Workshop on Evidence from Election Debates in Sierra Leone

The International Growth Centre hosted a workshop in Freetown led by the Lead Academic Dr. Rachel Glennerster, who presented new results from a study on the impact of debates between MP candidates during the 2012 elections in Sierra Leone, done in partnership with the National Elections Commission and Search for Common Ground.

This presentation was followed by a discussion of how these results could be incorporated into programs for the next election.

The workshop was held on Tuesday, February 16th at 10am at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development (MoFED) Conference Hall, Ground Floor.

The study, entitled “The impact of information on voter knowledge and engagement: Evidence from the 2012 elections in Sierra Leone”, found that watching election debates significantly improved voters’ political knowledge; voters were more likely to vote for candidates whose policies were aligned with theirs. New results also demonstrated that participation in debates led to higher levels of constituency engagement and development expenditure among elected public officials. The study was funded by the International Growth Centre (IGC) and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).