Photography by:
  • Dalingcebo Ngubane

Understanding Quality of Life

Improving the quality of life of Gauteng’s residents is a fundamental objective of local and provincial government policy and decision-making. Consequently, the study of quality of life has been at the core of the GCRO’s work since its inception. The GCRO understands quality of life in a holistic way, as the combination of more material aspects of living conditions, and more subjective experiences and perceptions, that together make up multidimensional well-being.

Our flagship Quality of Life Surveys are at the core of our work in this thematic area. The rich and longitudinally comparable data generated by our QoL surveys enables analysis that is both wide and deep: it allows for a detailed, regularly updated, understanding of overall quality of life in the province, along with much more nuanced insights into trends, shifts and variations over time and space. Quality of Life data is supplemented with insights from other sources that provide insight into changing perceptions, attitudes and socio-economic circumstances, with the aim of building an information and analysis base to support evidence-based policies that enhance multi-dimensional well-being in the GCR.

In order to ensure the ongoing value of the survey itself, we continually work to deepen our understanding of how best to conceptualize and measure quality of life. In the context of a deeply diverse, multicultural society, this is crucial. Through engagements with quality of life scholars in South Africa and globally we aim to ensure that our work remains aligned with the latest thinking, and that we are able to contribute to key debates. Similarly, we engage extensively with issues of survey methodology. Ongoing engagement with best practices in survey design, implementation and analysis are key to ensuring that we can continue to generate high-quality data in a sustainable and cost effective manner.

Finally, a substantive, and growing, component of our work is to ensure that our analysis and results are disseminated broadly, in ways accessible to our diverse audiences. Key components of this work include refinement and development of interactive visualisations and data viewers, ensuring open access to our datasets, and internal capacity development in the analysis of survey data.

An overview of the Quality of Life Survey, GCRO's flagship project, can be seen here. This page includes a summary of each QoL Survey, links to key outputs, and an overview of QoL related work currently underway.

Current Projects

Completed Projects


The GCRO sends out regular news to update subscribers on our research and events.