Afrobarometer, a pan-African research network dedicated to making citizen voice a key pillar of Africa policy making, has organised a training workshop for journalists and civil society organisations (CSOs) in Accra.
The four-day workshop, which was attended by 40 participants drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, The Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone was aimed at equipping journalists and CSOs with the necessary skills to use public attitude data effectively.
In an era, when access to credible data is increasingly crucial for journalists and CSOs, Afrobarometer works to empower individuals and organisations with the skills needed to make evidence-based decisions, advocate effectively, and report accurately on issues impacting communities.
Through the training workshop, 20 CSO representatives and 20 journalists from West Africa gained experience in accessing, analysing, and leveraging survey data relevant to their daily work.
Participants gained a thorough understanding of the range of data made available through Afrobarometer surveys, and how to use Afrobarometer’s free online data analysis tool.
Mr Joseph Asunka, Chief Executive Officer of Afrobarometer, said Afrobarometer provided an invaluable resource for accessing data on key issues affecting African countries.
“By capacitating people to use Afrobarometer data, we can better equip various policy actors with the knowledge and tools necessary to report accurately and advocate effectively on the critical issues that affect us all,” he stated.
Dr Thomas Isbell, Capacity Building Manager, Afrobarometer, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the objective of the workshop was to facilitate the use of Afrobarometer data in journalisms reporting for the press.
He noted that the workshop introduced participants to the research and survey methodology of Afrobarometer, and the themes and topics that Afrobarometer covers.
He also reiterated that participants were introduced to the online data analysis tools to enable them analyse the Afrobarometer data, which was freely available online.
He said the Afrobarometer data was a nationally representative data, which makes the voices of the people of participating countries heard; saying “because that is the only opportunity that these voices have to be recognised by policy makers and hopefully then, makes governments more accountable and intone with the demands of the people”.
On Ghana being a bastion of democracy in the sub-region, Dr Isbell urged the Ghanaian press to keep up the good work.
A participant from Liberia, Mr Robin Dopoe, Senior Editor of the Daily Observer, lauded Afrobarometer for organizing the workshop, which he described as an eye opener.
“The workshop has expanded my knowledge about data analysis and technique, and I am grateful to Afrobarometer for the opportunity,” he said.