7:51 AM, July 13, 2012

Afrobarometer Round 4:  The Quality of Democracy and Governance in 20 African Countries, 2008-2009

The Afrobarometer project was designed to assess attitudes toward democracy, governance, economic reform, quality of life, and civil society in several Sub-Saharan African nations, and to track the evolution of such attitudes in those nations over time. This particular survey was concerned with the attitudes and opinions of the citizens of 20 countries: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Respondents in a face-to-face interview were asked to rate their presidents and the presidents' administration's overall performance, to state the most important issues facing their nation, and to evaluate the effectiveness of certain continental and international institutions. Opinions were gathered on the role of the government in improving the economy, whether corruption existed in local and national government, whether government officials were responsive to problems of the general population, and whether local government officials, the police, the courts, the overall criminal justice system, the media, the National Electoral Commission, and the government broadcasting service could be trusted. Respondents were polled on their knowledge of the government, including the identification of government officials, their level of personal involvement in political, governmental, and community affairs, their participation in national elections, the inclusiveness of the government, and the identification of causes of conflict and resources which may aid in the resolution of conflict. Economic questions addressed the past, present, and future of the country's and the respondent's economic condition, and whether great income disparities were fair. Societal questions were asked of respondents concerning the meaning of being "poor" and "rich", monetary support systems, personal responsibility for success or failure, characteristics used in self-identification, methods for securing food, water, schooling, medical services, news and information, the ease of obtaining assistance for certain services, and whether problems existed with school and the local public clinic or hospital.

 Background variables include age, gender, ethnicity, education, religious affiliation and participation, political party affiliation, language spoken most at home, whether the respondent was the head of household, current and past employment status, whether a close friend or relative had died from AIDS, language used in interview, and type of physical disability, if any. In addition, demographic information pertaining to the interviewer is provided, as well as their response to the interview and their observations of the respondent's attitude during the interview and of the interview environment.

This dataset is available through the ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) database which provides search and browsing access to abstracts and data sets in the world's largest archive of computerized social science data. Search or browse title of study, principal investigator, words in abstract, or study number. Browse major research categories..  Auburn University students, faculty, and staff only may create an account that will allow access to the membership-only data.

Please contact Barbara Bishop at bishoba@auburn.edu or (334) 844-1690 if you need more information concerning ICPSR .

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