South African Cultural Observatory

SA Cultural Observatory – By the Numbers

BY Richard Haines 31.01.18

IT IS an exciting time for the South African Cultural Observatory led by a consortium headed by Nelson Mandela University. We are wrapping on what has been a three-year-long contract with the Department of Arts and Culture and we are preparing to bid to host the SACO again. #SACOConf2018 means we get to wrap the contract on a high note. But before we do that – and don’t forget to register for the conference or submit an abstract – here is a summary of the SACO achievements, ‘by the numbers’ for the duration of the 2015-2018 period.

SA Cultural Observatory – By the Numbers

Capacity Building and Skills Transfer

  1. 8 universities; 16 scholarships awarded; to 63% Black, 31% white, 6% coloured learners of whom 81% are women and 19% men
    1. 9 interns 72% of whom are black and 14% white and 14% coloured; 43% of these are women and 57% men
  2. Skills transfer
    1. 18 domain workshops
    2. 9 Provinces
    3. 8 capacity-building workshops
    4. 1200 people reached directly

Monitoring and Evaluation

Applied a ‘Framework for the Monitoring and Evaluation of Publicly Funded Arts, Culture and Heritage’ to nine of DAC funded projects:

  1. South African Music Awards (Durban),
  2. Mahika Mahikeng (Mahikeng);
  3. National Arts Festival (Grahamstown);
  4. Indoni Youth Festival (Durban);
  5. Royal Heritage Festival (Vhembe);
  6. Macufe Festival (Bloemfontein);
  7. Udumo Entertainers Youth Dance Event;
  8. NM Mabote Craft and Development Project;
  9. Cape Town Carnival (Cape Town);

Research and publications

  1. 2 x 5 year SACO Research Agenda documents
  2. Mapping of the sectors of SA creative economy
  3. Papers on: Social Cohesion; Employment in the CCI sector; CCI clusters and rural development CCI Employment; International Trade and Cultural Goods; Shifting Transformation and Ownership

Cultural diplomacy

18 country briefs developed including, China, India, Seychelles, Columbia, Malta, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Egypt, Algeria, European Union, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Nigeria, Russia, Germany and Brazil

Engagement

  • International Conferences Attended = 5
  • 3 International hosted Conferences in 2 cities
  • Total of 800 people attended
  • Speakers from: Canada, France, Jamaica, the UK, Argentina, Spain, America, Poland, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana and Ivory Coast
  • 7 international engagements to: France, UK, Mozambique, USA Italy, Argentina, and Ireland

Dissemination of information

  1. SACO Website – Over 30 000 users to date

        More than 100 000 page views

        Over 120 000 downloads from SACO online library

  1. Social Media – Reaches over 50 000 people per month
    1. Presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & YouTube
    2. 7 YouTube videos
  2. Newsletter – over 12 000 people receiving this per month.
  3. Average of 4 media releases a month
  4. 30 newsletters

Tools for tracking the impact of the CCIs

Launched online South African Festivals Economic Impact Calculator (SAFEIC)

2 SAFEIC training workshops

Policy Research and Evaluation

  1. Evaluation of the impact of Mzansi Golden Economy Programme
  2. Review of White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage

Regional cultural policy research & development

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#SACOConf2018 programme cross-section of research, sector snapshots #SACOConf2018 programme cross-section of research, sector snapshots

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Beyond the creative economy? Beyond the creative economy?

IT IS conference planning season for the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO). This means an intense review of the trends and research emerging from the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and the arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors. I spent three weeks recently travelling to Europe and the United Kingdom, which gave me some real first hand insight to some of the most pressing issues on the minds of many thinkers, academics, researchers, economists and policy-makers. There is much to be excited about.

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