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.

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 shift the debate?

Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee

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

Conduct nationally representative survey

New perspectives

Farm evictions are too high. We must act!

We generate consensus

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

In addition to designing and conducting full-cycle studies, we support the social research sector and evidence-based decision-makers with independent technical assistance 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 stance.

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.


Some of Our Clients

Some of Our Past Projects

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