Centre for Democracy and Development
Idayat Hassan is Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an Abuja based policy advocacy and research organization with a focus on deepening democracy and development in West Africa. Her interests span democracy, peace and security, transitional justice, and ICT4D in West Africa.
As the Director of the CDD, she oversaw CDD's rise from not being ranked in 2013 to 16th out of 94 think tanks in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2019 University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. Under her leadership, CDD became a mover in the civic tech space. She has subsequently strengthened CDD's position as a civic tech leader with a portfolio of projects, including but not limited to: analyses of the relationship between social media platforms, election processes and electoral outcomes, using an app to identify electoral fraud and analyzing the use of personal data in political campaigning in Nigeria. Her work on social media has gained widespread popularity, including her being cited by the Economist, BBC and in scholarly publications.
Idayat has consistently provided thought leadership at different phases of Boko Haram's development. She was involved with Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) from its inception, providing foundational ideas and operational advice. She provided conceptual clarity on the Boko Haram phenomenon during its heyday, presenting analyses of the group's motives and methods at, among others, conferences in Nigeria and globally. She then turned her efforts to proffering robust pathways to sustainably mitigate Boko Haram's threats. Her work revolved around three approaches to counterinsurgency: a de-centralized, bottom up approach, a de-radicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration approach, and a transitional justice approach. Her recent work sees her continuing to provide conceptual clarity and engage in mitigation.
Idayat frequently appears in international and local media as an expert on Nigeria/West Africa. Media outlets including BBC, CCTV, RFI, VOA, NTA, AIT, Bloomberg, VOA, Washington Post, Financial Times, Guardian, and DW, among others, routinely quote her.