What is NIDS?

The National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) is the first national household panel study in South Africa. It is an initiative of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and is part of an intensive multi-million rand effort on the part of the government to track and understand the shifting face of poverty. The National Income Dynamics Study is implemented by the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) based at the University of Cape Town’s School of Economics. The research team currently is led by Professor Murray Leibbrandt, Ingrid Woolard, Cecil Mlatsheni and Nicola Branson with operational delivery led by Samantha Richmond. The project is overseen by a Steering Committee made up of relevant senior government officials and independent experts.

The study began in 2008 with a nationally representative sample of over 28,000 individuals in 7,300 households across the country. The survey continues to be repeated with these same household members every two years. NIDS examines the livelihoods of individuals and households over time. It also provides information about how households cope with positive or negative shocks, such as a death in the family or an unemployed relative obtaining a job.

Other themes include changes in poverty and well-being; household composition and structure; fertility and mortality; migration; labour market participation and economic activity; human capital formation, health and education; vulnerability and social capital.

View the infographic which briefly explains what NIDS is, how it works and how NIDS can be accessed.