Idayat Hassan


Idayat Hassan is Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), an Abuja based policy
advocacy and research organisation with a focus on deepening democracy and development in West
Africa. As its Director, she has overseen CDD’s rise from being unranked 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. She has 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 a mobile app to identify electoral fraud and analysing the use of
personal data in political campaigning in Nigeria. Her work on social media has been discussed and
covered by the Economist, BBC and in scholarly publications such as the Journal of Democracy.

Idayat is a lawyer and has held fellowships in Yale and Columbia universities, United States. Idayat’s
insights on governance and development in Nigeria and West Africa are regularly sought by BBC, RFI,
VOA, AIT, Bloomberg, VOA, The Washington Post, The Financial Times, The Guardian and Deutchse
Welle. She is also a regular panelists on leading Nigerian television programmes. Her interests span
democracy, peace and security, transitional justice, and ICT4D across West Africa.

Idayat has provided thought leadership at different phases of Boko Haram’s development. She provided
operational advice and strategic ideas to Operation Safe Corridor (OSC) from its inception Her work
revolves around three approaches to counterinsurgency: a decentralized, bottom up approach, a
deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration approach, and a transitional justice approach. She has
presented these ideas as they apply in Nigeria at international conferences and works to ensure that,
where possible, they have practical applications for communities affected by the insurgency.