fieldwork in nigeria (west africa)

randomized experiment associated to the april 2007 elections




this happened...


This election is a do or die affair.

Feb. 10th 2007, President Obasanjo


Elections could further destabilise the violent, oil-rich Delta region.

Mar. 15th , 2007, The Economist, headline


Election breeds fear in Nigeria's Muslim north.

Apr. 12th , 2007, The Financial Times, headline


After rigged and violent local polls, the opposition threatens a boycott of the presidential race.

Apr. 18th , 2007, The Economist, headline


Violence and fraud tarnish Nigerian elections.

Apr. 22nd , 2007, The Financial Times, headline


Rigging, violence and intimidation were so pervasive and on such naked display that they made a mockery of the electoral process. […] Where voting did take place, many voters stayed away from the polls. They were frightened off by a pre-election period that saw more than 100 people killed in election-related clashes. By the time voting ended, the body count had surpassed 300.

May 15th , 2007, Human Rights Watch


while we were in the field!


We have designed and organized together with local partners a Randomized Experiment on Political Violence during the Elections of April 2007.

This experiment included:

This experiment was aimed at assessing the effects of the campaign, not only in terms of reports/perceptions related with violence, but also in terms of voting behavior (turnout, vote) by the panel of respondents. We also designed a module to characterize the effects of the campaign that worked through social networks.


This page is intended to provide an introduction to this project.





Map with the Sampled Areas (places visited in the survey, including treatment) in Nigeria - click for details.







Left: poster and leaflet; Right: sticker - click for details.





The Lagos team posing close to the Roadshow car, distributing materials, popular theatre - Ebute Metta neighborhood in Lagos.


The Lagos team in Akwonjo.




We will not allow those who send their children away from the country and want to use us. We will not vote for such people again. They should use their own children for violence.

Anonymous, ActionAid – Lagos State Campaign Report, May 2007


Politics in Nigeria is not a gentleman’s game. The best way to address violence is to go through the grassroots. But as long as there is poverty, there will always be political violence. Your campaign is very good but I am afraid it is like a hungry man who goes to church and yet the pastor says don’t steal and the pastor has no food to offer.

Anonymous, ActionAid – Lagos State Campaign Report, May 2007







The Oyo team campaigning in Ajagba, Oyo Town: popular theatre, town meeting, distributing materials.


The Oyo team in Ibadan. 






The Kaduna team in Zaria - distribution of materials and town meeting.




We, in this community, are against violence. [...] If the election is rigged, I do not know what will happen here.

Mallam Dabo Rufai, Zaria ward head, ActionAid – Kaduna State Campaign Report, May 2007







    The Plateau team in Jos including two popular theatres in different days.

The Plateau team in Quan-Pan.




The thug nature of Kasuwan-nama community [part of North Jos treatment EA] members disturbed the fluid process the campaign anticipated. The most scary part was the sharing of campaign materials which resulted into a rowdy situation until we were forced to exit the scene.

ActionAid – Plateau State Campaign Report, May 2007







    The Rivers team in a town meeting and distributing materials in Agama.


The Rivers team in Rukpakwolusi.




The last day of the campaign in Rukpakwolusi witnessed the storming of the community by militants of the Niger Delta People Volunteers Force shooting sporadically into the air in a convoy of vehicles at exact location where the community had gathered to witness the campaign drama. When the militants alighted from their vehicles, some of them recognized the presence of Commonwealth of Niger Delta Youths leadership at the venue and actually did not harass anybody, but requested that campaign materials should be distributed to them. That was complied on the directive of the Rivers State project coordinator.

ActionAid – Rivers State Campaign Report, May 2007







    The Delta team road-showing in Warri.



The Delta team in Oko-Anala (including town meeting).




Any campaign in Warri cannot be carried out without police involvement. As such the Divisional Police Officer was contacted; five police officers were allotted for the campaign at Ogiame Primary School. [...] The campaign went on smoothly.

ActionAid – Delta State Campaign Report, May 2007









Training for the pre-election survey - Oyo



Surveying in Ibadan and Ajagba, Oyo

Training of national supervisors and Lagos enumerators, Lagos, for the post-election survey. Extreme right: PSI's managerial team with Pedro: Segun, Gbenga, and Taofeeq.