What our clients say

  • Wits School of Governance
    My name is Dr Caryn Abrahams, I am an academic at the University of the Witwatersrand, Wits School of Governance. Between 2018 and 2022 I served as Principla Co-Investigator of a project funded by a UK Research Innovation grant for a Global Challneges Research Fund – the Susutainable Healthy Learning Cities global project (www.centreforsustainablecities.ac.uk). We sought out, closely looked at the research track record, and eventually chose an expert research company to run our focus groups. This was quite a feat since we had two South African cities to cover – Johannesburg and Cape Town and 10 neighbourhood sites in each city covering varying levels of depravation and wealth. We wanted a research firm who demonstrated deep knowledge about the South African context, and who would be able to design a research frame for both cities. It was an even more complex endeavor since there were still Covid regulations in place at the end of 2021, and the company had to also assure us of their ability to work with tricky situations and difficult circumstances.

    Citizen Surveys, under the leadership of Ms Washeelah Kapery, more than exceded our expectations on all fronts. Firstly their proposed research design, had to meet all our demographic, and geographical requirments, and their team consistently worked with our research team on meeting our expectations, refining the research instrument and even advising us on where we were less experienced. An example of this was where our recruitment instrument was vague and we had not given it much thought. Our project was essentially focused on how different neighbourhoods experienced life and services in their neighbourhoods, and Citizen Surveys proposed a detailed recruitment framework for us, which seemed like a small innovation, but was frankly genius in that their proposal of a mix of parents of small children and others, broadened our thinking about the potentially very different experiences of residents in neighbourhoods. This intervention also set me as a researcher on a course of thinking about how children experience their neighbourhoods.

    Then, the actual 20 focus groups were scheduled and run over a couple, well planned weeks, with contingency plans where there were drop outs in responses, safe transport and conference hosting, observation areas, and video recording with live patch in for our reserachers to observe. The research and facilitation team was increadibly responsive and creative in their approach, and also included a mapping exercise which was not part of the initial request, but emerged as a later innovation. Although the focus groups for this project of ours was to be run mainly in English, I know that they have the ability to work across languages in South Africa. The transcripts and letters of consent were all delivered in good time, and the team met all the reporting requirements this project included.

    This was not an outsourced, perfunctory job to Citizen Surveys, they were incredibly invested in the work, and there were many wonderful and rich conversations afterward about the nature of the research, the emergent findings and how the instrument could be revised and improved through the project.

    Not only were we incredibly impressed by their quality of work, and research design and methdodogy knowledge of the Citizen Surveys team, we were very much appreciative for their advice, guidance and debrief sessions during the research process. In that respect we received immeasurably more from Citizen Surveys than the focus groups and transcripts we contract them for.

    Thus this letter of reference is really a letter of commendation for the expert research services of Citizen Surveys, and their incredible work ethic. They will make a valuable contribution to your research endeavors and strengthed any focus group research project they take on. Please feel free to contact me should you need further information.

    - Dr Caryn Abrahams, Senior Lecturer, Wits School of Governance

  • Ross Jennings (Foundation for Human Rights)
    From 2015 to 2017, I was contracted to the Foundation for Human Rights, a human rights organization that supports the human rights and social justice sector through grant-making, the design and implementation of human rights programmes, and research and policy development.

    My main role as technical expert was the implementation of a national baseline survey in South Africa to explore awareness of and attitudes to constitutional rights in South Africa. I was responsible for drafting the Terms of Reference for the fieldwork provider, monitoring the implementation of the fieldwork, as well as for the analysis and reporting of the resultant dataset.

    Following a competitive tendering process, Citizen Surveys was appointed as the designated fieldwork provider. Their brief required them to have the very highest standards of fieldwork; transparent quality control measures; be open to monitoring of their fieldwork; and provide a cleaned, weighted dataset ready for statistical analysis in SPSS.

    I have been involved in survey work for over 25 years and I can state with confidence that there are always issues that arise in conducting fieldwork. What is remarkable with this project, especially given its scope and scale, is that the issues that must have arisen were not consequential or significant (as they do not spring to mind) and they were obviously dealt with in the normal course of events. I was not a hands-off client and was there in the offices of Citizen Surveys on a regular basis as well as on numerous trips into the field with their interviewers. I saw things firsthand as they developed and saw how Washeelah and her team were able to effectively deal with anything that came their way.

    It bears testimony to Citizen Surveys that of an intended sample of 25 000 adult respondents around the country, they were able to realize a sample of 24 897 during the fieldwork period of October to December 2016. The dataset they produced was impeccable and I have no hesitation in recommending Citizen Surveys for any such job.

    - Ross Jennings

  • University of the Witwatersrand
    In 2019, I launched into a study of how whites were responding politically and socially to the arrival of democracy, and I decided that one of the best ways I could pursue the issue was by the holding of focus group, whose material I could then use against a background of established survey findings and other data recorded in the media et cetera. Having not had any previous experience in working with focus groups, I was referred by a colleague to Citizen Surveys.

    Citizen Surveys proceeded to draw up an extensive and detailed quotation which provided a very full and careful outline of their methodology. This followed from having extensive discussions with me, about what I wanted, what sort of questions should be posed, and explanations of how they would conduct focus groups. The outcome was a proposal that some eight focus groups would be held in four major centres of South Africa (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and the Free State), with participants carefully selected according to criteria of language group, gender and income.

    I had funding from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and from my university research grant which enabled me to accept the proposal. I sat in on the first focus groups which were held in Cape Town, and I was very pleased with the way the discussions were conducted. Thereafter, the remaining focus groups were held (fortunately, before Covid shut the world down), enabling me to receive the coded transcripts within a matter of a few weeks. Subsequently, the focus group material provided key content for my book on Whites and Democracy in South Africa.

    I learnt a lot from my experience with Citizen Surveys, and would have no hesitation in referring other researchers to them for assistance. Importantly, too, Washeelah and her staff consistently proved extremely helpful, friendly and efficient.

    I have absolutely no hesitation in commending them to you.

    - Prof Roger Southall, Department of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand

  • School of Government & Public Policy, University of Strathclyde
    It is a pleasure to write this reference for Citizens Surveys.

    Over the past twenty years, I have commissioned several different South African fieldwork service providers to conduct two dozen separate nationally representative surveys.
    In this process, I have had numerous occasions to work closely with Citizen Surveys.

    - They conducted four of the five rounds of the South Africa Afrobarometer survey between 2002 and 2011 (totaling some 8,800 interviews).
    - They also conducted four post-election surveys for the University of Cape Town as the South African segment of the Comparative National Elections Project in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019. (totaling 4,800 interviews).

    Citizen Surveys is by far the best of the South African service providers we have worked with.

    I have always been satisfied with their performance and professionalism. They have the capacity to draw samples that are representative of the South African electorate, and their interviewers are well-trained to elicit valid responses from respondents. As an organization, they also have a particular ability to “think outside the box” and offer clients innovative suggestions to solve particular issues that researchers face in the South African context.

    I have no hesitation in recommending their services to other organizations.

    Do let me know if you have any further questions.

    - Prof Robert Mattes, Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town

  • Copenhagen Business School
    It is my pleasure and privilege to write this letter of recommendation for Citizen Surveys.

    I have worked with Citizen Surveys on two occasions – in 2016 and 2017 – to develop and implement two large-scale nationally representative surveys of the South African population. One survey had a sample size of 3200 respondents; the other had a sample size of 1500 respondents. I have recently secured a large grant that enables me to develop an entirely new survey in South Africa, where I will continue my collaboration with Citizen Surveys in 2023 and 2024.

    My experience working with Citizens Surveys is extraordinarly positive. From the outset, Citizen Surveys – under the leadership of Washeelah Kapery – proved to be an extremely competent, professional, and engaging partner to work with. In all stages of my work with Citizen Surveys, they have shown high levels of capability and reliability in their work.

    Whether we talk about the sampling of respondents, designing the questionnaire, implementing field work, quality assurance, and data management – or any other aspect of the process of developing surveys – the work of Citizen Surveys is highly competent and professional, and results in surveys and data that live up to the highest possible international standards.

    In addition to their impeccable professional standards, Washeelah Kapery and her team at Citizen Surveys offer a warm and welcoming working environment for their business partners. Citizen Surveys always engage actively with the purpose of the study and the perspective of their business partners, without compromising with the quality of the work
    they deliver.

    Working with Citizen Surveys has truly been a pleasure. I can only give Citizen Survey my very best recommendations. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    - Prof. Mogens K. Justesen, Department of International Economics, Government and Business Copenhagen Business School

  • Gauteng Research Triangle
    I’m more than happy to write a reference for Citizen Surveys. I have been commissioning surveys since the early 1990s, and over that time, the field has been whittled down to a small number of agencies one would trust with developmental, political or similar fieldwork – and almost by definition (in my opinion) that removes all the big corporate market research agencies. I say this because of the care and attention you get from Citizen Surveys.

    For example, we (Wits School of Governance) were example, we (Wits School of Governance) commissioned a survey of Johannesburg and Cape Town (commissioned by the University of Glasgow) – just as COVID-19 hit! To reach that stage, Citizen Surveys had to get through an exhaustive due diligence run by UoGlasgow, which was a project in its own right. But the sensitivity to both fieldworkers and respondents, the level of care in ensuring safety (at a time of genuine fear of viral infection) was outstanding, and ours was the first survey to come out of field during Covid (i.e. between lockdowns).

    We then put Citizen Surveys through a tough set of exercises, since we had sampled the cities to investigate neighbourhoods – not an official category – and a long series of coding exercisesfollowed, to get the data right. Ms Kapery’s ability to reach out to UCT academics as well as sector experts as and when required is a key plus, as it was in this instance.

    I have previously commissioned polling work (qualitative and quantitative) from Citizen Surveys, over many years. In every instance, the work has been completed with little fuss; budgets and agreements were adhere to; and the data were in good shape. (In that UoGlasgow job – which was replaced in 12 other cities in African and Asia) – the data from Citizen Surveys came in earliest, and was by some margin the cleanest dataset from the whole project.

    I have no hesitation in recommending Citizen Surveys, and please feel free to contact me if you need to.

    - Prof. David Everatt, Professor of Urban Governance, Wits School of Governance

  • Konrad Adenauer Stifting
    Citizen Surveys is an important component in the political research infrastructure of South Africa. Their outputs assist civil society organisations to deliver a) social and political mediation and b) monitoring and shaping on the basis of democratic values.

    Citizen Surveys' national and longitudinal research studies are based on a national fieldwork footprint and efficient systems. We consider their data reliable, which is the most important asset a survey can provide.

    In the most significant research work that the Konrad Adenauer Foundation funded recently, ELECTIONS 2019, the academic contributors used data by Citizen Surveys to inform its content. The book Is part of a series and is a key reference work in the analysis of political life in South Africa.

    We encourage other organisations to support Citizen Surveys and ask funders to enable them to continue their vital work.

    The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) is a political foundation, closely associated with the governing part of Germany, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). We cooperate with governmental institutions, political parties and civil society organizations to intensify political development. cooperation at national and international levels. Together with our partners we make a contribution to the creation of an international order that enables every country to develop in freedom and under its own responsibility. Please find more Information about KAS at www.kas.de

    - Henning Suhr, Resident Representative, KAS South Africa

  • FinMark Trust
    Citizen Surveys implemented 2 FinScope surveys in South Africa, including the latest FinScope Consumer 2021 survey. Citizen Surveys demonstrated commitment and collaborative spirit throughout the demanding processes of implementing FinScope SA surveys. The Citizen Surveys team has been continually good in implementing FinScope, providing its institutional value and financial sector insight to both FinMark Trust and its stakeholders.

    Citizen Surveys provided value for money and has been delivering their outputs within the agreed timelines.

    Should you have any queries, you are welcome to address these with: Jabulani Khumalo (jabulanik@finmark.org.za) or Dr Kingstone Mutsonziwa (kingstonem@finmark.org.za)

    - Jabulani Khumalo, Senior Data and Analytics Specialist, Finmark Trust

  • University of Duisburg-Essen
    I hereby certify that Citizen Surveys (Pty) Ltd was contracted to implement our survey on “Attitudes towards Political Clientelism in Kwazulu-Natal”.

    The survey sought to uncover information on citizen attitudes towards different types of clientelism, including vote buying, collective clientelism and relational clientelism. The survey was of considerable complexity in the sense that it included many interactive elements and experiments with multiple levels of randomization. For instance, respondents had to listen to different versions of a “radiocast” and answer questions about it. Or respondents were asked to participate in a vote that yielded real monetary gains. There were also several conjoint experiments that randomly varied multiple attributes.

    The experience of working with Citizen Surveys was absolutely outstanding. They were involved in all aspects of the project. They helped us to substantially improve the survey instrument, organizing for us qualitative interviews to that end. They showed enormous flexibility in accommodating our needs. When the ambition and complexity of the survey became clear, the members of the Citizen Survey team were fully up to the challenge, programming, testing, and implementing what was required with great competence. The data Citizen Surveys provided us at the end was of very high quality. We have absolute trust in their team and when we are ready to field a new survey in South Africa, we will not hesitate to go back to Citizens Surveys.

    - Dr Miquel Pellicer, University of Duisburg-Essen