South African Cultural Observatory

SACO launches online database survey to map creative economy

BY 31.07.17

THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has just developed and launched its basic biographical database form to collect information on the makeup of the South African Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) and Arts, Culture and Heritage (ACH) sectors.

The form can be filled in from either the perspective of an individual or a CCI/ACH business and is an attempt to start mapping the industry, using a simple basic socio-economic data gathering exercise.  

The SACO will also soon launch the 2017/18 formal mega-mapping study which aims to build on the 2013/14 mapping study commissioned by the Department of Arts & Culture.

The 2013/14 study is the best baseline against which creative economy growth – or shrinkage – can be measured, and the database survey is one of the first steps to solidifying the SACO’s existing information on the industries and sectors.

“The initial data shows that the creative economy contributes 2.9% to GDP, creating over 443 000 jobs and supporting transformation, but we need and want to know more. This biographical data survey will help us deepen our view of our existing database and then also help to expand that database significantly,” said Prof Richard Haines, SACO Chief Executive.

The database survey is built to capture basic contact information, some economic data regarding creative industry income lines and turnover, find alignment with the UNESCO Framework for Cultural Statistics (FCS) cultural domains and some qualitative information regarding industry challenges, trends and opportunities.

In general, the SACO’s collection of measuring statistics for the social, economic and cultural dimensions is guided by the UNESCO (FCS) (2009).  Through this and other data collection methods, the SACO seeks to produce a single local set of measures that will be internationally comparable and defined. The UNESCO FSC is a detailed tool for organising, measuring and classification of cultural statistics.

 “The information provided through the survey will enable the SA Cultural Observatory to send research updates and papers, notifications on new reports, regular industry news, information on our upcoming workshops, events, conferences and more,” said Njabulo Sithebe, SACO Deputy Director for Research and Strategic Engagement.

“One of our primary mandates is to ensure that we have an active and relevant industry database that can support both our research efforts and the work of the Department of Arts and Culture and its entities. We are hoping to build on our 12000 plus database and really develop a strong and expanding database of creative practitioners and businesses,” he added.

Take the survey: Biographical Data Survey.

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