ESS and South African survey showcase work


The European Social Survey (ESS) joined the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) at the third International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI) in Cape Town last week.

The ESS has recently collaborated with SASAS thanks to funding provided by the Newton Fund via the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

A partnership between the two surveys allowed ESS questions to be included in the most recent round of the South African survey in 2015.

Questions from the ESS Round 5 ‘Trust in criminal justice’ module, the Round 6 ‘Understandings and evaluations of democracy’ module and the Round 7 ‘Health inequalities’ module were fielded in SASAS.

The results from SASAS will provide researchers, academics and policymakers with attitudinal analysis about justice, democracy and health that can be compared between South Africa and European Social Survey countries.

SASAS is a Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) project - the HSRC is South Africa’s statutory research agency that conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies.

With ICRI 2016 being held in Cape Town, it offered the ESS and SASAS a unique opportunity to promote their partnership to key political Institutions, including the UN, European Commission, African Union and OECD.

The conference - hosted by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) in collaboration with the European Commission (EC) - showcased research infrastructures from across the world.

ICRI 2016 was held to help develop global approaches for prioritising, accessing, financing and governing research infrastructures.

Conference organisers suggested that coordinating efforts across infrastructures can be highly beneficial to meeting the global challenges facing society.

Closer collaboration with other surveys across the world has been a long-term aim for the European Social Survey since its implementation 15 years ago.

The data from the African Social Attitudes Survey will be made available on the European Social Survey website over the coming months.