Respondent-Based Income Policy

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[Last Updated: January 1, 2021]

Respondent-Based Income (henceforth “RBI”) refers to income earned by respondents by virtue of their status as an SP.A Verified Respondent (henceforth “VR”). RBI can be earned by both non-coop (henceforth “Coop”) members and Coop members.

A respondent can earn three (3) types of income:

Type 1: Continuous income earned from the royalties from content created directly by the respondent (see section 4.1.2.1 below) and from Respondent Profile Survey releases which the respondent participated in as a respondent answering survey questions. Content created directly earns continuously based on its performance measured by its views and clicks. See section 6 below.

Type 2: The respondent can also perform multiple tasks related to the content he/she wants to create. The idea of the content originates from the respondent but he/she may choose to assign another person as the writer. Several other tasks are required for the content to be produced – and the respondent may choose to do some of these other tasks if he/she is qualified to do them. Thus Type 1 payment for the content output itself (in its finished form) is differentiated from task-based manpower payments, which the respondent may also get if he/she is the one chosen to do those tasks. See sections 3 and 4 of Task-Based Income (TBI).

Type 3: One-time income from participating as a respondent answering questions on surveys (please see section 7 below). Surveys can be used in three areas:

Area 1: Respondent Profile Surveys (part of Descriptive Foundational content)

Area 2: Subject-Matter Surveys (part of Investigative Foundational content)

Area 3: Project Content (as part of commissioned content)

  1. Other income streams. There are three other income streams in addition to RBI: Group-Based Income (GBI), Task-Based Income (TBI) and Cooperative-Based Income (CBI). Respondents who are non-Coop members are required to be members of at least five (5) Coop-recognized groups – as they need this for group-level verification and other tasks) but they shall not be entitled to the GBI, TBI and, needless to say, CBI (as they are not members of the Coop). Only Coop members-in-good-standing are entitled to the four available income streams (RBI, GBI, TBI and CBI). If a non-Coop member wishes to tap into all income streams, then he/she must consider applying to become a Coop member.

  2. Applicable rates. In the case of Coop-members, the applicable RBI rates shall be based on the terms outlined below OR a separate, supplementary per-story/per-survey rate, whichever is higher. This separate, supplementary rate shall be declared in per-story/per-survey agreements entered into between SP.A and the Coop as necessary. The standing, current RBI rates shall be the ones declared in this document. The rationale for this per-story/per survey supplementary rates is that for fund- or commission-based stories/survey which may have higher rates then the supplementary agreement must supersede the rates indicated in this document. Respondents who are non-Coop members are not entitled to per-story/per-survey, supplementary rates, the applicable rates always being those declared in this document.

  3. Respondent responsibilities

    A respondent is the subject who is answering questions. These questions may be asked either through interviews, surveys, group conversations.

    The role of respondent has specific responsibilities including:

    3.1. Accomplishing surveys in timely manner (within the survey’s declared deadline or within the preferred completion time whichever is earlier);

    3.2. Answering questions truthfully, accurately and comprehensively;

    3.3. Answering evaluative, post-survey/post-interview follow up questions;

    3.4. Answering follow-up/probing questions

    3.5. Participating in instrument-testing phases where survey or interview instruments are run by a group in order to fine-tune its content and/or its format before they are officially released to panelists.

  4. Content

    Content is the heart of the SP.A. It is what gives us a peek into the social pulse. The social pulse is thriving, dynamic and multi-faceted. Thus SP.A content must be thriving, dynamic and multi-faceted.

    4.1. Foundational Content

    4.1.1. What is the rationale of Foundational Content. The core difference, or competitive niche, if you will, of SP.A is that its content is subject-driven (this is declared at the very front of the SP.A website). Subject-driven content means that subjects continuously produce content – based on topics that they identity – and make these publicly available on the SP.A website.

    This kind of proactive content, so to speak, hereinafter to be referred to as “Foundational Content” (or “FC”) serves to make known to interested publics the existence of research populations that are ready to be tapped and mined for further, specialist topics.

    Foundational Content also serves to showcase the readiness of the storytelling infrastructure of SP.A and the Coop. This increases the confidence and trust of potential project financiers, proponents and principals in both the SP.A and the Coop.

    4.1.2. Types of Foundational Content. There are two major kinds (but not the only kinds) of FC.

    4.1.2.1 Descriptive FC (DFC). This is an exposition on the basic profile of the available respondents. Profiling FC is created by respondents and by SP.A. Respondents create DFC as they make individual content contributions such as Positions, Epiphanies, Values, Decisions, Stories (explained further below). SP.A creates DFC as it continuously publishes summary results of its Respondent Profile Survey (RPS). Topics here include, but are not limited to (as the scope and content of this survey is continuously developed and updated) Identity, Demography, Family, Skills, Finances, Health, Technology, Consumption, Media and Mobility.

    The types of Descriptive Foundational Content are:

    4.1.2.1.1 Personal Descriptions

    Type 1: Positions (135-150 words)

    A Position contribution states and explains your position on a question. There are two types: Solicited Position and Unsolicited Position. A Solicited Position is your answer to a question posed by SP.A.. An Unsolicited Position is your answer to a question you posed to yourself.

    For example:

    On a question posed by SP.A asking “Would you take the Covid-19 vaccine?” you submit a Solicited Position (in 150 words) on why you would or would not take the Covid-19 vaccine.

    On a question you’ve always asked yourself when you see street children begging for money (“How can that child’s parents allow him/her to become like this?”) you submit an Unsolicited Position (in 150 words) on the impossible situation poor parents face that leave them unable to care for their children.

    Type 2: Epiphanies (450-500 words)

    An Epiphany contribution shares a thought, a feeling, a sensing by a respondent on a sudden clarity on deeply held beliefs, values, principles.

    For example:

    A recent accident highlights the highly fleeting nature of life. You write a 500-word Epiphany entitled “The importance of treating everyday like your last day on earth.”

    A marriage separation puts children in an even more difficult position. You write a 500-word Epiphany entitled “Try Harder: Tips for staying married.”

    Type 3: Values (900-1,000 words)

    A Value contribution declares your personal values. There are two types: Solicited Values and Unsolicited Values. Solicited Value contributions are declarations in response to a values-type question posed by SP.A (for example: Would you buy a new dog or adopt a rescue dog?) Unsolicited Value contributions are your declarations in response to your own values-type reflections (for example: Would I buy only when I have the money or would I get into debt to buy stuff?).

    Type 4: Decisions (1,800-2,000 words)

    Decision contributions declare what your understanding is of the choices, the considerations, the deliberations a person has to evaluate in the face of a problem, issue or dilemma. There are two types: Solicited Decisions and Unsolicited Decisions. Solicited Decisions are contributions made in response to a problem, issue or dilemma posed by SP.A (For example: You are thinking of overseas employment. What should I consider, what are my options/choices, how should I decide?). Unsolicited Decisions are contributions about a decision you have recently made or a decision you are about to make, detailing your understanding of your considerations, choices and deliberations.

    Type 5: Stories (4,500-5,000 words)

    Stories are narrations of significant or meaningful events or experiences in respondents’ lives. SP.A may solicit stories on a particular theme or respondents may submit unsolicited stories on their own themes of interest.

    4.1.2.1.2. Profile Descriptions

    These are the Respondent Profile Survey series which are the regular, proactive surveys conducted by SP.A that profile various aspects of the respondents.

    4.1.2.2 Investigative FC (IFC; 13,500-15,000 words). Investigative FC focuses on more complex, multi-faceted subjects or issues. These subjects or issues are chosen to be highlighted as they become relevant or pressing in the current social context. This type of content relies on comprehensive data including secondary data, primary data from surveys, interviews etc. IFC is created by SP.A or by groups. Example topics here may include, for example, stories on delivery riders, teen pregnancies, small business resiliency during the pandemic, overseas Filipino workers, drug addition trends.

    4.2. Project Content

    Project-Specific content are paid or commissioned work by private proponents or principals. They aim to tap the respondent populations mobilized by SP.A and the Coop in order to ask questions specific to their respective research goals.

  5. Amount of FC and PC

    There is no rule on a maximum or minimum amount of one type of content in relation to another type of content. The general principle will be that SP.A, the Coop and Verified Respondents will keep churning out Foundational Content at the pace at which their capacities allow. At the same time SP.A, the Coop and Verified Respondents will keep disseminating and promoting its services with the end being the closing of paid, Project-Specific Content.

  6. RBI for creating Foundational Content.

    6.1 Foundational Content created by Verified Respondents

    Every Verified Respondent can create the following Foundational Content:

    Positions (135-150 words)
    Epiphanies (450-500 words)
    Values (900-1,000 words)
    Decisions (1,800-2,000 words)
    Stories (4,500-5,000 words)

    6.2 Role of Foundational Content in SP.A income

    Foundational Content, as its name implies, is foundational in its role in SP.A. The essence of SP.A is to illuminate the social pulse, that gentle whisper of where we are at the moment, of where society stands at this slice of history. People are the origin of this social pulse, and as such the better we get to know people, the closer we are to sensing the social pulse. Please see section 4.1 above for a fuller discussion on this.

    6.3 Priority allocation in use of SP.A fees

    This foundational role means that FC contributes centrally to all fees paid to SP.A. As such FC must benefit centrally in all fee streams of SP.A. Concretely, this means that as a matter of SP.A policy, FC must be given priority allocation in the use of SP.A fees, as detailed below:

    6.3.1 Manpower fees

    All manpower needs for the creation, editing, publishing, updating and dissemination of FC and PC must be sourced primarily from internal sources, that is, from among the current FC owners subject to the matching of skills versus job requirements. External manpower sourcing is done only after internal sourcing is unable to provide the task requirements.

    Aside from rightfully compensating FC for their role in realizing SP.A fees, this policy also motivates respondents to create FC. They not only get compensated for the FC they create, they also get priority consideration for available jobs at SP.A.

    6.3.2 Fees sharing

    FC owners must be allocated not less than 50% of the declared net income (after taxes) from SP.A fees. As declared in SP.A Fees the remaining 50% of net income is to be reallocated for operational funds and asset upgrades.

    6.3.3 Example fees-expenses computation showing priority allocation of fees to FC owners

    INCOMING: SP.A Fees
    i. Subscription fees for Respondent Profile Survey releases, PHP 210,000
    ii. On-demand fees for Project Content (commissioned surveys), PHP 450,000
    SUB-TOTAL, INCOMING SP.A FEES: PHP 660,000

    OUTGOING: Expenses (figures below are only hypothetical.)
    i. Payment to respondents for surveys answered, PHP 18,000
    (Please refer to section 7 of Respondent-Based Income Policy.)
    ii. Payment to FC owners for tasks done, PHP 26,000
    (Please refer to sections 3 and 4 of Task-Based Income Policy.)
    iii. Payment to Groups for liaison and coordination, PHP 16,000
    (Please refer to section 3 of Group-Based Income Policy.)
    iv. Payment to RESPONDENTS.COOP for representation, PHP 15,000
    (Please refer to section 3 of Cooperative-Based Income Policy.)
    v. Payment to SP.A for technology and management services, 20,000

    (Varying percentages depending on content type.)
    SUB-TOTAL, OUTGOING EXPENSES: PHP 95,000

    INCOME (still before taxes), PHP 565,000

    FEES SHARING:
    PHP 282,500 – for all current content owners
    PHP 282,500 – to be reallocated back to SP.A


    6.3.4 Bases for distribution of FC fees share

    Based on the example computation above PHP 282,500 will be shared among all current Foundational Content owners. The question is what is the bases for the sharing among current content owners? There will be three bases:

    6.3.4.1 Percent contribution of Foundational Content to the generation of SP.A fees

    The question here is what is the bases for distributing the PHP 282,500 across Foundational Content? Remember that there are three claimants to the PHP 282,500:

    – Foundational/Descriptive/Personal (see section 4.1.2.1.1 above)
    – Foundational/Descriptive/Profiles (see section 4.1.2.1.2 above)
    – Foundational/Investigative (see section 4.1.2.2 above)

    These three claimants vary in terms of degree of difficulty as shown by three variables:
    – length (# of words)
    – regularity (releases per month)
    – complexity (surveys conducted + statistics generated + research design (whether cross-sectional or longitudinal)).

    The breakdown below assigns percent contribution based on the varying degrees of difficulty.

    -Foundational/Descriptive/Personal: 25%
    (Breadown of 25%: Positions, 4%; Epiphanies, 8%; Values, 20%; Decisions, 28%; Stories, 40% = 100%)
    -Foundational/Descriptive/Profiles: 50%
    Foundational/Investigative: 25%

    6.3.4.2 Bases for distributing the assigned percent contribution across the multiple articles

    At any given month, the number and type of published articles at the SP.A website varies. The question here is how do we allocate say the 25% for Foundational, Descriptive Personal articles?

    6.3.4.2.1. For Foundational/Descriptive/Personal and Foundational/Investigative articles

    Every month, a ranking of the articles is made based on exposure and activity generated. SP.A tracks both number of visits generated by each article posting and the activity inside it (clicks made). This is done by through Matomo Analytics and each FC owner is given the ability to monitor the exposure of his/her FC content.

    The objective in making this ranking is to directly connect the income potential of your article to the effect authors/content owners make at promoting their content in their own social networks. If authors/content owners aggressively promote the content they create, and they get the corresponding exposure, then they will be ranked higher and as a consequence, they will get a higher share of the income. If authors/content owners have more articles, then the more income they receive. This income is recurring every month.

    An example of the computation based on this ranking is seen below:

    >Fees to be shared: PHP 282,500

    >Percent Contribution of Foundational/Descriptive/Personal: PHP 70,625 (25%)
    Breakdown of this PHP 70,625 by type of article:
    – Position articles are allocated PHP 2,825 (4%)
    – Epiphany articles are allocated PHP 5,650(8%)
    – Value articles are allocated PHP 14,125 (20%)
    – Decision articles are allocated PHP 19,775(28%)
    – Story articles are allocated PHP 28,250 (40%)

    > Sample Computation: Distribution of allocations by performance of articles
    i. Story articles are allocated PHP 28,250 (40%)
    ii. Total number of Position articles: 6 articles
    iii. Article ranking by total views/clicks:
    Rank 1 (6,019 views/clicks) Article 4: PHP 8,903 (31.5%)
    Rank 2 (5,129 views/clicks) Article 6: PHP 7,587 (26.8%)
    Rank 3 (3,178 views/clicks) Article 1: PHP 4,701 (16.6%)
    Rank 4 (2,279 views/clicks) Article 3: PHP 3,371 (11.9%)
    Rank 5 (1,991 views/clicks) Article 2: PHP 2,945 (10.4%)
    Rank 6 (501 views/clicks) Article 5: PHP 741 (2.6%)
    Total views: 19,097 (100%) (February 2021)


    6.3.4.2.2. Foundational/Descriptive/Profiles

    The number of articles of this type of Descriptive Foundational Content also varies per month. As SP.A declares, the respondents continue to own the data that they share in surveys. This is the rationale for their right to this continuing income in the fees sharing. Unlike Foundational/Descriptive/Personal and Foundational/Investigative articles whose share in the fees depend on exposure, the bases for distribution in Foundational/Descriptive/Profiles survey releases will be the actual number of respondents who participated in the survey releases on a certain month and the actual number of writing teams.

    One relevant question here is do all the survey releases regardless of their dates of coverage get equal sharing in the income of a current month? There must be a way to give more income share to the more current survey releases. There would thus be a gradation of claimant groups to the income share reflecting the age of the survey release.

    1 month, 25%
    2 months, 13%
    3 months, 12%
    4 months, 9%
    5 months, 8%
    6 months, 7%
    7 months, 6%
    8 months, 5%
    9 months, 4%
    10 months, 3%
    11 months, 2%
    12 months, 1%
    13 month and older, 5%

    In the gradation above, participating respondents and the writing teams of a given survey have 12 months of premium allocation in the income sharing. From the 13 month onward, their allocation tapers out and progressively decrease (as more survey reports

    This is a cue for the subscription fee scheme to reflect additional, per-historical year fees in addition to the core subscription fees. This is so that these optional, add-on fees to access historical data can translate into on-demand fees for those respondents and writing teams of survey releases aged 13-months and more.

    Since survey respondents are picked either randomly or based on the preference of the contracting principal, it is not possible for a respondent to request that he/she participate in more surveys so that more income may be secured. However, respondents may indicate that they are ready and willing to take more surveys and they may be used for either one-time survey testing or rush survey needs that do not require stringent sampling procedures.

    As the first month of operations begins and the number of survey releases begins, then the distribution of income would be as follows:

    1st month: 100% of allocation
    2nd month: 75% (1 month age), 25% (2 months age)
    3rd month: 60%, 25%, 15%
    4th month: 50%, 20%, 18%, 12%
    5th month: 45%, 18%, 14%, 12%, 11%
    6th month: 40%, 16%, 14%, 12%, 10%, 8%
    7th month: 37%, 15%, 13%, 11%, 9%, 8%, 7%
    8th month: 36%, 15%, 12%, 11%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%
    9th month: 35%, 15%, 12%, 11%, 8%, 7%, 5%, 4%, 3%
    10th month: 35%, 14%, 12%, 10%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 4%, 3%
    11th month: 33%, 14%, 12%, 9%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 4%, 3%, 3%
    12th month: 25%, 14%, 12%, 12%, 9%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 3%, 3%, 2%, 2%

    The allocation of respondents and writing teams will be as follows:
    – respondents, 60%
    – writing team, 40%

    The composition of writing teams and the corresponding allocations of its members is as follows:
    – writer, 50%
    – statistician, 30%
    – manager, 20%

    An example of the computation based on this breakdown of respondents and writing teams is seen below:

    >Fees to be shared: PHP 282,500

    >Percent Contribution of Foundational/Descriptive/Profiles: PHP 141,250 (50%)

    > Total cumulative number of survey releases: 18 survey releases with various ages

    > The resulting breakdown is shown below:

7. RBI for participation in surveys, interviews

In section 6.3.3 above, the sample computation showed that PHP 18,000 was paid to respondents as one time fee for filling up surveys. This is a separate fee from the royalty fees discussed immediately above.

The bases for distribution of this hypothetical amount is the per minute payment of respondents. This is currently set at PHP2.50 per minute and is applicable survey by survey depending on its specific budget. So for example, if a survey will take 25 minutes to fill up, then the payment for one respondent will be 25 x 2.50 or PHP62.50.