Latest News

Celebrating the work of Professor Martin Wittenberg

On Friday, October 27th, DataFirst and UCT’s School of Economics hosted a conference to honour the lifetime contributions of Professor Martin Wittenberg to economics, and more broadly to quantitative social science, in South Africa. Read More.

New Datasets! Explore Our Data on Complicated Grief Disorder during COVID

 Studies have investigated this disorder during COVID - Read the article.
 Download the datasets here:
 COVID Grief Intervention Study 2020-2021
 Online Psychotherapy During COVID-19 2020-2021

First Annual Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture

On 3 July 2023, Professor Sir Angus Deaton presented the first Francis Wilson Memorial Lecture.  Read more about the event.

DataFirst turns 21!

This month (September) we celebrated our 21st! DataFirst is the University of Cape Town’s internationally recognised Open Data Repository and Research Unit that has been giving open access to African socioeconomic data and training data analysts since 2001. Our team also trains data managers across Africa to improve the quality and availability of African data.  Read more about the event.

Can SA's unemployment figures be trusted?

The last Quarterly Labour Force Survey indicates that 35.3% of adults are unemployed in SA but some experts argue that the survey has become skewed. Xoli Mngambi asks Prof Martin Wittenberg if the figures can be trusted.  View the interview on our channel.

Two news articles relating to DataFirst Paper on Essential Workers, Working from Home and Job Loss Vulnerability in South Africa

This is who is most at risk of losing a job due to Covid-19 lockdown, BusinessDay

South Africa’s poorest workers are more likely to lose jobs, says data report, Daily Maverick

International certification for DataFirst

DataFirst has been awarded the CoreTrustSeal trusted data repository certification. We are the only internationally certified African repository. Read the article.

Advancing Africa’s inequalities agenda.

The African Centre of Excellence for Inequalities Research (ACEIR) was launched under the banner of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). UCT will host the southern African node, drawing on the expertise of DataFirst to constitute ACEIR’s data centre.   Read the article.

Using satellite data to track improvements in infrastructure access and service delivery in South Africa

Evidence shows that satellite data is a useful tool for tracking improvements in infrastructure access and service delivery in rural areas. Article by Taryn Dinkelman on research done with Martin Wittenberg in the Agincourt area. Read the article.

DataFirst wins the Data for Research Award at the annual NSTF-South32 Awards.

The NSTF-South32 Awards awards, known in the South African research community as the ‘Oscars of science’, recognise and reward excellence in science, engineering and technology, and innovation in South Africa. Professor Martin Wittenberg, director of DataFirst, was there to receive the award. “I am proud that DataFirst has made it much easier for young academics to obtain data in a form that is usable for research,” he told the Mail & Guardian. “The data that we distribute is at the core of many of the debates about transformation and development. Furthermore, we run numerous courses to give researchers the skills to be able to do high quality work.” In his acceptance speech, Martin thanked the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) for recognising the importance of data for research.

Below are some pictures that were taken at the awards ceremony as well as at our cocktail party to celebrate the NSTF-South32 award and to mark the DataFirst Advisory Board meeting. Some of our post-graduate students were also at the party to celebrate the award.

Here are some links to articles about the awards:

 Annual NSTF-South32 Awards: Current Winners – 2016/2017

 UCT researchers honoured at 'Oscars of science'

 Data - the start and end of effective research


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