Afrobarometer Thematic Seminar: COVID-19, Well-Being, and Democratic Governance

Event Date: 
29 Mar 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented effects on societies, economies, and polities around the world. The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention currently reports more than 3.5 million cases and almost 90,000 deaths across the continent. Given the lack of epidemiological capacity and data in Africa, these morbidity and mortality figures are likely to be grossly underestimated. It is very likely that the actual impact of COVID-19 on individual African countries could be far greater than current assessments indicate.

To better understand the impact of the pandemic in Africa, as well as the significant steps taken by African governments to combat the spread of the disease, Afrobarometer will focus its second online thematic seminar on the analysis of new COVID-19 relevant data from recent surveys that have been conducted in selected countries since the first wave of the pandemic. This data will enable participants to explore how the disease and government responses to the pandemic have affected aspects of citizen life such as their well-being, lived poverty, political rights, the legitimacy of government, and popular support for democracy.

Afrobarometer is asking for expressions of interest to participate in this unique online seminar, which forms part of an extended series of online offerings in place of Summer School and other in-person capacity building that cannot be offered during the pandemic.

Successful applicants will prepare a research paper that uses current Afrobarometer data to examine various social, economic, and political consequences of COVID-19. We will provide participants with training and support in statistics, research design, theory, and relevant research literature by Prof. Rajen Govender and one or more guest lecturers. Participants will also join for an online three-day follow-up session in early May 2021 in which they will receive feedback and assistance on their papers in order to finalize them as Afrobarometer publications.

If you are interested in applying, please consider that you will be required to attend on a full-time basis for the entire 12-day period of the workshop and the three-day follow-up session a month later. Thus, we strongly suggest you discuss this with your employer before confirming your attendance with us. You will also need to ensure that you have access to a stable Internet connection as well as a laptop/pc for using SPSS. Competence in using SPSS and the Afrobarometer data sets is a prerequisite for being admitted to the workshop.


The thematic seminar is free of charge, and seminar participants will be eligible for financial assistance of up to $200 to cover Internet data, local travel, and subsistence costs. Final papers will also be eligible for incentive payments of $500-$1,500 (depending on publication type) when published through Afrobarometer.

Application process

Potential participants should submit the following documents, in English, to Thomas Isbell at ICDPPA,, no later than 5 March 2021:

1. A 2 pp. CV of the applicant including evidence that you have previously attended at least one Afrobarometer Summer School or are otherwise proficient in basic statistical methods.
2. A brief prospectus (no more than one page) of the research paper you propose to write.

Dr. Carolyn Logan, Dr. Rajen Govender, Brian Howard, and Robert Mattes will review the nominations and make final selections.