South African Cultural Observatory

Aims and Objectives

Primary Objective

  • To advance applied research in the field of cultural information systems.

Secondary Objectives

  • To support existing or developing information networks by enhancing collaborative research projects between multidisciplinary teams.
  • To provide support to the sector by becoming a holistic repository, collector and developer of knowledge, information and evidence concerning the content, structure and dynamics of the sector with a view to contributing to employment and sustainable development.

Expected Outcomes

  • To Champion Evidence: To be South Africa’s primary source of cultural statistics and key indicators to assess the value of the sector and track changes over time and make comparisons between different evidence bases; and to model evidence in such a way as to yield new insights .
  • To Influence Policy: To analyse trends to inform future policy and resource allocation decisions; measure the performance of the sector to allow global comparability; interface with the other spheres of government on cultural statistics policy matters; support the DAC in performance measure indicators of the cultural industries and investigate the impact of existing and potential cultural policies on the development and growth of the country.
  • To Share Insight: To provide accessible interactive database 'knowledge and information' for users and target groups; to generate trust and social capital so that there is confidence in cultural indicators and acceptance of public statistics; to become a research hub, clearing house for new and innovative research projects for cultural industries in South Africa; to provide critical cultural information on sustaining cultural and social cohesion trends in South Africa; to collaborate with key observatories in Africa and elsewhere and to stimulate debates and improve knowledge exchange in seminars and conferences.
  • To Build Capacity: To provide technical assistance for strengthening the capacity of the sector practitioners, through networking; to educate through the online observatory utilising the best practice in user-friendly information and educative links for further reading; to provide training and development to all local authorities on the gathering of cultural statistics and information; to provide support for multidisciplinary research in the creative economy and other related issues.
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