To mark its 75th Anniversary, the UN came to us with the challenge of helping them establish their future focus; finding the intersection between understanding the hopes and fears of citizens around the world and their expectations for the UN.

Edelman conducted both primary and secondary research as part of a consultation process, to help the UN understand what the global public wants at this challenging time for the world and to determine what the UN's focus should be for the next 75 years. 


We conducted polling in 36 countries, interviewing over 35,000 people.

Alongside this, we also conducted social listening and online media analysis In 70 countries, to understand the global conversation around the key socio-economic issues of our times, and what role the UN can and should play within each.

The scale of this project as well as the limitations of COVID-19 presented challenges from a research approach perspective. In designing our approach, we kept the following key considerations in mind:

  • As the research was looking to give an accurate picture of the state of the world today, we had to ensure that our sample for the quantitative survey was truly representative of the global population. This challenge was greater because of the restrictions during COVID-19 which did not allow for face to face research In many countries. We worked closely with trusted partners to ensure our approach for doing an online (or telephone) survey instead was robust and aimed for sampling that was representative of the general population In many countries, with others being representative of those who had access to the Internet.
  • The UN were running several streams of research, all of which would be consolidated Into a global approach. This meant that our findings from the survey as well as our extensive social and media listening had to be packaged in a way that would allow for it to be consolidated into the final report. This required a truly collaborative approach, especially with the core team from UN as well as Pew Research who were also conducting a quantitative study In the other countries. 

We worked closely with the UN team over a five-month period from initial consultation to delivery of the research report.

The approach was iterative: we had regular check-Ins to ensure the quantitative research was aligned with other streams of work the UN had commissioned. The secondary findings were also shared on an on-going basis, with live tweaks to the approach being made to ensure the end result would be a rich, data-driven story about the state of the world today.


Our insights were an integral part of the UN75 Special Report and delivered comprehensive strategic guidance to senior UN executives and diplomats from over 60 member nations about the future role of the UN. A global livestream by the UN Secretary General launched the report on the organisation’s 75th anniversary. ​