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

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Bratton, Michael (Michigan State University)
  • Gyimah-Boadi, E. (Ghana Center for Democratic Development)
  • Mattes, Robert (University of Cape Town)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Afrobarometer Survey Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Agency for International Development
  • Danish International Development Agency
  • Canadian International Development Agency
  • Department for International Development (United Kingdom)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Free Keywords
democracy; economic conditions; government; government performance; information sources; markets; national interests; political attitudes; political change; political corruption; political participation; political systems; presidential performance; presidents; public confidence; public opinion; quality of life; social attitudes; standard of living; trust in government
  • Abstract

    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.
  • Methods

    Please review the ICPSR codebook for information with regard to weighting.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Created online analysis version with question text.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Methods

    Response Rates: 80 percent
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Afrobarometer Round 4: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in 20 African Countries, 2008-2009
Temporal Coverage
  • 2008-01 / 2008-12
    Time period: 2008-01--2008-12
  • 2008-01 / 2008-12
    Collection date: 2008-01--2008-12
Geographic Coverage
  • Africa
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cape Verde
  • Ghana
  • Global
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • South Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
Sampled Universe
All adult citizens of voting age residing in 20 African nations. Smallest Geographic Unit: county
The sample is designed as a representative cross-section of all citizens of voting age in a given country. The goal is to give every adult citizen an equal and known chance of selection for interview. This objective was reached by (a) strictly applying random selection methods at every stage of sampling, and by (b) applying sampling with probability proportionate to population size wherever possible. A randomly selected sample of 1,200 cases allows inferences to national adult populations with a margin of sampling error of no more than plus or minus 2.8 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent. If the sample size is increased to 2,400, the margin of sampling error shrinks to plus or minus 2 percent.
Collection Mode
  • face-to-face interview

    The codebook and the setup files for this collection contain characters with diacritical marks used in many African languages.

    Some open-end responses (for variables Q41A1, Q41B1, and Q88e) in the data file are only available in a non-English language specific to that country (e.g., French, Portuguese, etc.).

    Additional information about the Afrobarometer Survey can be found at the Afrobarometer Web site.

2012-09-13 Updated the study to be consistent with standards of the Round 4 Afrobarometer datasets. Funding insitution(s): United States Agency for International Development. Danish International Development Agency. Canadian International Development Agency. Department for International Development (United Kingdom). Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 33701 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Bateson, Regina. Crime victimization and political participation. American Political Science Review.106, (3), 570-587.2012.
    • ID: 10.2307/23275434 (DOI)
  • Bratton, Michael. Citizen perceptions of local government responsiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Development.40, (3), 516-527.2012.
    • ID: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.07.003 (DOI)
  • Logan, Carolyn, Mattes, Robert. Democratizing the measurement of democratic quality: public attitude data and the evaluation of African political regimes. European Political Science.11, 469-491.2012.
    • ID: 10.1057/eps.2011.50 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Bratton, Michael; Gyimah-Boadi, E.; Mattes, Robert (2012): Afrobarometer Round 4: The Quality of Democracy and Governance in 20 African Countries, 2008-2009. Version 1. Afrobarometer Survey Series. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.