The Impact of Information on Voter Knowledge and Engagement: Evidence from the 2012 Elections in Sierra Leone

This randomized evaluation explores innovative strategies that leverage information to enhance political accountability in the presence of strong ethnic and regional ties to parties in Sierra Leone. The accountability function of voting is compromised when citizens have little information about the performance of politicians. In the run-up to the 2012 elections in Sierra Leone, researchers are thus evaluating whether hosting structured debates between candidates provides voters with information on the performance and capabilities of incumbents and challengers, thereby relaxing reliance on ethnic-party ties, and increasing the contestability of seats. Researchers will also seek to disentangle the effect of the debates as a vehicle of information dissemination from the information itself, and further explore the mechanisms through which voters obtain and act on different types of information about candidates

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2011; Spring 2012; Fall 2012
Sierra Leone
  • Full project
  • Pilot project