Call for Proposals to Conduct IJR’s 2021 South African Reconciliation Barometer Survey

By Published On: 26th March 2021

Call for proposals to conduct 2021 South African Reconciliation Barometer survey

March 2021

  1. Introduction

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) is an independent, non-governmental organisation established in 2000 in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), with the aims of ensuring that the lessons of South Africa’s successful transition to democracy remain fundamental principles central to government and society as the country moves forward. Today, the IJR works to build fair, democratic and inclusive societies across Africa after conflict.

Since 2003, the IJR’s Research and Policy programme has conducted the SARB Survey: a nationally representative public opinion survey that measures citizen attitudes towards reconciliation, transformation and national unity in post-apartheid South Africa. Since its inception, the South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) has conducted 16 rounds of the survey. The key purpose of the SARB survey is to measure South Africans’ perceptions and experiences of reconciliation, social relations, social justice and nation building in order to inform public and policy debate on related issues. The SARB survey is an important tool for measuring public opinion in South Africa and has been featured in numerous policy documents.

In 2021, the SARB team plans to design and implement a new round of the survey. The IJR invites applications from qualified and experienced service providers to conduct public opinion data collection for the SARB. Data from previous SARB surveys has been collected via face-to-face interviews in multiple languages in all nine provinces. Given the challenges and restrictions posed by COVID-19 and a possible national lockdown, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate flexibility and contingency plans in their application, including the possibility of telephonic surveys.

  1. Purpose

To appoint a service provider to oversee the planning, implementation and data collection of the SARB survey. The successful applicant will be required, in close collaboration with the IJR, to refine the SARB questionnaire, conduct planning around data collection, field the survey and collect data, and to return the cleaned and weighted data to the IJR team.

  1. Scope of the Work

3.1 Conduct the fieldwork and data collection of the 2021 SARB survey.

3.2 The service provider will be required to fulfil the following tasks:

  • Understand the SARB data and SARB project in its current format.
  • Provide expert advice on the SARB questionnaire design and feasibility. This will include collaboration with the SARB team and capacity for pilot survey studies.
  • Ensure that the sampling methodology for the survey is nationally representative and broadly in line with previous SARB survey designs. Applicants’ capacity to conduct both in-person and telephonic data collection would be advantageous.
  • Ensure that the final dataset can be weighted according to key demographic variables and that the survey’s sample frame is constructed using the latest population data available.
  • Demonstrate the capacity and experience to work under pressure and adhere to deadlines, especially regarding contingency plans for COVID-related disruptions.
  • Return the final cleaned dataset in SPSS format to the SARB project leader according to the agreed deadline.
  1. Deliverables
  • Questionnaire feedback and design
  • Methodology report
  • Pilot survey report
  • 1 SARB 2021 dataset (weighted and cleaned)
  • 1 Excel sheet with all survey item frequencies
  1. Timeframe

26 April 2021 – 31 July 2021 (negotiable)

  1. Reporting

Direct reporting line to Mikhail Moosa, Project Leader for the South African Reconciliation Barometer

  1. Expectations towards service-provider and/or consultant(s)

The service provider shall have experience: designing questionnaires; conducting large or nationwide surveys; collecting public opinion data; weighting and cleaning datasets; working according deadlines.

The service provider shall have people’s skills, be culturally sensitive and use inclusive and participatory methodologies in gathering information. The service provider will be responsible for their own travel arrangements and the management of meetings with relevant stakeholders. The Institute will assist with contact details of stakeholders.

The service provider shall be open to work with other consultants/ consultancies should IJR decide to appoint a diverse and multi-skilled team from various organisations. The service provider will also provide the IJR with a contact person for the entire duration of the project.

  1. Contractual agreement

Before commencement of this project, the service provider will enter into a contractual agreement with the IJR.

  1. Application process:

Please submit a comprehensive proposal including a detailed quote with explanatory narrative where relevant, biographies of consultant(s), company profile (if relevant), proposed timeline and budget by 16 April 2021 to Laverne Jacobs at using the subject line ‘SARB survey bid’.

Previous versions of the SARB report, including the survey’s methodology, are available on the IJR website. For enquiries regarding the current format of the data, please contact Mikhail Moosa at

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