Sector research and analysis provides government, private sector and civil society with insight into, and a comprehensive understanding of a particular sector or industry of the economy. This research is often used in order to determine the ‘status quo’, and provides an objective baseline from which further detailed analysis can be undertaken. For example, local, provincial and national government often commission sector research as a foundation towards developing a particular policy or strategy position, while the private sector might commission sector research to investigate a particular market opportunity.
Value chain analysis is undertaken to investigate the value chain of an entire sector, industry or commodity’s production line and to identify role-players, volumes, values and pricing at various points of the value chain. A value chain analysis includes identifying constraints at points in the value chain so that appropriate practical solutions can be developed, in order to unlock employment creation opportunities or improve production/efficiencies. For example, local government might want to unpack the value chain of the recycling industry in order to develop strategic interventions that will allow the industry to grow and improve recycling rates.
Techniques utilised when undertaking sector and value chain research and analysis include desktop research such as demographic and economic analysis, policy and strategy reviews, literature reviews, global and national best-practice analysis, and benchmarking assessments, as well as primary research in the form of surveys, stakeholder engagement and workshops.