What we do

In fulfilling the HSRC’s public good mandate SoKIA undertakes a number of activities. Firstly, we conduct rigorous, creative and relevant research for the public good. Secondly, we conduct large-scale quantitative and representative surveys that are the basis for complex data analytics, modelling and simulations. Thirdly, we leverage a wide range of expertise, convene multi-stakeholder forums, manage digital platforms, and promote and produce evidence-informed understanding and decision-making.

Two additional dimensions of SoKIA’s unique value proposition are that we are (a) network orchestrators for increased social/policy influence; and (b) our research and knowledge brokering activities are focused at enhancing the quality, capability, and accountability of institutions.

The programme’s activities are targeted at the interfaces between scientific knowledge, indigenous knowledge, scholarship, translation and interpretation, economic and social policy, and programme implementation. This entails working with various categories of state and non-state actors to (i) develop a scientific ethos and the understanding of scientific evidence; (ii) conduct imaginative, timely and impactful projects; (iii) improve access to knowledge and its utilization; and (iv) catalyse policy learning, innovation, and action.

The premises of our work are:

  • The history of knowledge production on the African continent and contemporary inequities;
  • The diversity of the languages, multi-cultural expressions and identities on the African continent;
  • The utilization of transdisciplinary theoretical and methodological perspectives in an increasingly digital world; and
  • The value of a participatory vibrancy in government-civil society interactions that enhance transparency, accountability, trust, and support transformative societal responses.

Our research expertise encompasses archival research, root cause analysis, critical discourse analysis, costing and value for money assessments, cost-benefit analysis, systems analysis, institutional analysis and assessments of decision-making, conducting surveys, data aggregation and analysis, implementation science, M&E frameworks, environmental change and disaster risk management, indicator validation, narrative change, and impact assessments. Our units of analysis are individuals, households, and institutions.