Delegates get a measure of Africa

13 January 2011 | Story by Newsroom

Researchers from East, West and Southern Africa had the opportunity to immerse themselves in reams of political attitude data at the fourth Afrobarometer Summer School, hosted by UCT's Democracy in Africa Research Unit (DARU) late last year.

Alecia Ndlovu Lara Sierra-Rubia
Taking stock: Researchers Alecia Ndlovu and Lara Sierra-Rubia present their papers at the fourth Afrobarometer Summer School.

For facts and figures the researchers turned to the Afrobarometer, a collection of surveys conducted and compiled by independent organisations across Africa that measure the social, economic and political climate in individual nations. Over the four-week course, the delegates - hailing from Afrobarometer partner organisations in Cape Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe - tackled a range of issues related to the surveys, from research design and social statistics to governance and ethnicity in Africa.

To bring down the curtain on the course, the delegates spent the last week writing and finally presenting papers on a topic of their choice, related to the material covered over the preceding three weeks. They covered themes such as inequality in South Africa, transitional justice, and government performance in Liberia, among many others.

"We encourage them to write papers that are practically useful, that cover aspects of the data that others have not yet opened up," says DARU director, Professor Rob Mattes. Mattes presented the course with colleagues from UCT and Wits University.

The summer school was run with the support of the Afrobarometer.

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