Surveys and methods

Afrobarometer Surveys and Methods

Methods and manual

Afrobarometer measures the social political and economic atmosphere in than 30 countries in Africa. How do we do this? We conduct face-to-face interviews with a randomly selected sample of 1,200 or 2,400 people in each country. (You can find out more about how we create our samples, on our sampling principles page.)

To ensure we collect good quality data, we work with national partners in each of our survey countries. Our national partners are responsible for training interviewers before collecting data for Afrobarometer. They make sure the interviewers have the right skills and qualifications to perform an Afrobarometer survey (usually a first class degree in social science). 

Training

All interviewers attend a five-day Afrobarometer training workshop so they are familiar and confident in our survey methods. The training includes familiarisation of the survey in national and local languages, sampling protocol and field practice.

Interviewers are deployed to conduct interviews within 48 hours after the training. This is to ensure training is still fresh in the interviewer’s mind.

Survey interviews

Teams of four interviewers and one field supervisor, travel together to the survey sample area. The field supervisor is there to ensure the quality control of the data collection.

Interviews usually take one hour and only proceeds after the respondent has given consent. These are usually conducted in the main local languages. Afrobarometer treats all survey responses in the strictest confidence.

Data entry and cleaning

Our national partners verify and check the data for any incomplete, improperly formatted or inaccurate records. The data is also reviewed by our core partner data managers and the Afrobarometer data manager.

Data analysis and reporting

We hold public dissemination events to share the results of our survey. We invite policy makers, civil society organisations and the media to our events so they can find out the views of their fellow citizens. Go to our news and event section to find out what’s happening near you.

We also publish short analytical summaries to full length analytical pieces based on our data on Africa. Visit our publications section to read our latest publications

Survey manual

The aim of our survey manual is to assist our national partners prepare and implement an Afrobarometer survey. It explains the methodologies for managing, conducting and reporting an Afrobarometer survey. The manual is also a guidebook to the network. We regularly update the manual to include new practices or methods we learned during the previous round.