Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi and Joseph Asunka on Afrobarometer and SDG Scorecards

WIDER webinar, 30 November 2021

Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi and Joseph Asunka join the WIDER Webinar Series to introduce the Afrobarometer project’s origins, achievements, the change it has contributed to governance in Africa, and the newly developed SDG scorecards. The webinar session is chaired by UNU-WIDER Senior Research Fellow Rachel Gisselquist.

Afrobarometer as an indispensable resource for effective Africanist research and policy making

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Its goal is to give the public a voice in policymaking by ensuring access to high-quality public opinion data and analysis for policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organizations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

In addition to collecting, analyzing, and widely disseminating data on Africans’ lives, priorities, and political behaviors, Afrobarometer works to strengthen the capacity of African institutions for democratic governance survey research, analysis, and communications.

Eight rounds of surveys have been completed in up to 39 countries since 1999, including just-concluded Round 8 surveys in 34 countries. Afrobarometer’s national partners in all regions of Africa conduct face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples of 1,200 or 2,400, which yield country-level results with margins of error of +/-2 or +/-3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. All data is made publicly available.

Afrobarometer co-founder and board chair Prof E. Gyimah-Boadi will present the project’s origins, achievements, and contributions to policy reforms in Africa.

Joseph Asunka, Afrobarometer chief executive officer, will introduce SDG Scorecards that highlight citizens' experiences and evaluations of their country's performance against 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

About the speakers

Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi is co-founder and board chair of the Afrobarometer. He is also co-founder and former executive director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, a leading independent democracy and good governance think tank in Accra, Ghana.

A former professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana, he has held faculty positions at universities in the United States, including the American University School of International Service, and fellowships at the Center for Democracy, Rule of Law and Development (Stanford University); the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; and the International Forum for Democratic Studies/National Endowment for Democracy/US Institute of Peace.

Gyimah-Boadi is also a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. For his contributions to research and policy advocacy on democracy, accountable governance and human rights in Africa, he has won a myriad of awards, including the Distinguished Africanist of the Year of the African Studies Association of US and Canada (2018); the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice (2017); and the Republic of Ghana’s highest national award, Order of Volta (2008).

Joseph Asunka is the CEO of Afrobarometer, starting his term from April 2021. He was previously program officer in the Global Development and Population program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where he managed a portfolio of grants that support efforts to increase transparency and accountability in fiscal governance and foster citizen participation to improve public services in developing countries.

Before joining Hewlett, Joseph Asunka was a lecturer in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he taught courses on African politics, political economy of development, research methods and data analysis. Prior to that, he was program officer at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, A Core Partner of Afrobarometer. He previously served as data manager for Afrobarometer prior to his PhD studies at UCLA.

Joseph’s research interests include distributive politics, elections and electoral processes, and migration. He has published in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Research and Politics, and Population Research and Policy Review. Born in Ghana, Joseph holds a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA.

Context