FINDINGS FROM AFROBAROMETER ROUND 5 SURVEY DEMOCRATIC ATTITUDES/BELIEFS, CITIZENSHIP & CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES

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1 FINDINGS FROM AFROBAROMETER ROUND 5 SURVEY DEMOCRATIC ATTITUDES/BELIEFS, CITIZENSHIP & CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES th JULY, 13

2 What is the Afrobarometer? 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 in 12 countries. The Network is now conducting Round 5 surveys in up to 35 countries during Purpose: To measure popular perspectives on the social, political, and economic environments in each country where it is implemented and across Africa Goal: 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 2

3 Country Coverage: Round 1, , 12 countries Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe West Africa: Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone East Africa: Tanzania, Uganda Round 2, 2-3, 16 countries All Round 1 countries Cape Verde, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal Round 3, 5-6, 18 countries Benin, Madagascar Round 4, 8-9, countries Burkina Faso, Liberia Round 5, 11-13, 35 countries targeted Algeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d lvoire, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Togo, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Sudan 3

4 Country Coverage:

5 A Pan-African Network of survey researchers and analysts: Who is the Afrobarometer? In each country there is a National Partner responsible for survey implementation and advocacy. In Ghana, the National Partner is CDD- Ghana Three Core Partners provide technical assistance and Network management: Center for Democratic Development (CDD), Ghana Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, Kenya Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IREEP), Benin Two Support Units for capacity building and quality assurance Michigan State University University of Cape Town Round 5 Core Funders include DFID SIDA USAID Mo Ibrahim Foundation 5

6 Survey Methodology Nationally representative sample of adult citizens All respondents are randomly selected Every adult citizen has an equal and known chance of being selected Face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent s choice Standard survey instrument across all countries for comparability The survey interviewed 119 Sierra Leoneans who are 18 years and older. A sample of this size yields results with a margin of error of approximately +/-3% at 95% confidence level. Field work for Round 5 in Sierra Leone was conducted between 23 rd June and 18 th July 12. Afrobarometer s work in Sierra Leone is coordinated by ITASCAP Limited who were responsible for field work and CGG and Lena Thompson are responsible for dissemination and briefing papers. 6

7 Survey Demographics [1] Weighted Un-weighted AGE Mean Age 36 yrs 36 yrs Youngest Respondent 18 yrs 18 yrs Oldest Respondent 78 yrs 78 yrs 18 years 4% 39% years 41% 42% 46 6 years 13% 14% 61 years and above 5% 5% EDUCATION None/Informal 33% 34% Primary completed / Some primary school 14% 13% Secondary completed / Some Secondary school 35% 34% Higher (Post-secondary/Univ. / Some Univ.) 18% 18% Don t Know % 1%

8 Survey Demographics [2] Weighted Un-weighted GENDER Male 49% 5% Female 51% 5% REGION Western 21% % Southern province 21% 22% Eastern Province 24% 24% Northern Province 34% 34% LOCATION Urban 38% 38% Rural 62% 62% RELIGION Christian 46% 45% Muslim 54% 54% Other % %

9 Structure of Presentation The presentation will focus on the findings relating to the following: o o o Popular Democratic Beliefs & Attitudes Popular Opinions on Citizenship/Identity Sierra Leoneans & Civic Responsibilities

10 POPULAR DEMOCRATIC ATTITUDES & BELIEFS

11 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: How interested would you say you are in public affairs: You know, in politics and government? A solid majority of Sierra Leoneans (61%) are somewhat interested or very interested in public affairs. A little over a third (38%) however said that they are not at all or not very interested in public affairs. Very Interested Somewhat interested 31 Not very interested 21 Not at all interested

12 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: When you get together with your friends or family, would you say you discuss political matters? Indeed, majority of Sierra Leoneans (71%) reported discussing political matters with friends and family members occasionally or frequently. Just a little over a quarter (27%) however never engaged in political discourse Never Occasionally Frequently

13 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Sometimes politics and government seem so complicated that a person like me cannot really understand what is going on According to the findings, a majority of Sierra Leoneans (64%) agree or strongly agree that politics and government seem too complicated at times and cannot be easily understood. However, 16% disagree or strongly disagree Agree + Strongly Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree + Strongly disagree 16

14 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. [1] We should choose our leaders in this country through regular, open and honest elections. [2] Since elections sometimes produce bad results, we should adopt other methods for choosing this country s leaders. A large majority of Sierra Leoneans (76%) prefer choosing their leaders through regular, open and honest elections. About a quarter (23%) prefer other methods to be used in choosing leaders Agree very strongly with statement 1 Agree with statement 1 Agree with statement 2 Agree very strongly with statement 2

15 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. [1] Political parties create division and confusion; it is therefore unnecessary to have many political parties in Sierra Leone [2] Many political parties are needed to make sure that Sierra Leoneans have real choices in who governs them. A small majority (54%) agree or agree very strongly that many parties are needed for real choices. However, a large minority (45%) think that political parties are divisive and therefore not necessary to have many Agree very strongly with statement 1 Agree with statement 1 Agree with statement 2 Agree very strongly with statement 2

16 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. [1] Once in office, elected leaders are obliged to help their home community or group first. [2] Since elected leaders should represent everyone, they should not do anything that favors their own group over others. Whilst 5% of Sierra Leoneans agree very strongly or agree that elected leaders are obliged to help their home community, nearly equal percentage (48%) rather think elected leaders should not favor their own group over others since they represent everyone Agree very strongly with statement 1 Agree with statement 1 Agree with statement 2 Agree very strongly with statement 2

17 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. [1] It is more important to have a government that can get things done, even if we have no influence over what it does. [2] It is more important for citizens to be able to hold government accountable, even if that means it makes decisions more slowly. A small majority (53%) agree very strongly or agree that it is to have a government that gets things done even if citizens have no influence over what it does. Nevertheless, 44% agree very strongly or agree that it is important for citizens to be able hold government accountable, even if it slows decisions making Agree very strongly with statement 1 Agree with statement 1 Agree with statement 2 Agree very strongly with statement 2

18 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. [1] It is important to obey the government in power, no matter who you voted for. [2] It is not necessary to obey the laws of a government that you did not vote for. An overwhelming majority of Sierra Leoneans (81%) agree very strongly or agree that it is important to obey the government in power, regardless of who they voted for. Only 19% think it is not necessary to do so when you did not vote for that government Agree very strongly with statement 1 Agree with statement 1 Agree with statement 2 3 Agree very strongly with statement 2

19 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: In this country, how free are you: [A] To say what you think? [B] To join any political organization you want? [C] To choose who to vote for without feeling pressured? Most citizens believe they are completely free to say what they think (62%), to join any political organization (76%) and to choose who to vote for (82%). Between 14% to 25% also think they are somewhat free to do these things Not at all free + Not Somewhat free Completely free Don't know very free Freedom of speech Freedom of association Freedom of choice at elections

20 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: In your opinion, how often, in this country: Do people have to be careful of what they say about politics? However, where politics is concerned, 68% of Sierra Leoneans think, one often or always have to be careful of what to say about politics. About a third (%) however expressed contrary opinion Never Rarely Often Always

21 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: How likely do you think it is that powerful people can find out how you voted, even though there is supposed to be a secret ballot in this country? A large majority of Sierra Leoneans (78%) believe it is not at all likely or not very likely that s powerful person in the society could find out who they voted for in an election. Don't know 4 Very likely 6 Somewhat likely 12 Not very likely Not at all likely

22 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: During election campaigns in this country, how much do you personally fear becoming a victim of political intimidation or violence? A third of Sierra Leoneans (34%) have no fears of becoming victims of political intimidation and violence. Another 39% expressed a little fear, 14% some amount of fear and 11% a lot of fear of becoming victims A lot Somewhat A little bit Not at all Don't know

23 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: There are many ways to govern a country. Would you disapprove or approve of the following alternatives [1] Only one political party is allowed to stand for election and hold office. [2] The army comes in to govern the country. [3] Elections and Parliament are abolished so that the President can decide everything. Sierra Leoneans overwhelmingly reject one-man rule (86%), one-party rule (84%) and military rule (83%) Strongly disapprove + Disapprove Neither approve Nor disapprove Strongly approve + Approve Reject one-party rule Reject military rule Reject one-man rule Don't know

24 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Which of these three statements is closest to your own opinion [1] Democracy is preferable to any other kind of government. [2] In some circumstances, a non-democratic government can be preferable. [3] For someone like me, it doesn t matter what kind of government we have. Indeed, most Sierra Leoneans (76%) prefer democracy to any other form of government Doesn't matter 15 Sometimes non-democratic preferable 76 Democracy preferable

25 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: In your opinion how much of a democracy is Sierra Leone today? Sierra Leone s political system is largely perceived to be full democracy or a democracy with minor problems by a solid majority of citizens (71%). A quarter (25%) think it is a democracy with major problems or not a democracy at all Not a democracy 18 A democracy, with major problems 41 A democracy, but with minor problems A full democracy

26 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: On a scale between and, where means completely undemocratic and means completely democratic, where would you place each of the following, or haven t you heard enough to say? [A] Our country today? [B] Our country ten years ago? [C] Our country under the National Provincial Ruling Council (NPRC) [D] And on the same scale, where would you want our country to be in the future? Half of respondents (5%) scored Sierra Leone s present democratic status from 6 to. Large majority (77%) scored democracy under NPRC military regime from to 4 (i.e. largely undemocratic). Absolute majority (82%) are optimistic that the status of Sierra Leone as a democratic state will improve in the future (scored 6 to ). Country today Country years ago Country under NPRC Country in future Below average (Rated - 4) Average (Rated 5) Above average (Rated 6 - ) Don't know 4 6 9

27 Popular Democratic Attitudes & Beliefs Question: Overall, how satisfied are you with the way democracy works in Sierra Leone? Most Sierra Leoneans (61%) are very or fairly satisfied with the way democracy works in Sierra Leone. A little over a third (35%) are not at all or not very satisfied Sierra Leone is not a democracy Not at all satisfied Not very satisfied Fairly satisfied Very satisfied

28 POPULAR OPINIONS ON CITIZENSHIP/IDENTITY 28

29 A little over a third of Sierra Leoneans express strong national identity (37%) or both national and ethnic identity equally (37%). Another 22% feel more national than ethnic. Popular Opinions on Citizenship / Identity Question: Let us suppose that you had to choose between being a Sierra Leonean and being a [Respondent s Ethnic Group]. Which of the following statements best expresses your feelings? Ethnic ID only 4 Ethnic ID more than national 37 National and ethnic IDs equally 22 National ID more than ethnic ID 37 National ID only

30 Popular Opinions on Citizenship / Identity Question: Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statement: It makes you proud to be called a Sierra Leonean. Absolute majority (82%) strongly agree or agree that they feel proud to be called Sierra Leoneans. However, 13% do not agree that the feel proud being called Sierra Leonean Strongly disagree + Disagree 5 Neither agree nor disagree 82 Agree + strongly agree

31 Popular Opinions on Citizenship / Identity Question: In your opinion, which of the following people have a right to be a citizen of Sierra Leonean? A citizen would have the right to get a Sierra Leonean passport and to vote in Sierra Leonean elections if they are at least 18 years old? Sierra Leoneans are split in their opinion on accepting persons with dual citizenship or nationals of other countries who have lived and worked in the country as Sierra Leoneans. Also, they do not approve of granting citizenship to a non-sierra Leonean wife (5%) or husband (57%) of a Sierra Leonean man or woman. They are however very supportive of granting citizenship to persons with one non-sierra Leonean parent (75%) or persons born in the country with two non-sierra Leonean parents (53%). No Yes Don't know A person born in Sierra Leone with one non-sierra Leonean parent? A person born in Sierra Leone with two non-sierra Leonean parents? Wife of a Sierra Leonean, even if she was born outside Sierra Leone? Husband of a Sierra Leonean, even if he was born outside Sierra Leone? A national of another country who has lived and worked in Sierra Leone for many years, and wishes to make Sierra Leone his or her home? A person who wishes to hold dual citizenship

32 SIERRA LEONEANS & CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES 32

33 Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities Question: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. [1] Citizens must pay their taxes to the government in order for our country to develop. [2] The government can find enough resources for development from other sources without having to tax the people. Most Sierra Leoneans (78%) strongly agree or agree that citizens must pay taxes for development. However, 22% think government should find resources elsewhere. Agree very strongly with statement 2 7 Agree with statement 2 15 Agree with statement 1 35 Agree very strongly with statement

34 Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities Question: In your opinion, how often, in this country: Do people avoid paying the taxes that they owe the government? Despite the acceptance of paying taxes for development, 53% said people often or always avoid paying taxes to government, whilst 43% claimed people never or rarely evade taxes Never Rarely Often Always Don't know

35 Question: Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities In your opinion, how often, in this country: Do people obtain household services, like water or electricity, without paying for them? A sizeable minority (43%) claimed people always or often access public services without paying for them even though 5% claimed people rarely or never access these services freely Never Rarely Often Always Don't know

36 Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities Question: I am now going to ask you about a range of different actions that some people take. For each of the following, please tell me whether you think the action is not wrong at all, wrong but understandable, or wrong and punishable: [1] Not paying for the services they receive from government. [2] Not paying the taxes they owe on their income. The data reveals mixed responses ; 5% of respondents believe it is wrong and punishable for citizens not to pay for government services, while 53% not to pay taxes. Sizeable percentages however consider non-payment for government services (41%) and tax evasion (38%) as wrong but understandable Not wrong at all Wrong but understandable Wrong and punishable Not paying for govt. services Not paying for taxes

37 Question: What do you think is the main reason that some people avoid paying government taxes and fees that they owe? 4 Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities To Sierra Leoneans, most citizens evade taxes and fees owed the state mainly because of the following reasons: o Poor services they receive from government (31%) o Taxes being too high (21%) o Tax system being unfair (16%) o People cannot afford to pay (15%) o People don t avoid paying taxes(6%) o Government wastes tax money(4%) o Government officials steal tax(3%) 31 The poor services they receive from Govt. 21 The taxes are too high The tax system is unfair People cannot afford to pay People don't avoid paying Government wastes tax money Government Officials steal tax money

38 Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities Question: Based on your experience, how easy or difficult is it to do each of the following: To find out what taxes and fees you are supposed to pay to the government? In general, Sierra Leoneans (71%) believe it is very difficult or difficult to find out what taxes and fees one owes the state. Just a quarter (25%) however believe it is very easy or easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very difficult Don't know 4

39 An overwhelming majority (81%) also said it is very difficult or difficult for citizens to find out how government uses the revenues from taxes and fees. 6 Sierra Leoneans and Civic Responsibilities Question: Based on your experience, how easy or difficult is it to do each of the following: To find out how government uses the revenues from people s taxes and fees? Very easy Easy Difficult Very difficult Don't know

40 THANK YOU

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