Mobility Model

Understanding people’s choices means understanding their sense of place and belonging

What is the Social Surveys Mobility Model©?

The Social Surveys Africa Mobility Model© understands individual choices and community dynamics by measuring residents’ and employees’ levels of current and future commitment to the places they live and work. Relationship to a place determines many of the choices people make: how much to invest in accommodation, whether to live with family members, whether to participate in community activities and structures. Understanding a person’s sense of place and belonging is therefore a crucial addition to knowing a person’s original place of birth or the length of time they have been resident in an area.

The model has been tested over 25 years of research with employees and community residents. It has been applied especially in the mining sector but is also relevant to understanding processes and consequences of labour mobility more broadly, as well as urbanization and cross-border migration.

What does the Mobility Model allow you to do?

Knowing the mobility profile of individuals and communities enables better planning in terms of:

  • Employee profiling and social needs assessments
  • Housing, transport and other service delivery needs assessments and planning projections
  • Forms of local governance and communication
  • Conflict probability

Who can benefit from using the Mobility Model?

Employers to understand the preferences and needs of their employees, and the nature of employee families and the communities in which employees live.

Who is using this already?

We have applied the mobility model in mining studies for over 25 years, most recently for Anglo American Platinum. We have also generated insights into community-level mobility in studies with Freedom House South Africa and the Gauteng City Region Observatory.


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How can I access this?

Social Surveys Africa offers bespoke advisory services around population mobility as well as designing and implementing studies to assess company or community mobility profiles. For more information, contact or call 011 486 1025.