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Surveys and methods

Here you’ll find a wealth of information about Afrobarometer’s approach to surveys, including survey manuals and questionnaires.

Afrobarometer measures the social, political, and economic atmosphere in more than 30 countries in Africa. How do we do this? We conduct face-to-face interviews with a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 1,200-2,400 adult citizens in each country.

Detailed information on our survey methodology can be found in our survey manual.

A quick outline of our sampling protocol is available here.

Data collection

A national partner in each of our survey countries is responsible for collecting high-quality data and disseminating the findings at the country level. Afrobarometer provides support and oversight at each stage of the process.

National partners train interviewers (usually in a five-day workshop) to ensure that they are familiar with the questionnaire in national and local languages, the sampling protocol, and best field practices, and are confident in applying Afrobarometer’s survey methodology.

Shortly after the training, teams of four interviewers and one field supervisor travel to enumeration areas in all parts of the country.

Each national sample is distributed across regions/states/provinces and urban/rural areas in proportion to their share in the national population. Every adult citizen has an equal chance of being selected as a respondent.

Interviews, conducted in a language of the respondent’s choice using electronic tablets, usually take about an hour. Responses are strictly confidential.

Our sample sizes yield country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2 to 3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

Data quality

Our national partners verify and check their data for any incomplete, improperly formatted, or inaccurate records. Data managers at our regional core partners and at Afrobarometer clean and finalise the data sets.

Data analysis and reporting

National partners and Afrobarometer staff analyse the data and disseminate findings through events at the country, regional, and global levels as well as through news releases, social media, and a range of analytical publications.

All data sets are made publicly available and may be analysed free of charge with our online data analysis (ODA) tool.

Our goal is to share the views of ordinary citizens as widely as possible, amplifying their voices in policy- and decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Visit our publications section to read our latest dispatches, policy papers, and working papers.

To view our survey schedule for Rounds 1 -9 click here.


People walking in Sierra Leone

Round 9 Survey manual

Our survey manual, an essential best-practice guidebook, lays out the methodologies we use for managing, conducting, and reporting on Afrobarometer surveys.

Download the latest version
Children in the street in Sierra Leone


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The turquoise clear beaches of Tokeh village, Sierra Leone


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Nitel Tower, Lagos, Nigeria

Survey resources and data

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Support our work

Our data are freely available to the public, but we would appreciate a donation of any amount.