6 May 2023


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 aim 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. More information about the IJR is available at https://www.ijr.org.za.

Since 2003, the IJR’s Research and Policy programme has conducted the South African Reconciliation Barometer (SARB) Survey: a nationally representative public opinion survey that measures citizen attitudes towards reconciliation, transformation and national unity. Seventeen rounds of the survey have been conducted since its inception. It is widely regarded as the world’s longest-running survey dedicated to measuring reconciliation in a post-conflict country and has given rise to the development of similar surveys in other parts of the world. 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 is an important tool for measuring public opinion in South Africa and has been featured in numerous policy documents. Previous SARB results can be found online at https://www.ijr.org.za/resources/sarb-oda-analysis/.


The IJR intends to conduct a new round of the SARB survey in 2023. Proposals are invited from qualified service providers with demonstrated experience of conducting nationally-representative public opinion surveys in South Africa. The survey methodology is based on face-to-face interviews in multiple languages across all nine provinces in the country. The questionnaire consists of approximately 200 close-ended survey items (including questions and sub-questions), generally based on five-point Likert scales. The majority of these have been used to track reconciliation trends longitudinally over the past 20 years.

The successful service provider will be required, in close collaboration with the IJR, to review the SARB questionnaire, design and select a nationally-representative sample, conduct all planning and logistics around data collection, field the survey, and return a cleaned and weighted dataset to the IJR.

Scope of Work

3.1 Conduct the fieldwork and data collection for the 2023 SARB survey.
3.2 The service provider will be required to fulfil the following tasks:

  • Understand the SARB project and data in its current format.
  • Review the current SARB questionnaire and provide advice and feedback on the questionnaire design and fieldwork readiness.
  • Conduct a pilot study, provide feedback to the IJR, and perform any revisions as indicated by IJR prior to finalising the questionnaire and fielding the full survey.
  • Undertake all required translations of the questionnaire for deployment in the field
  • Design and draw a nationally representative survey sample, using a methodology in line with previous SARB rounds.
  • Ensure that the survey’s sample frame is constructed using the latest population data available and that the final dataset can be weighted according to key demographic variables.
  • Implement and manage all aspects of fieldwork, logistics and data collection, in accordance with a timetable developed in consultation with the IJR.
  • Ensure quality control of data collection in the field, including conducting backchecks on a minimum of 20% of the completed survey.
  • Provide weekly updates to the SARB project leader while the survey is in field and during data processing.
  • Prepare a final methodology report on the survey, covering sampling, fieldwork and other relevant issues.
  • Deliver a clean, weighted dataset in SPSS format to the SARB project leader according to the agreed deadline, as well as an Excel sheet with frequencies for all survey items.


  • Inception meeting
  • Detailed project plan with delivery timetable
  • Feedback on draft questionnaire
  • Pilot study repor
  • In-progress fieldwork updates
  • Methodology and sampling report
  • SARB 2023 dataset in SPSS format (weighted and cleaned)
  • Excel file with all survey item frequencies


26 May 2023: Call for proposals published
15 June 2023: Final date for proposals (by 17:00)
21 June 2023: Bidder presentations
23 June 2023: Confirmation of successful proposal
30 June 2023: Contracting of service provider
14 July 2023: Inception, logistics and project planning
17 – 28 July 2023: Pilot study
31 July – 8 Sept 2023: Survey fieldwork
15 Sept 2023: Submission of final clean dataset

Expectations of service provider

The service provider shall have a demonstrated track record of experience in: questionnaire design; representative national sampling; conducting large and/or nationwide surveys; multi-lingual interviewing; effective logistical and project management; weighting and cleaning datasets; and working according deadlines. The service provider is expected to adhere to the highest standard of ethical and professional research practices.

The service provider will be responsible for all costs related to fielding the survey, including but not limited to: travel arrangements; training of interviewers; data capturing instruments and tools; project-related communications; payment of interviewers; and insurance.

The service provider will also provide the IJR with a contact person for the entire duration of the project.

Contractual agreement

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

Submission of proposals

Interested service providers are requested to submit a comprehensive proposal including the following:

  • Personnel details: Please list the qualifications and experience of all senior and key personnel, including the person(s) responsible for sampling and data management.
  • Experience: Detailed description of past survey experience (with supporting documentation if possible), with a particular focus on those involving nationally representative samples. Please also include up to three recent, contactable references for similar projects.
  • Methodology: A description of proposed approaches for a) sampling (b) interviewer training; and c) fieldwork implementation and supervision, including quality control measures to be implemented at each stage;
  • Budget: A detailed budget including costs for each of the following:
    • Comparative costing for three possible representative sample sizes: N=1,600; N=2,000; and N=2,400
    • Personnel, including daily rates and numbers of days for staff at various levels (e.g. project manager, sampling specialist, field supervisors, interviewers, drivers, data capturers, translators and any other staff or specialists required).
    • Travel, including any flights, vehicle rental (cost per day), fuel (estimated mileage), accommodation (number of days and daily rates), meals/per diem (number of days and rate) and insurance (required).
    • Supplies and services, i.e. printing, office supplies, field supplies, etc.
    • Other direct costs: training, venue hire, translations, etc.

Proposals should be submitted to Kate Lefko-Everett using the subject line “SARB Survey Bid” by 17:00 on Thursday, 15 June 2023. For enquiries, please contact Kate Lefko-Everett at kleverett@ijr.org.za.