From Evidence to Impact


Social Change is the goal

 

We change policy

Initial policy proposals

“Pregnant learners should be expelled. Dropouts should lose their child support grants”

$

How do we change policy?

Multi-stakeholder steering committee

Agreement on new methodology to sample and calculate prevalence of school drop-outs 

Conduct nationally representative survey

$

Final policy enacted

Learners who have children and miss school get a dedicated social worker to investigate reasons and support them. 

Initial policy proposals

“Pregnant learners should be expelled. Dropouts should lose their child support grants”

"

How do we change policy?

Multi-stakeholder steering committee

Agreement on new methodology to sample and calculate prevalence of school drop-outs 

Conduct nationally representative survey

"

Final policy enacted

Learners who have children and miss school get a dedicated social worker to investigate reasons and support them. 

We generate consensus

Initial positions

“There are no farm evictions”

“Farm evictions are growing! It is a crisis!”

“Farm evictions are not on our agenda”

$

How do we generate consensus?

Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee

Agreement on new methodology to sample and calculate prevalence of evicted farm dwellers

Conduct nationally representative survey

$

Final consensus

Farm evictions are too high. We must act! 

Initial positions

“There are no farm evictions”

“Farm evictions are growing! It is a crisis!”

“Farm evictions are not on our agenda”

"

How do we generate consensus?

Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee

Agreement on new methodology to sample and calculate prevalence of evicted farm dwellers

Conduct nationally representative survey

"

Final consensus

Farm evictions are too high. We must act! 

We shift the debate

Initial positions

“Migrant Labour in the mining sector is bad and must be eradicated”

$

How do we shift the debate?

Develop a multi-dimensional mobility model

Collect comparable data among mine workers and mining communities for 25 years

Engage mining stakeholders

$

New perspectives

Migration is changing. Enabling employee circular mobility can be good for everyone.

Initial positions

“Protests are random and cannot be planned for or prevented”

“Peaceful protests are bad because they often escalate into violent ones”

$

How do we shift the debate?

Conduct advanced modelling of unrest incidents against underlying socio-economic data

Map outcomes

Reality-test results

Engage stakeholders

$

New perspectives

Protest Risk can be predicted reliably.

Peaceful protest and violent unrest have different profiles and happen in different kinds of places

Initial positions

“Migrant Labour in the mining sector is bad and must be eradicated”

"

How do we shift the debate?

Develop a multi-dimensional mobility model

Collect comparable data among mine workers and mining communities for 25 years

Engage mining stakeholders

"

New perspectives

Migration is changing. Enabling employee circular mobility can be good for everyone.

Initial positions

“Protests are random and cannot be planned for or prevented”

“Peaceful protests are bad because they often escalate into violent ones”

"

How do we shift the debate?

Conduct advanced modelling of unrest incidents against underlying socio-economic data

Map outcomes

Reality-test results

Engage stakeholders

"

New perspectives

Protest Risk can be predicted reliably.

Peaceful protest and violent unrest have different profiles and happen in different kinds of places

Methodology Innovation


We are passionate about contributing to methodological innovation for African contexts. We design the right methodology for each study.

 

Designing Sampling Frames for hard-to-reach populations

Social Surveys Africa’s Community Tapestry enabled three major national representative studies for which there had previously been no reliable sampling frame. These studies for the first time measured the size and scope of the non-profit sector, the prevalence of farm worker evictions and reasons for school drop-out in South Africa. Bev Russell, CEO of Social Surveys Africa, won the prestigious Southern African Industry Award for the best contribution to research standards in Africa for her development of the Community Tapestry methodology.

Africanising International Measurement Tools

Social Surveys Africa has a long history of adapting internationally ‘standard’ measurement tools to make them more appropriate for African contexts. This usually includes reconsidering the theoretical underpinnings of the existing tools, as well as the formulation of indicators, language and data collection techniques. Areas in which Social Surveys Africa and Bev Russell have Africanised instruments include the conception and measurement of non-profit organisations, volunteering & giving, social entrepreneurship & and social cohesion.

Ethics in African Evaluations

Social Surveys Africa is proud to be part of the pan-African membership of the Indigenisation Working Group for the AfrEA revision process of the African Evaluation Guidelines in 2018-2019. Our focus is on rethinking how ethical M&E practice is defined in an African context, with implications for Evaluator selection and training as well as evaluation methodologies. The publication “Evaluation Ethics in Africa: Developing guidelines to reflect a relational approach”, co-authored by Social Surveys Africa’s Tara Polzer Ngwato with Caitlin Mapitsa of CLEAR-AA, is one of the foundational inputs to the AEG revision process.

Testimonials


Feedback from some of our clients

 

"Social Surveys Africa were a pleasure to work with: collaborative in their approach, professional in all their undertakings, flexible in the face of ambiguity, skilled at managing stakeholder partnerships and timely in meeting deadlines."

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Meghna Ranganathan

Assistant Professor, Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

"Social Surveys Africa has a long-standing relationship with Anglo American and has conducted a range of large social research studies for us over the past twenty years… In addition to designing the study and collecting the data, Social Surveys analysed the strategic implications of the empirical materials for AAP’s policies affecting both migrant and local employees, including policies on housing, transport, indebtedness, health care, employee communication and other related fields. These strategic implications are now being presented to and debated by all levels of management within Anglo American as they impact on our business across sectors."

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Andile Sangqu

Executive Head, Anglo American

"The survey sites are all highly volatile and frequently violent communities. The first round of field work was completed in the three weeks before the local government elections, a particularly sensitive time. Social Surveys was able to design and manage the field work process, including community entry and data collection, in a way which navigated this complex environment."

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Paul Graham

Director, Freedom House South Africa

"What differentiates Social Surveys Africa from many of their competitors is their commitment to ensuring the quality and completeness of data collected, even in challenging situations or contexts. Social Surveys combines expertise in research and instrument design with extensive field experience. We have cultivated a close working relationship with Social Surveys and would recommend them as a development and research partner"

Amanda Jitsing

Director: Public Economics & Monitoring and Evaluation, DNA Economics

"I just wanted to note that we've really been impressed with the quality of the interviews and we are really excited with the richness of the data being collected."

Sheree Schwartz

Assistant Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

"The M&E framework Social Surveys provided us was in a highly use-friendly format, combining strong technical M&E knowledge with an appreciation for the specific institutional structure and the theory of change they developed provided us with a guideline for our future work. We greatly appreciate working with Social Surveys Africa and would recommend them for any M&E research."

Noel Garcin

Environmental Governance  Project Manager, African Climate Reality Project

"Social Surveys Africa's independent observer role has provided invaluable advice to all our partners in this complex project (survey of 36000 respondents with strict representative sampling criteria and an experimental, partnership-based and youth-employment-supporting implementation model), helping the team to identify underlying assumptions work with risks and bottlenecks, and manage challenging relationships."

Dr. Rob Moore

Executive Director, GCRO

"The experience and knowledge of Social Surveys with regards to understanding the mining industry and the accommodation challenges in the country was invaluable during the planning, design and overall survey management. South Deep appreciates the professional, independent analytical feedback that will assist in executing the housing strategy"

Kevin Robertson

Head of business improvement, Gold Fields

Vimal Kanjee

Manager, Gold Fields Property Division

Some of our clients

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