SASAS offers funders and clients a competitive advantage in that it has an expanded thematic content. It extends over issues of democracy and governance, health, education, safety, moral values, personal and social wellbeing, etc.  This allows the survey to understand the interrelatedness between attitudes and the impact on various life spheres. 

In addition, SASAS is conducted annually while all the other competing surveys are conducted less frequently. The regularity of the survey allows researchers to understand societal change and the impact of events on society in a much more nuanced way. The frequency with which SASAS is fielded as well as the longevity of the survey series allows for backwards comparability and future projections.  This allows for a more detailed and nuanced research analysis. 

Compared to other survey series in the country, SASAS has a competitive advantage in planning and analysis, data collection as well as monitoring and evaluation activities. This is due to access to key resources and expertise within the HSRC such as sampling statisticians and GIS mapping capabilities and experts. SASAS remains a leader in the development of geo-demographic/lifestyle segmentation information for South Africa at a small spatial area level, and many projects benefit from its ability to display information using GIS technology. One of SASAS’s competitive advantages concerns the survey series team of experienced data management staff.  Programmes for data cleaning and editing minimise error. SASAS data is checked and edited for logical consistency, for permitted ranges, for reliability on derived variables, and for filter instructions.  All data cleaning techniques are within the best international benchmarks regarding the cleaning of statistical data. The capacity of SASAS to preserve and curated survey data over time further enables the SASAS team to provide scientific support for the identification of appropriate performance indicators and to monitor government performance against strategic targets over time. The protocols to preserve and curate datasets also ensure that the data is preserved for future generations.

The SASAS infrastructure is unique in that it is dedicated to learning more about changes in the country’s social, political and cultural fabric. It focuses on improving methods of quantitative social measurement, and forms the basis for a more democratic means of evaluating our society, by incorporating citizen judgments about the world in which we live. More specifically, the survey series: - 

  • Has been designed with trend analyses in mind, including a set of core questions relating to topics of relevance to contemporary South Africa to monitor change and continuity over time. 
  • Accommodates additional rotating modules on specific themes to provide detailed attitudinal evidence to inform policy and academic debate. These are designed for replication every 3-5 years.
  • Enables data to be accessed in different ways: Data can be analysed to provide a detailed “snapshot” of the situation at a specific point in time, or per theme over time in order to determine changes in attitudes. 
  • Students, academics and policy makers can access and analyse data so that their own research can build on existing, recent work and be much more cost-effective.
  • Research participants are able to respond in their language of choice. 
  • Has a reputation for curated data that provide very comprehensive information on individual surveys, questionnaires and modules, as well as changes over time.