African democracy institute Idasa, with the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU), the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) have conducted research on Zimbabwean women’s views on transitional justice, looking at how women in that country have been affected by the elections, the inclusive government, transitional justice mechanisms and law enforcement, amongst other topics. The research was based on a survey of more than 2 000 woman, as well as discussion groups on the research finding. The following reports are the first to come out of this study: “Women, Politics and the Zimbabwe Crisis” was produced in May 2010. It was followed by “Preying on the ‘Weaker’ Sex: Political Violence against Women in Zimbabwe”, which was released in October 2010. See more info here.
In the light of climate change, African farmers must adapt to new environmental realities in order to sustain agricultural production. It is important to increase public awareness, research and training for both farmers and consumers. Promoting access to information and appropriate knowledge in order to support decision-making and facilitate the adaptation of agricultural production systems in Africa is important for sustainable agriculture. Read more here.
Maize is life to more than 300 million of Africa’s most vulnerable inhabitants, and the most important food staple on the continent. A new study evaluates the potential impacts of drought tolerant maize for Africa. A project led by CIMMYT in 13 African countries: Angola, Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Ghana, provide varieties that are both higher and more stable yields. Read more here.
– By Bob Mattes –
The Afrobarometer is an award-winning international research project that collects data on Africans’ attitudes and opinions about democracy and economics. Now conducted in 20 countries, and with an unprecedented four waves of data collected in 12 countries, no social science project has ever approached its scope on this continent. The project has been supported since 1999 by a wide range of multilateral and bilateral donors who use the data to understand the political atmosphere in Africa, and the results are increasingly seen and discussed at the highest levels of government across the continent. Afrobarometer data has supported articles and books in leading social science journals and publishing houses.
Thus, it was indeed surprising to come across an article last week written by the Democratic Alliance’s Gareth Van Onselen (“Is Afrobarometer’s Latest Poll Reliable?”). Certainly, no research project is above criticism. However, one can’t escape the conclusion that the motivation for the piece was not academic debate but the DA’s pique at the results to one single question in the most recent Afrobarometer South Africa survey (on party support, which I will come to below) which then led him to download the summary of the questionnaire and top-line results from the Idasa website (Idasa is one of the core partners of the Afrobarometer) and embark on a “slash and burn” exercise, pulling out three or four questions to try and undermine the reliability of the entire project. Continue reading