South African Cultural Observatory

Research is the word: What's done, what's to come

BY 31.10.18

THE SOUTH African Cultural Observatory has a trove of research. Over the past three years we have generated research reports, monitoring and evaluation reports, a ground-breaking mapping study and more. We are intent on sharing this research widely and ensuring that the sector benefits, empowering through knowledge. With the new contract in place, we also have a suite of upcoming research topics to cover in the next six months. Here is a sneak peak at what's coming and a summary of what's been done. 

SACO Research To Date 

In the past three years we have generated new knowledge on the South African creative economy, mainly focusing on:

  1. Developing a National Research Agenda to guide all research across the ACH sectors and CCIs.
  2. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of DAC’s Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy funding and on measuring the impact of cultural events.
  3. Developing frameworks for: M&E of Publically Funded ACH projects; Cultural Seasons; and Cultural Statistics; and Cultural Diplomacy.
  4. The development of the free, online South African Festivals Economic Impact Calculator.
  5. A major mapping study to understand the South African CCIs and creative economy by looking at:
    1. Trade in cultural goods
    2. Employment
    3. Macro-economic impact assessment and analysis
    4. Provincial location and clusters
    5. Transformation, ownership and employment.
  6. In addition, we developed a large body of additional research and concept notes to guide the development of cultural policy; including an assessment of the current iteration of the Revised White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage (2017).

All this and more is available in the SACO online library, free for download: 

SACO Upcoming Research

We have identified a number of key research areas for upcoming research - policy, papers, planning, strategy and capacity building - taking us to the end of March 2019. Some of the topics and research areas include: 

  • Youth, women and people with disabilities research paper
  • Cultural trade with Africa research paper
  • The gaming sector in South Africa
  • Funding of the Arts & Culture sector in South Africa 
  • The contribution of the craft sector to growth, with a focus on youth
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution and the CCIs in South Africa: Policy implications 
  • Global copyright law and the impact on South African creatives 
  • Intellectual property rights in the South African music industry

Watch this exciting research space! 

Also, take a look at the National Research Agenda and comment on it, or add to it, here:

Until then, 

Unathi Lutshaba

Executive Director: South African Cultural Observatory

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