School of Social and Political Science

Dr Robert Macdonald

Job Title

Research Fellow in African Studies

Robert Macdonald's photo

Room number


Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)



I hold a PhD in African Studies from the University of Edinburgh.  

Research interests

Research interests

I am a research fellow working on the Local Perceptions and Media Representations of Election Observation in Africa project. The project investigates the perceptions of observation missions and the ways in which information about these missions circulates in countries hosting observation missions. The case study countries are Zambia, Gambia and Kenya. 

My broader research interests are in African politics and elections, with a particular focus on Tanzania. 

I have also been working on the UKRI GCRF/Newton Fund African Elections during the COVID-19 Pandemic project, which looks at ways of mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on African elections. 

I have recently finished work on Developing Data?, a project which looked at the political and economic uses of data in East Africa and beyond.

My PhD thesis focused on voter behaviour in Tanzania.  

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Macdonald R, Molony T. Holding elections during future pandemics and other emergencies: Evidence-based recommendations. 2021 Sep 7, p. 1-11.
Falisse J-B, Macdonald R, Molony T, Nugent P. Why have so many African leaders died of COVID-19? BMJ Global Health. 2021 May 17;6(5):1-6. e005587.
Molony T, Macdonald R. Reducing the Transmission of COVID-19 during African Elections: technical considerations. 2021 Apr 9, p. 1-7.
Lihiru V, Macdonald R, Molony T. COVID-19 and Tanzania’s 2020 Elections. 2021 Feb 3, p. 1-12.
Molony T, Macdonald R. Re-evaluating international observation of Kenya’s 2017 elections. Journal of Eastern African Studies. 2019;13(4):601-620.
Macdonald R. Age and gender voting trends in the 2015 Tanzanian general election. Journal of Eastern African Studies. 2018;12(1):44-62.