Wednesday, 26 June 2013

SECOND DISSEMINATION EVENT OF THE FINDINGS OF THE AFROBAROMETER ROUND 5 SURVEY IN NIGERIA



The Afrobarometer is a comparative series of public attitude surveys, covering up to 35 African
Countries in Round 5 (2011-2013). It measures public perception and attitude to democracy and its alternatives, and evaluates the quality of governance and economic performance. In addition, the survey assesses the views of the electorates on critical political issues in the surveyed countries and provides comparisons over time. Four rounds of surveys have been held from 1999 to 2008 and Round 5 is currently underway. Afrobarometer’s work in Nigeria is coordinated by the CLEEN Foundation. Fieldwork for Round 5 was conducted in Nigeria from 29th October to 30th November in 2012. The survey interviewed 2,400 adult Nigerians, and a sample of this size yields results with a margin of error of +/- 2% at a 95% confidence level.


Finding 1: Majority of Nigerians (67%) Describe the Economic Conditions of the Country As “Very Bad Or Fairly Bad”.
The Afrobarometer recent survey in Nigeria says that majority of the citizens (67 percent) describe the present economic condition of the country as “very bad or fairly bad”. Only 8 percent say the economy is “neither good nor bad” and 25 percent say the economy is “Very good and Fairly good”. About 42 percent of the citizens said their present personal living condition is “very bad or fairly bad”. 14 percent say their present personal living condition is “neither good nor bad” and another 42 percent also agree that their present personal living condition is “neither good nor bad”.
The survey also revealed that a small majority of Nigerians (51 percent) think their personal living condition is “Much better or better” compared to 12 months ago.  A fifth (21 percent) however expressed contrasting opinion. Nearly equal percentages think the country’s economic condition compared to 12 months ago is “Much Worse or Worse” (37 percent) or “Much Better or Better” (34 percent). However about majority of Nigerians are optimistic about economic conditions (78 percent) and their personal living conditions (85 percent) in 12 months time.

Finding 2: 81 percent of Nigerians say the Performance of the present government in managing the economy is very poor.
 
The survey also revealed that majority of Nigerians rated the present government as having performed poorly in the general management of the economy as well as the management of specific economic indicators. 81 percent of Nigerians assessed government’s performance in managing the economy as “Very badly or fairly badly. Only 19 percent of the citizens assessed the government performance as “Very well and fairly well”. The survey further revealed that majority (85 percent) think the present government has performed “Very Badly or Fairly badly” in improving the living standards of the poor, while only 15 percent think the government is doing “Very well or fairly well” in improving the living standards of the poor.




Finding 3: 50 percent of Nigerians say they will go to the Police for assistance if they were victims of crime; however 47 percent agree to have a level of trust for the police.
The Afrobarometer survey in its findings revealed also that 59 percent of Nigerians at the national, rural and urban settlement levels say based on their various individual experiences, it is “very difficult or difficult” to obtain help from the Police. However, 25 percent to 26 percent of people in those areas think otherwise. Thus there is still ample space for the Police to work towards improving policing services delivery. Also, 50 percent of Nigerians say they will go to the Police for assistance if they were victims of crime. Also, three main reasons why Nigerians believe people do not report crimes to the police are: Police will demand bribe (31 percent); Police wouldn’t be able do anything (15 percent); and Police don’t listen or care (14 percent). Majority of the citizens think government has performed “Very Badly or Fairly badly” in reducing crime (69 percent) and resolving violent conflict between communities (59 percent).

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Reflections on the Information Dissemination and Reporting Roles of Election Observers in Nigeria



By  Chinedu Yves Nwaguª

I.        Introduction
Election observation has emerged as “one of the most tangible and significant dimensions of democratic development around the globe”.[1] Increasingly, national election management bodies in Africa are also beginning to embrace the role of election observers in the electoral process as partners for ensuring free, fair and credible elections. Election observer groups contribute to the integrity of the electoral process in several ways. They help mitigate conflict around elections by providing independent assessments of the process, encourage civic participation in elections, and also ensure the transparency of the electoral process. These roles are underscored in the Guidelines for African Union Electoral Observation and Monitoring Missions (AU Observer Guidelines) and the Independent National Electoral Commission Guidelines for Election Observation (INEC Observer Guidelines).

This piece reflects on two cardinal roles of election observers. First, is the role to observe elections, collate facts, analyze them and disseminate information to a broad spectrum of end-users. How they perform this function impacts significantly on the perception and ultimate credibility accorded to the electoral process. Objectivity, independence and impartiality remain guiding principles here. The second function relates to their role to share reports on their activities and findings, and how this facilitates improvements in the functions of the election management body by highlighting challenges and pointing the way forward in strengthening the election process.

II.     Defining Terms
Some ambiguity has often shrouded the meaning of certain electoral terms and the responsibilities inherent in those roles. Of particular interest here are the terms election observers and monitors. Observer groups tend to use them interchangeably, without giving attention to the specific connotation of each term. The AU Observer Guidelines posits that election observation “involves gathering information and making an informed judgement”, whereas monitoring “involves the authority to observe an election process and to intervene in that process if relevant laws or standard procedures are being violated or ignored.”

The INEC Observer Guidelines provide a more elaborate definition of these terms. It posits that election observation is:

the process whereby elections in a particular country or locality are observed against set standards by an independent and impartial body of observers with the aim of identifying whether the elections conform to accepted guarantees of democratic participation, identifying flaws and challenges, and also making recommendations on how the process can be improved in the future.

The INEC Observer Guidelines further describes an election monitor as “an integral part of election management structure and has a role in the administration of the election.” In Nigeria, this role is exclusively reserved for INEC and its duly authorized personnel. The INEC Observer Guidelines recognizes both local and international observers and describes an observer as a “person sponsored by an organisation and accredited by INEC to observe elections within guidelines established by INEC.”

III.   Information Dissemination
Election observation allows groups to gather first hand information of the process, events and developments throughout the electoral process. The AU Observer Guidelines provides that “election assessment involves on-spot, preliminary evaluation of the conditions within which elections will take place.” Observer groups play key roles in information dissemination during elections. These roles differ slightly depending on the phase of the electoral process. We shall examine them in three phases – before, during and post elections. The peculiarities of each phase inform the methodology employed.

Before Election: This is when election observer groups conduct research, studies, analysis and assessments to provide background materials and information on the dynamics of the election. Every election has peculiarities that define it. Observer groups have a responsibility to also educate and enlighten the populace. They can help people sieve through the many layers of issues around the elections and identify what really matters. They can also keep the people informed about developments, changes in the legal/political framework and foster civic engagement through television discussions, radio messages, newspaper adverts and other social media platforms such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. They also produce materials such as policy briefs, security threat assessments and other advocacy materials targeted at more specific institutions and groups such as INEC, Police, Political parties and international partners. An example here is the Pre-Election Security Threat Assessment produced by CLEEN Foundation.[2]

During Elections: This is when observer groups perform their most critical function - to observe the elections and report on events as they happen. In previous years, this later element of immediate reporting was missing. However, with the availability of mobile smart phones, sms packages and various social media platforms, it is possible and indeed imperative to provide real time articulation of issues, report of incidents and management of developments in the field. Since the April 2011 elections, this form of reporting has been used in interfacing with the Civil Society Election Situation room, INEC Situation room and the Police and has contributed in providing real time response to issues as it happens.

However, the possibility of abusing this should not be overlooked. In some elections, varied degrees of falsehood and speculative messages were disseminated, especially through social media. Some people have suggested that we gag social media so it does not undermine the electoral process. We do not support censorship of the various social media platforms, rather we encourage INEC and the Police to engage social media by maintaining a presence on social media during elections and ensuring that it serves as the platform for verifying and disseminating information. It can achieve this through active collaboration with observer groups in the field during elections and with Information Technology savvy groups such as Enough is Enough, Nigeria (EiE).

In reporting incidents during elections, observer groups should ensure that they avoid inflammatory, biased and speculative reports or statements. Every incident report must be verified before it is published. Specific details as to the incident, location and actors are very important. Observers should not just say, for instance, that a local government is burning. If there are real issues anywhere, they should get the correct polling unit number, ward and local government area. This helps the relevant agency to identify and locate the place as quickly as possible and address the challenge.

They also have a responsibility not to prejudge the outcome of the election or make partisan and sweeping statements that undermine the integrity of the process. This is significant because observer groups play crucial roles in managing tensions during elections and should not take positions that might inform or inflame conflict.

Post Election: This is the feedback stage on the progress and challenges of the process. Civil society groups often prepare reports on the findings of their observers. They also address press conferences. However, it is also significant to organize forums where INEC, the Police and observer groups can review the electoral process. This helps to identify mistakes made and lessons learnt. It also serves to highlight what worked, what didn’t, what should be corrected and what should be strengthened. Strategies going forward can also be developed at this stage.

IV.   Reporting
Strictly speaking, observer groups have a responsibility to report to their various networks and organisations (and donors) but not necessarily to INEC. However, it is expedient to share observation reports with INEC, at least as a feedback on the election, in acknowledgement of INEC accrediting them for the exercise and especially to provide suggestions on what can be done better to improve the administration of elections in Nigeria. In providing this report, five key points are noteworthy here.

First, the background and context within which the election was held is significant and should be reflected in the report. Second, observer groups should explain their methodology; what they did, with whom, why, how. Action pictures can be useful here. It is also important to include a sentence or two about their organisation.

Third, reports should always have a clear objective, either to inform, correct or criticize. In preparing the report, observer groups should also always bear in mind their target audience/institution and the language of the report should reflect this. Fourth, content is important. The use of clear, unambiguous words is encouraged. Generalizations are should be avoided. The report should stick to the facts and not venture into hearsay. Verify everything. Any analysis provided should be objective. It is also good to mention the challenges faced while observing the election. This tempers the report so it does not read like the thesis of an omniscient body - the all seeing eye of elections.

Fifth, an election observation report is only half done without recommendations. As noted earlier, the INEC Observer Guidelines’ definition of election observation includes “making recommendations on how the process can be improved in the future”. The recommendations should be specific and forward looking. They should address specific institutions and propose solutions to identified issues.

By performing these roles, election observers provide significant support towards improving the administration of elections in Nigeria. They also help to build confidence in our democratic experiment by ensuring that the people vote, their votes are counted, and their votes count!


ª Program Manager, CLEEN Foundation, Abuja. chinedu.nwagu@cleen.org. This article is based on a presentation made at a meeting of the Nigeria Civil Society Election Situation Room on Domestic Election Observation in Nigeria: Taking Stock and Planning for Future Elections on 30 January 2013, in Abuja, Nigeria.
[1] Declaration Of Global Principles For Non-Partisan Election Observation And Monitoring By Citizen Organizations And Code Of Conduct For Non-Partisan Citizen Election Observers And Monitors Commemorated April 3, 2012, At The United Nations, New York, Initiated By The Global Network Of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), 1

[2] Available at http://cleenfoundation.blogspot.com/2012/07/edo-state-election-security-threat.html

Friday, 21 June 2013

INVITATION TO THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF THE FINDINGS OF AFROBAROMETER ROUND 5 SURVEYS IN NIGERIA

The Afrobarometer (AB) is a comparative series of public opinion surveys that measure public attitudes toward democracy, governance, the economy, leadership, identity, and other related issues. The AB is an independent, non-partisan, African-based network of researchers. The first round of surveys took place in 1999 - 2001 in 12 countries.  The Network has conducted “Round 5” surveys in up to 35 countries during 2011 - 2012. The Purpose is to measure popular perspectives on the social, political, and economic environments in each country where it is implemented and across Africa. The goal is to give the public a voice in policy making processes by providing high-quality public opinion data to policy-makers, policy advocates and civil society organizations, academics, media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

Afrobarometer’s work in Nigeria is coordinated and disseminated by The CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with other agencies in Nigeria. The field work for Round 5 survey in Nigeria was conducted by Practical Sampling International PSI between 29 October and 30 November in 2012 covering the 36 States of Nigeria and Abuja, the Federal Capital.



The CLEEN Foundation and the Afrobarometer Network wishes to invite you to the second public presentation of findings of the R5 survey in Nigeria. 

          

Date:               Tuesday 25 June 2013

Time:               10:00am

Venue:            Bolton White Hotel, Plot 7 Gwandu Street, Beside Sahad Stores, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria

 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

MEDIA BRIEFING ON THE COMENCEMENT OF THE 2013 EDITION OF THE NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE CLEEN FOUNDATION



On behalf of the CLEEN Foundation, I warmly welcome you all to this press briefing, which is being organized to publicly announce the commencement of the 2013 edition of the  National Crime Victimization and Safety Survey. The survey will cover the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja, the Federal Capital and is scheduled to commence from Monday, June 17 - Monday, 8th July, 2013, lasting a period of three weeks.


The Importance of Crime Victimization Surveys
Worldwide, the paucity of official statistic on crime, necessitate the conduction of Crime victimization surveys. Most often, official crime and victimisation statistics are produced by the police, prisons and the courts. However, such statistics, good as they may, do not cover the entire crime and victimisation incidences due to dark figures (unreported crimes) and grey figures (reported but unrecorded crimes). In response to the deficiencies associated with official statistics on crime, criminologists designed the crime victimization survey, which involves the study of a sample of a given population to obtain data on the extent of criminal victimization during a particular period, usually the past year - whether or not detected by or reported to the police.
Questionnaires are designed to gather information on respondents’ experience of criminal victimization. The surveys provide rich data for understanding the distribution of criminal victimization and the socio-demographic characteristics of victims and criminals; offer information for better understanding of criminality; and consequences of victimization; and extent of fear of crime among different groups in different study locations

Sampling and Method of the Survey

Eleven thousand five hundred and eighteen respondents will be interviewed in their homes using personal face-to-face interview and multi-stage sampling technique. To ensure adequate representation of adult Nigerian population, probability sampling procedure will be used to neutralize any known form of bias that may affect the findings of the study. Respondents will be males and females, age 18 years and above.  Interviews will be conducted throughout week days and weekends, to ensure that respondents of all works of life are included in the sample.

Relevant information for the survey will be collected using structured close-ended questionnaire, known for consuming less time for the respondents to complete the questionnaires and the ease to be keyed into the computer. The questionnaire is designed to capture respondents’ household/personal experiences of crime victimization, human rights violations, road accidents; perceptions of safety; firearms/gun ownership; police/security agencies response to crime and general perception of crime and the criminal justice system. The questionnaire is divided into 11 sections and an introduction. The introduction in a general manner speaks to the interviewee of the aims and objectives of the survey as well as how the questionnaires are to be carried out. In doing this the interviewee is aware of what the survey is all about, so as to make an informed decision whether to participate or not in the survey.

Sections 1-3 deal with respondents’ house hold and personal experiences of crime victimization including sexual crimes. Section 4 is on economic and financial crimes with special focus on measuring levels of corruption in the country over the past 12 months. Section 5 focuses on fear of crime and perception of safety, measuring how fearful the respondents are of becoming a victim of any type of crime and its impact on their social behaviour. Section 6 looks at firearms and or gun ownership in the community. Informed by the upsurge in violent crime, kidnapping and other forms of terrorism, the survey sets to find out whether people own guns and other firearms in the community. The tendency for communities with high ownership of guns and other firearms to perpetuate violent crimes could be higher than communities without firearms. Section 7 sets on community response to crime, trying to find out the measures the respondents take to protect themselves in their homes. Section 8 is on road safety and accidents, looking at the level of road accidents in Nigeria and respondents attitudes to road safety issues. Section 9 measures public perception of governments and trust in public authorities in Nigeria. Section 10 is on general perception of crime and criminal justice institutions. Section 11 provides general assessment of conflict violence in Nigeria, providing information on trend and public perception of security agencies in addressing violent conflict in Nigeria. Finally, section 12 provides questions that would enable quantitative assessment of human rights situation in Nigeria.

Addition of New Issues in the Survey
Following the geometrical increase in the rate of violent crime using guns and other firearms, such as in kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of terrorism as is noticed in the North East and North central, the 2013 edition of the survey has introduced one new section on assessment of conflict violence in Nigeria. This section sets to determine the most common conflict that exists in the country and how often it has occurred in various communities in the country. This section will also give an insight of the public perception of the various security agencies in addressing violent crimes in the community.


Objectives
The objectives of the survey are to:  

·         Generate reliable complementary data to official statistics on crime, crime levels, perceptions of safety, as well as their geographic, gender and socioeconomic distributions, which would assist the Police, Federal Road Safety Commission and other law enforcement agencies in deploying their human and material resources.
·         Provide the Federal Road Safety Commission with reliable complementary data to their statistics on rate of road accidents, response of government agencies to emergencies and Nigerians attitude to road safety issues and values.
·         Identify states with high levels fire arms and gun ownership, violent crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
·         Assess the level of community interest and involvement in crime prevention and crime target hardening measures.
·         Provide a general assessment of conflict violence in Nigeria.
·         Provide quantitative assessment of human rights situation in Nigeria.

Field Administration of Questionnaire
The field administration of the survey questionnaire is being handled by the Practical Sampling International (PSI), a reputable social research firm that has worked with the CLEEN Foundation over the years and has conducted similar surveys for local and international organizations. 

We  would like to use this opportunity to appeal to members of the public to welcome the interviewers when they visit and provide truthful answers to the questions asked as they will help policy makers in formulation of better policies on crime and safety issues in Nigeria. If in doubt of the identity of the interviewers please contact the survey coordinator, Raphael Mbaegbu at the following number: 08063292096

We also use the opportunity to appreciate the MacArthur Foundation, based in USA that have provided funding support for this 2013 edition of the National Crime Victimization and Safety Survey. We thank you all for taking out time out of your busy schedules to grace this press briefing, thank you all for coming.




Monday, 10 June 2013

COMMENCEMENT OF THE 2013 NATIONAL CRIME AND SAFETY SURVEY IN NIGERIA



The CLEEN Foundation with support from the Macarthur Foundation hereby invites you to a media briefing on the Commencement of the 2013 National Crime and Safety Survey in Nigeria.

The survey which has a sample size of 11,518 respondents who will be interviewed across the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, is designed to measure the nature, extent and patterns of criminal victimization, public perceptions of safety and fear of crime, citizens attitude to criminal justice institutions such as the police, courts and other institutions and general governance assessment.

The objectives of the survey are to:

·         Provide credible and complementary source of information to official statistics on crime and safety collated by criminal justice institutions such as the Nigeria Police Force and courts.

·         Furnish policy makers in the justice system with the empirical evidence base for formulation of policies for the enhancement of citizens' safety and security as well as for better deployment of scarce security resources to areas of most need.

·         Give Nigerians the opportunity of participating in the determination of priority areas for attention in public safety, security and justice.

Date:           Wednesday, 12th June, 2013

Venue:       CLEEN Foundation Resource Center, 21 Akinsanya Street by Taiwo bust stop Ojodu


Time:          9.30 – 10.30 am prompt

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Apply for the XIII International Human Rights Colloquium

Conference brings together activists from around the world in São Paulo, from October 12 to 19, to debate the new international order in human rights

Apply now for the XIII International Human Rights Colloquium!
 Is there really a new global order emerging from the declining power of Europe and the United States? What is the impact of this on the protection of human rights and what is the role of countries from the Global South in this context? These are some of the questions that will be discussed at the 13th International Human Rights Colloquium, whose central theme will be A new global order in human rights? Actors, challenges and opportunities. The conference will be held from October 12 to 19, 2013, in São Paulo/Brazil, with the intention to strengthen the work and promote the sharing of experiences between human rights organizations from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Registration will be open from June 3 to July 7.
“The countries of the South, regardless of whether they are emerging economies, must respect and promote human rights in their international actions,” said Lucia Nader, executive director of Conectas. “These countries vote in the UN, they trade and sell arms; their foreign policies and positions on the international stage need to be discussed with society, just like any other public policy. The new world order, however weak and tentative it may still be, must place human rights as a priority, and the role of civil society is fundamental in this process. We hope that the 13th Colloquium will be a setting for us to reflect together about the challenges and opportunities with which we are faced.”
The lectures and working groups will be organized into 5 key topics:
  1. MULTIPOLARITY: Is there, in actual fact, a new global human rights order?, to understand and evaluate the changes that are occurring on the global level and their impact on human rights;
  2. INCONSISTENCIES: How to deal with potential tensions between the domestic situation and the international role of States in the promotion and protection of human rights?, with the objective of discussing ways to reconcile the contradictions between the domestic context of countries, particularly in the Global South, and their international ambitions;
  3. ECONOMY: How to deal with the effects of new economic centers from the perspective of protection and observance of human rights?, with a focus on the discussion on economic development and human rights, immigration and “neocolonialism”;
  4. SYSTEMS: what is the impact of this new global order on the international and regional human rights systems?, to assess the potential changes to the UN system and the regional systems and to define the role of new coalitions, such as the BRICS, in the field of human rights;
  5. CIVIL SOCIETY: what are the organizational models in this new context?, to debate whether a new multipolar order requires different types of organizations and networks, as well as different types of relations between organizations from the Global South with their societies and with NGOs from the North.
Each day of the Colloquium will be dedicated to one of the topics listed above. Debates will be held in the mornings, in a participative format, with international speakers and translation into the event’s four official languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish and French). In the afternoons, the participants will take part in workshops and debate in more depth the same issues discussed in the morning, based on case studies and pre-existing problems.
Participants will be selected who have experience in the field of human rights and contact with at least one of the key topics to be addressed at the XIII Colloquium. Candidates may request partial or full scholarships, which may or may not be granted following an analysis by the Selection Committee.
Learn more about the theme of the XIII Colloquium
Geopolitics and the balance of international power are undergoing a process of change. But what does this mean for human rights?

Traditionally, the countries of the Global South are viewed as a target of the foreign policies of countries of the North and of international recommendations on human rights. The need for these States to include and promote human rights in their international actions usually receives much less attention. Add to this the fact that some specific countries of the Global South, commonly referred to as “emerging powers” – namely South Africa, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Turkey – could play or have already played an increasingly more important role as global actors.
On the one hand, therefore, there is the potential for greater international prominence by countries of the Global South, not only the emerging economies, through an ongoing international economic and political expansion that very often ignores the promotion and protection of human rights. On the other hand, the relative economic and political crises in the North have left a vacuum in the human rights agenda. The opportunity exists, therefore, to establish a new world order in human rights. In this context, the NGOs of the Global South could begin to play a new role, and work to influence the decisions of their States on the global stage.

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