan ranks last with an index score of 16, due to its perceived poor political performance and business leadership, as well as lacklustre community performance. Right behind France, countries like Hong Kong (27) and Korea (31) also fared poorly with its citizens.
David Black, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blackbox Research, said that the index scores reflect the realities that countries are facing amid the crisis. He added, “Overall, most countries are not performing up to their citizens’ expectations. The Chinese are exceptionally satisfied, which could be attributed to how they are already in their post-COVID-19 recovery phase amid the global outbreak, which gave a sense that China has handled the crisis well.
“We are also seeing major cracks in self-belief across the Western world. The outlier among them being New Zealand, where Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s leadership in effectively curtailing the COVID-19 spread has led to a favourable rating on the country’s crisis performance.”
About the Survey
Blackbox Research and Toluna carried out an online nationally representative survey of n=12,592 across 23 countries, aged between 18 to 80. Quotas were applied for gender, age and socio-economic criteria, including education and household type, to ensure representative coverage. The statistical margin of error for the study is 3-6 per cent. The survey was conducted between 3 April to 19 April. The field work was staggered through April starting first in Asia and finishing in Iran.