Here we go again! I'll be in Côte d'Ivoire from May 20, 2015 until July 27, 2015. This time I'll be carrying out a research project on election preparation and voter education programs in the run-up to the October presidential elections. These elections will be the first since the 2011 post-election crisis, when the country fell into months of violent conflict after both incumbent and opposition candidates declared themselves winners, leaving over 3,000 dead.
I'll be based in Abidjan, but hoping to travel with the Civil Society Coalition for Peace and Democratic Development in Côte d’Ivoire (COSOPCI) as they put on voter education campaigns and register voters throughout the country. We'll be developing and conducting a survey in Abidjan about the elections and on citizens' perceptions of democracy promotion. This research is supported by grants from the West Africa Research Association and the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley.
I am excited to return in a different capacity (as a researcher and as a PhD student) and to see how much has changed (or not!) in Abidjan.