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Public opinion in the water sector

A rapid analysis of water-related questions from Afrobarometer public opinion surveys 2001-2008

 Ben Taylor, WaterAid Tanzania, April 2009


Since 2001, the Afrobarometer (www.afrobarometer.org) series of public opinion surveys has been one of the most detailed and reliable sources of data on public opinion in Africa. While the majority of questions in the surveys have focussed on democracy and civic engagement, there are also some water-related questions. The results from these questions can provide a rare and valuable window on citizens’ perspectives in the sector – how does water supply rank among citizens’ priority issue for government to address, how do citizens’ rate government performance in the sector, how widespread is petty corruption in the sector, etc?

This short paper presents some of the key findings of the surveys conducted in Tanzania during 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2008, including comparing results from different years. It also includes some comparisons with other Africa countries.  Continue reading