We at ETHER Initiative have come to the conclusion that it is important to get a better understanding of the Heritage sector in South Africa. Much has happened in the 25 years since democracy began and in this time span, many aspirations were put forward to where heritage practitioners would like to see the field headed into.

ETHER Research would like to see how far the heritage sector has met its goals and how we could help to build on the foundation that has been already established. There are many aspects of heritage management for which research can provide insight and guidance. This includes work within all types of heritage institutions and organisations including museums, archives, libraries, galleries, heritage sites, oral history, built heritage, and anything else which can be classified as heritage.

This is the scope of the work we will be undertaking, including both self-funded and externally-funded projects, and also including various methods and methodologies of research. In all cases, it is the quest to learn more about the heritage sector.

Our approach to research is based on a standard five-stage process to ensure that all of our research is conducted under consistent best-practice methods, and to ensure that we can capitalise on the interconnectivity between different research goals.

These five stages are:

  • Question: what is it that we want to know
  • Model: how is the world of this question structured
  • Gather: finding evidence
  • Analyse: determine the conclusions and claims, using the evidence as the basis
  • Publish: make the research available in various forms.

Dr. Roger Layton CEO of RLA and ETHER Initiative will be presenting a paper later this month at SAMA Eastern Cape on a preliminary survey conducted on the SAMA Professional Standards and Transformation Indicators (PSTI) as well ETHER Research.

If you would like to make a suggestion as to a subject matter we should look into researching please leave us a comment on this post, or email Roger Layton at roger.layton@ether.co.za or Sholeen Sanker at sholeen.sanker@ether.co.za.