Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in more than 35 countries in Africa. Through its findings, ordinary citizens have a voice in policy-making processes that affect their lives.
Established in 1999 with a mission of “Giving voice to Africans”, Afrobarometer is the world’s leading research project on issues that affect ordinary African men and women. It collects and publishes high-quality, reliable statistical data on Africa which is freely available to the public.
Afrobarometer functions as a network of more than 30 national partner organisations that execute the surveys and disseminate results. Overall management and leadership of Afrobarometer is based at the Center for Democratic Development in Ghana (CDD-Ghana). Core partners that provide support and supervision to national partners include CDD-Ghana, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in Cape Town, the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Nairobi, and the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IREEP) in Benin. Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) serve as support units for the network.
Through its work, Afrobarometer has helped build a network of competency in collecting, analyzing, disseminating, and using survey data. It provides an independent, evidence-based check on other data sources, and its methods are widely recognised as the gold standard for survey research in Africa and frequently used by other organizations doing survey research on the continent.
Afrobarometer has earned a reputation as the most reliable source of public attitude data in Africa, which is publicly available and a global public good.
Despite its success, Afrobarometer is also confronted with various challenges in executing its work. These include reaching remote zones in all countries and regions to conduct face-to-face interviews, translating complex concepts and surveying in a multitude of national and local languages, obtaining public attitude data in autocratic and post-authoritarian or post-conflict societies, and securing sufficient and dependable funding to continue doing this work.
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