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BP58: Popular perceptions of Shari'a law in Nigeria

In 1999 Zamfara became the first state to institute Shari’a law and soon afterwards eleven other northern states followed suit.  The literature on Shari’a has been mixed in the assessment of its impact (Last 2000; Miles 2000, 2003; Marshall 2002, 2005; Harnischfeger 2004; Paden 2005, 2008; Loimeier 2007).  Characterizations of Shari’a have ranged from it being labeled a form of militant religious extremism to a toothless legal system that is at best ineffectual and frequently discriminatory towards the poor and women.

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BP63: La gouvernance à Madagascar : Portée et limites de la lutte contre la corruption et du processus de décentralisation

La perception de la population de l’ampleur de la corruption témoigne d’un bilan assez mitigé. Lesrésultats montrent une corruption endémique qui affecte tous les rouages de l’administration et de lasphère politique. Toutefois, l’évolution de l’état de l’opinion en la matière pourrait permettre d’avancerl’hypothèse d’un recul de la corruption. La proportion de la population qui dénonce l’étendue de ce fléauest en baisse en 2008 par rapport à 2005. Parallèlement, l’incidence réelle de la corruption (pourcentagede victime) a nettement diminué.

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BP113: Crisis in Mali: Ambivalent popular attitudes on the way forward

This briefing paper assesses public attitudes about democracy and governance in Mali at a difficult time in the country’s history. The challenge of rebuilding an effective and accountablengovernment will require visionary national leadership. But it also will require citizens who demand that the country return to a path of sustainable political development. Hence it is important to enquire about what Malians are thinking about the causes and status of — and possible solutions to — their country’s political crisis. 

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BP123: Governance and democracy attitudes in higher performing African countries

Namibia is usually regarded as one of the best performing democracies in Africa.Using the Afrobarometer Round 5 survey, this paper compares public attitudes that are central to democratic life across high performing countries in Africa. Several important survey questions pertaining to the demand for democracy, the supply of democracy, and the citizens’ role in democratic life will help in the comparison of democratic attitudes. In addition to Namibia, other countries usually at the top of democracy ratings will be included in the comparison to judge the consolidation of democratic values.

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BP125: Examining the relevance of political parties in Malawi

This briefing paper examines the relevance of political parties in Malawi’s democracy. Beyond the functionalist assumption that existence suggests some positive contribution of an organ to the whole, this paper looks at social operational pre-requisites that justify the relevance and existence of political parties. Specifically the paper focuses on the linkage role of political parties.

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BP126: Are Malawian adults turning pink? Exploring public opinion on women’s political leadership

This briefing paper explores the opinions of Malawi an adults on women’s political leadership ability. Existing literature contends that people hold opinions in the form of “stereotypes” that have potentially negative implications for women candidates, especially when they are running for national office (Huddy and Terkildesen 1993, Braden 1996, Kahn 1996, Feehan 2006, Chilobwe 2011). Stereotypes reflect perceived rather than real traits of an individual (Huddy and Terkildesen 1993).

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BP136: Political accountability in Ghana: Evidence from Afrobarometer Round 5 survey

This briefing paper intends to shed light on Ghanaian attitudes toward political accountability and assess the ordinary citizens’ role in this crucial part of the democratic process. In doing so, the paper draws from evidence from Round 5 of the Afrobarometer survey regarding five key aspects of political accountability - associational activity and local political participation; citizen engagement with the state; access to information; accountability and responsibility; and perceptions of corruption.

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BP114: The popular quest for devolution in Zimbabwe

Since the installation of the Parliamentary Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) in 2009, the word ‘devolution’ has been one of the buzz words in the country. It is a contentious, emotive and divisive issue with strong regional overtones. It is also a frequently misunderstood and sometimes deliberately distorted term. Technically, devolution is a transfer or delegation of power by an upper level of government (often central level) to lower units of governance, e.g., provincial and local governments.

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BP134: Interrogating citizens’ economic well-being, government economic performance and social service delivery in Sierra Leone

This briefing paper assesses citizens’ perceptions of their economic well-being, government’s economic performance and public and social services delivery using the first Afrobarometer survey data collected in Sierra Leonean in 2012.

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BP133: Tanzanian citizens assess the performance of Parliament and consider its responsibility for legislation and oversight

This briefing paper examines the way Tanzanians perceive the National Assembly and its functioning in the post-multiparty election era (i.e., since 1995). Prior to 1995, it can be argued that the elections had some democratic trappings; however, in a true democracy the political process is inclusive of opposition contestation and allows for the full participation of all citizens regardless of ideology, political affiliation, ethnicity/tribe, religion or any other criteria that maybe used to disenfranchise any group or segment of society.

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BP130: Chieftainship (Bogosi) endures despite democratic consolidation in Botswana

This briefing paper focuses on Batswana’s support for democracy, and the extent to which such support could be attributed to strengthening of democracy in Botswana. It also focuses on the constitution as a symbol of republicanism and foundation of democratic rule. In particular, the following explores the relationship between the support for democracy, institutionalized democratic institutions and existence of the bogosi (chieftainship) as a social and political institution.

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BP5: The changing public agenda? South Africans' assessments of the country's most pressing problems

South Africans embarked on majoritarian, multiparty politics in 1994 facing a host of complex issues, including high expectations from the newly enfranchised black majority, and fears of what these changes would bring among many in the white minority. Almost a decade later, how have South African’s perceptions of their country’s problems evolved?  To what extent have their expectations – or their fears – been realized, and how successfully is the current government coping with the issues that matter most in the eyes of the public?

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BP6: Political party support in South Africa: Trends since 1994

How has the standing of South Africa’s political parties changed, especially in response to recent turmoil within regional party systems?

A recent Afrobarometer survey conducted from September-October 2002 offers some insights.  This survey reveals that despite the continued dominance of the African National Congress (ANC), support for all parties in South Africa has declined since 2000 in terms of respondents’ expressions of their voting intentions.

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BP15: Ugandans divided on political transition

Ugandans are divided on the major questions of political transition, according to a survey just released by the Afrobarometer and the International Republican Institute. While Ugandans overall are almost evenly split about the political direction for the country, urban dwellers and men tend to favor a multiparty system and presidential term limits. A majority of Ugandans are opposed to the creation of a regional tier of governments.

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BP16: Is There a political gender gap in Uganda?

Do men and women in Uganda think differntly about the political transition underway in their country?

At first glance, the Round 3 Afrobaromter survey of a random sample of 2400 adult Ugandans in April/May 2005 seems to reveal substantial gender gaps in public opinion on key political and constitutional questions. This brief paper reports the extent of, and trends in, these gaps. It also explores, in preliminary fashion, whether differences in opinion between men and women are due to gender or some other social characteristic, such as education. 

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BP19: Despite reforms, dissatisfaction persists with economic conditions in Ghana

Ghana began implementing neo-liberal economic reforms in the mid 1980s under the quasi-military Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) administration led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings. The two administrations of Ghana’s Fourth Republic - the democratically elected Rawlings-National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its successor, the John Kufuor-New Patriotic Party (NPP) – have continued to pursue the same broad program of market-oriented reforms.  

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BP20: Parliament of the fourth republic of Ghana - Views From the grassroots

The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana that came into effect in January 1993 provides the basic charter for the country's fourth attempt at republican democratic government since independence in 1957. It declares Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and provides for the sharing of powers among a President, a Parliament, a Cabinet, a Council of State, and an independent judiciary.

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BP31: Responsiveness and accountability in Malawi

Under the auspices of the Afrobarometer, IfESOR conducted a nation-wide survey of political opinions and attitudes in Malawi between 15th June and 3rd July 2005. A nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents drawn from all the districts in the countrywas interviewed. In this paper, we use Afrobarometer data to investigate the Malawians’ views on government responsiveness and accountability.

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BP29: People’s development agenda and Government’s policy performance in Zimbabwe

In mid-May 2005, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) launched, with little advance warning, a massive ‘urban clean up’ campaign. The exercise was code-named “Operation Murambatsvina/ Restore Order” hereafter referred to as OM. Murambatsvina is a Shona word meaning literally: “one who refuses dirt.” Initially, there were two separate ‘operations’, one on “Murambatsvina” and the second on “restoring order” but the two imperceptibly fused in the process of implementation and the twin campaigns are now commonly referred to as one.  What do Zimbabweans think about this crackdown?

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BP26: Corruption in Kenya, 2005: Is NARC fulfilling its campaign promise?

Kenya’s NARC government rode to victory in the 2002 elections in part on the coalition’s promise to tackle the country’s deeply-rooted corruption problem.  Prior to the transition, Kenya was perceived as a virtual international pariah due to extreme levels of corruption, leading the IMF to freeze its lending to Kenya in 1997.  In 2002, Kenya ranked 96th out of 102 countries according to Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), with a score of 1.9 out of 10.

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BP30: Kenyans and the economy: Disillusionment despite improved performance

The National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) came to power in Kenya in early 2003 after an election in which it had promised, among other things, to end corruption, institute free primary education, democratize the constitution, and foster economic regeneration.  Apart from introducing free primary education, the government’s other main achievement seems to be its contribution to boosting economic growth. According to official statistics, the Kenyan economy grew by about 4.3% in 2004, and is projected to have grown by 5.8% in 2005.

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Uganda: Are promises kept? Understanding citizens’ development agenda

Key highlights:

  • Social services constitute the most important problems government should address.
  • Health and education are citizens’ top investment priorities.
  • Ugandans are dissatisfied with government performance in social-service delivery, the economy,  agriculture, and governance.

Download full media presentation for more.

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Uganda: Are promises kept? Understanding citizens’ development agenda

Social services – particularly health and education – are the most important problems that the Ugandan government should address, according to respondents in a recent nationwide Afrobarometer survey.

Substantial proportions of the population are dissatisfied with the way the government has handled health care and social-services provision, as well as the economy, agriculture, and governance issues. Less than half of Ugandans think their local government is maintaining local roads and local market places well.

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Swaziland: Government performance, the economy, country specific questions

Findings at a glance:

Government Performance: Half of Swazis say unemployment is the most important issue government should address.  Current survey data shows this as a growing concern amongst Swazis.

Judiciary: Confidence in the judicial system low with only 26% of Swazis being confident with the Chief Justice.

Economic Conditions: Swazis are optimistic about the country’s economic conditions; 56% expect them to improve over the next 12 months.

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