Reflections from IJR’s Samantha Kambule

On Wednesday, 2 October the Communications Programme at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation held a knowledge-sharing seminar for Honours and Masters Students at Stellenbosch to bring awareness on the Institute’s online data analysis tools. The workshop covered two survey tools which included the South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) and the Afrobarometer (AB).

The SARB has become an essential resource for encouraging national debate. It informs decision-makers who are developing policy, and it provokes new analysis and theory on reconciliation in post-conflict societies. The SARB has been hugely successful in terms of its objectives and indicators. As yet, no other institution in South Africa has embarked on a similar project. Given its unique focus, the SARB is consulted widely within the government, business and civil society, and is increasingly becoming a source for further research for scholars of transitional justice.

The Institute identified the need to make SARB’s data and findings more easily accessible and to present the data in a more visually-appealing manner. This is to make its use more relevant, easier and time-efficient for internal and external stakeholders – for research, policy and analysis among other purposes. For this reason, the Institute developed an Online Analysis Tool in 2018 that is available on the IJR’s website.

Following a successful launch last year, the knowledge sharing project embarked on a development to host workshops nationally with university students who might be interested in using the data and tool for their work.  The interactive session with the University of Stellenbosch’s students included an introduction to the IJR, SARB and the Online Analysis Tool. Proving that this workshop was a success, Dr Nicola de Jager, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, proposed that IJR makes this a yearly seminar for new post-graduate students.