AfricaScope has in excess of 30 years of knowledge and expertise in a wide range of fields.
This experience makes us industry leaders, and has become the basis of our three core business divisions.
Below is a brief summary of our main business areas, and the work undertaken in each.
Financial and Micro, small and Medium Enterprises
AfricaScope's Financial Division focuses on three main areas:
- access to finance by the poor
- financial literacy programs
- micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) studies
We work in an advisory capacity, in collaboration with international donors, national governments, African governments, corporate foundations, as well as the private sector.
AfricaScope has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the FinScope surveys and the resulting Financial Sophistication Measures (FSM), and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) surveys in South Africa and other African countries. AfricaScope has pioneered the development of Business Sophistication Measures (BSM) over many years.
AfricaScope's Survey’s Division focuses on the development and implementation of various household surveys, including the following types of surveys:
- market research
- citizen report cards and,
- tracking surveys
Our expertise in this field makes us an industry leader, and places us in an extremely competitive position.
AfricaScope is presently the only organisation in South Africa to have demographic information at an enumerator level for 2009 that is foundational in drawing nationally representative surveys.
AfricaScope has access to over 220 field workers in all nine provinces of South Africa. Its experts have recognised experience in sampling, questionnaire design, statistics and data analysis, policy development and impact assessment. AfricaScope specialises in the modeling of household survey data using circle point thematics and small area estimation. Circle point thematics is a qualitative technique that represents the results of household survey spatially. Small area estimation techniques allow household survey data to be represented as spatial information at a local level.
The focus of AfricaScope's GIS Division is to develop some of the most innovative spatial information products in South Africa and Africa. Some of these products including providing up-to-date demographic statistics for South Africa at a local level and mapping the crime statistics for South Africa at a police station level. These products are provided as:
- hardcopy atlases
- web mapping applications
- digital GIS data
These spatial information products are developed using methods that are proprietary to AfricaScope. A list of these services and approaches are listed below:
- developing specialized spatial data products: we use various methods to value add the spatial information that we collect. Using a combination of statistical and satellite imagery we develop demographic estimates for South Africa at a local level. We recombine the information to create indices that are needed to provide a deeper understanding of what is happening in a country. Our crime, poverty and economic statistics are unique in South Africa and show how things are changing at a local level. Using innovative methods AfricaScope is able to map the coverage areas of all commercial and community radio stations in the country. Many of these products are developed with partners and associates who are often the leaders in their field.
- mapping retail outlets and shopping centres: a key use of spatial information in the private sector is to map the location of retail outlets and shopping centres. To be able to optimally locate retail outlets requires both an understanding of the extent of the market, where existing outlets are located, where competitor stores are situated and where there is available floor space for new outlets. AfricaScope uses innovative methods to rapidly capture the location of retail outlets and shopping centres in South Africa and provides easy access to these products. Through its associates it can also provide access to this information for many African countries.
- profiling: in both the private and public sectors these is a need to provide profiles of retail stores, shopping centres and government services. Africascope uses various techniques to do this. Using accessibility modelling and GIS we are able to define the catchment areas of outlets and services. Using registers, customer surveys and geolocating customers we are able to define the true trade areas of retail stores, shopping centres and government services. Integrating our unique socio-economic data then allows AfricaScope to profile the market of these private and public facilities.
- fieldwork mapping: using our demographic estimates as the sampling frame our statistician can assist in drawing the sample. Having drawn the sample we are able to produce a series of maps to enable market research and social science organizations to plan their fieldwork and navigate accurately to the area where the households need to be interviewed. Combining this with Google Earth and TrackLocate we are able to facilitate companies getting their fieldworkers accurately into the field and monitor their movement on a hour-by-hour basis.
- other GIS services: as specialists in GIS we are able to assist in the all aspects of GIS including:
- project management
- data collection using satellite imagery, scanning and vectorizing, geocoding and on-screen digitizing
- data analysis and modelling
- map production
- disseminating information through the use of information briefs.