Working for democracy

Defending and working to uphold democracy in South Africa is one of the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change’s core advocacy areas. Since its inception in 2020 the Centre has been actively involved in the following:

(1) Defending democracy by identifying, tracking and countering misinformation and disinformation and coordinated narrative manipulation campaigns that pose a threat to key democratic institutions, constitutionality, as well as hate speech, incitements to violence and disorder that pose a threat to minorities, public safety and order.

(2) Working for democracy by working with key civil society partners to promote public discourse that seeks to encourage and grow grassroots active citizenry-based efforts to hold government, the state, elite and political power to account.

How do we do this?

In order to protect South Africa’s democracy we have reported extensively on the key political themes that dominate social media conversations, as well as emerging narratives that pose a threat to democracy and public safety. We have also identified and publicly exposed key coordinated networks that sought to artificially amplify political discourses that pose a threat. We continually work for democracy by conceptualising and producing relevant content that is circulated in the broader media and societal ecosystem, mobilising both above-the-line and below-the-line media in drawing public attention to key issues concerning democracy. We also dialogue into these conversations, being careful not to alienate or vilify people with opposing views. We seek to mobilise psychological and mediation-based research and experience to help broker healthier online public discussions on key issues concerning democracy and the formation of a social compact that can unite the majority of South Africans.