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Public Opinion Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

A Methodological Workshop

On Nov. 30, 2017, Pew Research Center hosted a survey methodology workshop on the opportunities and challenges of conducting public opinion research in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of this all-day event was to identify and discuss best practices and future directions for the field by convening a broad array of practitioners and researchers from both applied and academic settings.

Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, co-founder of Afrobarometer and executive director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, and Dixie Avugwi, director of research at Research Plus Africa in Kenya, were our keynote speakers. They opened the workshop by identifying fundamental difficulties of gathering high-quality survey data in sub-Saharan Africa and reflecting on how methodological research could serve as a public good to inform the research community.

Following our keynote addresses, nine presenters shared insights on topics ranging from the value of using CAPI (computer-assisted personal interviewing) and other innovations in the field to strategies for developing high-quality measures to accurately represent the views of survey respondents. After each session, participants engaged in a lively Q&A discussion moderated by Pew Research Center’s associate director of international research methods, Patrick Moynihan. This event was made possible by The Pew Charitable Trusts, which received support for the event from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A 2016 Pew Research Center report focusing on public opinion in sub-Saharan Africa can be found here.

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