The National Survey of Research and Experimental Development (R&D) has become a regular feature of South Africa’s science and technology landscape.
The Survey is conducted annually by the Human Sciences Research Council’s Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators (CeSTII) on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
This site and the attached, downloadable documents, cover the methodology employed and the results for the five sectors covered in the two Surveys. The 2001/02 Survey constituted the first official survey since that of 1997/98.
Following the Frascati Manual, the survey covered business enterprises, government, higher education institutions, not-for-profit institutions and science councils.
Frascati Surveys have been carried out internationally for more than 40 years, but common understanding to what properly constitutes R&D remains somewhat problematic.
The Frascati Manual definition of R&D is as follows: "Research and Experimental Development (R&D) is creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock knowledge to devise new applications."
As much care as possible is taken to develop a common understanding with the respondents of what properly constitutes R&D.
The Frascati Manual is extensive and complex, and considerable effort was invested in developing a User Guide, and supporting the sector participants in completing the questionnaires as fully and accurately as possible The Frascati Manual, however, provides a set of guidelines, not prescriptions.
It is noted that the survey time series was both interrupted (no data in 1999/2000) and subject to methodological variation, since it was executed by different agencies between 1991 and 2001.
This Survey confronted the dual role of conducting the Survey in parallel with capacity building.
The work of the Surveys entails the development of appropriate sector sampling methodologies (covered in the Survey Management and Results System database). The sampling methodology and measurement design were reviewed and approved by the DST Reference Committee.
Breaking down of R&D performers into five sectors represents a deliberate choice. In many OECD countries it is common practice to combine some of the five sectors. It was decided to avoid confusion by surveying the sectors separately as has been previous practice in South Africa
More information on the various sampling frames for the five sectors and survey instruments can be obtained by downloading the 2001/02 Report.
Disclaimer: Survey data may be freely used, subject to the acknowledgment of its source. Any interpretation or further analysis is the responsibility of the third party.