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Head of Programmes

Dr Laila Smith

Dr. Laila Smith has been the Director of the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa since 2015. Prior to moving into the evaluation arena, Laila worked for 20 years in development both in Canada, South Africa and within Southern Africa. With a PhD in urban geography, Laila has focused her professional interests on addressing inequality in service delivery in the face of rapid urbanization. She has spent over a decade in the South African water sector wearing a variety of hats ranging from: research in public private partnerships; regulating water services for the City of Johannesburg; developing and implementing bottom-up methodologies for citizen engagement in the regulation of municipal water and sanitation services; and as Head of Policy for the Mvula Trust, steering civil society policy engagement in strengthening local government capacity to deliver services. Laila then managed  managed the Australian Government’s Water and Sanitation investments in Southern Africa with a focus on accelerating water and sanitation services in rapidly growing small towns and in informal settlements in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.  Laila has drawn from this sectoral experience in drawing on program evidence to inform participatory planning with key stakeholders in her strategic approach to building CLEAR-AA programming.

Senior Technical M&E Specialists

Matodzi Amisi

Ms Amisi is a Senior M&E Technical Specialist responsible for leading the National Evaluation Systems business line.  Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, she was a Director of Evaluations in the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation for 5 years. She previously worked with the Department of Human Settlements where she was responsible for conducting and managing research and evaluations of the government housing programme. She was part of a Community of Practice on Housing Policy for research units in provinces and local government—a platform which created space for sharing knowledge, reflecting on research and implications for policy and addressing capacity issues. She has also worked for the Commission on Gender Equality, where her most exciting work included the National Gender Opinion Survey and working with Political parties to measure achievement of gender parity. Matodzi’s area of interest is in the production and use of evaluation evidence in violence prevention sector. Some of her major contributions include her involvement in developing South Africa’s National Evaluation System; promoting the use of evaluations to support evidence-based policy and decision-making in government; participating in the Institute of Security Studies’ Dialogue Forum to promote collaboration between Government, Academia and civil society in the generation of evidence of what works to prevent violence against children. She is involved in the Soul City led think-tank to promote gender responsive planning and budgeting. She facilitated the DPME-UCT course for executives in the public service on Evidence Based Policy making. In 2017 she was one of the 25 emerging leaders across Africa who participated in the Building Bridges programme at University of Cape Town. 

Caitlin Blaser-Mapitsa

Caitlin Blaser-Mapitsa is a Senior M&E Technical Specialist responsible for leading the Strengthening Legislative Oversight business line.  She has a decade of experience in monitoring and evaluation, research, and organizational development. She's excited about understanding what drives change in complex social systems, and figuring out how to measure the impacts of policy change. Her background is in global civil society, and she's particularly interested in rural development. She is currently reading for a PhD which looks at how local government is responding to demographic change in South Africa.

Candice Morkel

Candice Morkel is a Senior M&E Technical Specialist responsible for leading the Strengthening Evaluation Practice business line. As a monitoring, evaluation and public policy practitioner she has over 20 years’ experience in the public and non-profit sectors. She has worked across sectors and areas of specialisation including policy and governance, gender-based violence and developmental social welfare. She currently specialises in Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD), and is involved in developing curriculum for accredited M&E capacity building programmes in Southern, East and West Africa, including the flagship Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa (DETPA). Candice teaches in both academic and executive short courses in M&E locally and abroad, including her ongoing curriculum support and facilitation work in the International Fund for Agricultural Developments’ (IFAD) Global M&E Certification Programme, PriME. She has also published in the field of M&E and has presented papers, been a panelist and chaired a number of conference panels in South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, the Netherlands and the U.S. Candice spent more than 10 years at Middle, Senior and Top Management levels in the Office of the Premier (Eastern Cape and North West Provincial governments, South Africa) as an M&E Specialist. She served as Chair of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) and is currently a Member of the Board of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA). She also currently serves as a member of the Ministerial Task Team in South Africa responsible for the revision of the White Paper on Social Welfare (1997). Candice has an M.Phil. in Conflict Management and Transformation (cum laude) from the Nelson Mandela University. She is currently completing her PhD in Public Administration at Nelson Mandela University, which focuses on state-civil society relations and the importance of embedded autonomy as a critical factor in building a capable developmental state.

Dr Nedson Pophiwa

Dr Nedson Pophiwa is a Senior Technical Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist responsible for leading the Strategic Knowledge Management and Applied Research business line. He holds a PhD in Economic History from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an MA in Forced Migration from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MA in African Economic History from the University of Zimbabwe. Prior to joining CLEAR AA, Nedson was a Research Manager at the Human Sciences Research Council’s Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD) Programme. He is passionate about evaluation of public policy implementation in sectors such as migration, local government service delivery, social justice and sustainable development. Over the past decade Dr Pophiwa has been actively involved in numerous public sector research and evaluation projects within South Africa and the region. He has published several peer reviewed publications and read papers at international and national conferences. Notable among his publications is a co-edited book titled, Africa in a changing global environment: Perspectives of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in Africa which was published by the Africa Institute of South Africa Press.

M&E Technical Specialists

Dr Takunda Chirau

Dr. Chirau joined CLEAR-AA as Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Specialist within the National Evaluation System business line. His role involves strengthening national and sub-national evaluation systems in Anglophone Africa, providing technical assistance to selected institutions, and M&E capacity building assignments in Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa. Dr Chirau was also an Instructor for a Theory of Change course offered virtually- Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the edx platform. Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, Dr Chirau was a Teacher Assistant at Rhodes University from 2011-2013, worked with consultancy companies on research and evaluations in the South African health sector. Dr Chirau was awarded the prestigious Andrew Mellon Fellowship at Rhodes University for his PhD, through this Fellowship he holds a Ph.D. degree in Sociology, and Master of Sociology both from Rhodes University, Bachelor of Social Science (Honors) Sociology, and Bachelor of Human Resource Management (cum laude) both from University of Fort Hare, and a Postgraduate DGDip in Monitoring and Evaluation from Stellenbosch University (cum laude). On the academic front, Dr Chirau is a seasoned external examiner of universities in South Africa. Dr Chirau has authored journal articles and book chapter, his current research interests lie in evaluation systems, evaluation capacity development, and evaluative research among others.

Khotso Tsotsotso

Khotso Tsotsotso is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the Strategic Knowledge Management and Applied Research business line. His primary interest is in basic education and he was part of a team that evaluated the impact of Platinum mines on school outcomes. Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, Khotso was a Junior Researcher for the South African Institute of International Affairs and Wits PADM. He also worked for various organisations such as Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, Barloworld Equipment, Massmart Holdings and Afrisam as a Data Analyst and Consultant. Khotso has experience in Impact Evaluation, Negotiation, Data collection, Data Cleaning and Analysis. He is currently studying his Master of Evaluation at Saarland University, Germany.

Hermine Engel

Hermine Engel is a Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Specialist, largely contributing to the programmatic work of the Strengthening Legislative Oversight business line. Her diverse work experience cuts across the civil society, grant-making and academic sectors, and has included an emphasis on the interrelated areas of participatory governance, socio-economic rights, civil society strengthening, as well as students’ academic development. She has held various organizational and programme management roles with the urban development NGO – Planact, with the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, and with the Writing Centre of the University of the Western Cape. She has also worked as a guest lecturer in English Communication and Postcolonial Literature Studies at Chonbuk National University in South Korea, and in international development cooperation and project management for participatory urban development as part of the Mundus Urbano Advanced Masters Programme at Darmstadt University, Germany. Her work has further included a range of independent consultant services in qualitative research, conference rapporteuring, training facilitation and document editing for various academic, government and multilateral institutions, as well as civil society organisations. She holds an MA in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Netherlands, and an MA (cum laude) in English Literature from the University of the Western Cape.

M&E Officer

Mokgophana Ramasobana

Mokgophana Ramasobana is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the Strengthening Evaluation Practice business line. His duties include publication of journal articles, curriculum development steering committee member and programme coordinator for the Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa (DETPA). Prior to joining CLEAR, Mokgophana engaged with the following sectors: Entrepreneurship, Construction, Information and Communications Technology and Research. Having been privileged to run his own business since 2010, he accrued business acumen and skills transferable to his interest in M&E. He is currently enrolled for a Masters of Management degree specialising in Monitoring and Evaluation at Wits School of Governance. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation and Public Management from the Wits School of Governance, and he is currently working on a Masters degree. His research interests are in evaluation capacity development, African indigenous knowledge systems, and utilization of evaluation results in enhancing the African developmental agenda.

Linda Khumalo

Linda S. Khumalo is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the Strengthening Legislative Oversight business line. Her role has broadly involved engaging in capacity building of legislatures in oversight and evaluations use, providing technical assistance to the Parliamentary Network on Development Evaluation(APNODE), as well as research and curriculum development broadly focused on working with legislatures to enhance the use of evaluations for decision making. She has also worked extensively as a teaching assistant for Results-Based Management as well as Theory of Change online courses (MOOC) on the Edx platform. Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, she was involved in consulting in Performance Improvement within the public sector. Linda has also worked extensively in Social Research & Development Work where her focus has been on Qualitative and Mixed methods research.  She obtained a Master’s degree in Industrial Sociology and Labour Studies at the University of Pretoria and is passionate about research that produces evidence to inform community development initiatives.

Junior Specialists

Tebogo Fish

Tebogo Fish is a Junior Researcher in the Strategic Knowledge Management and Applied Research Business Line. She graduated from Stellenbosch University with an undergraduate degree in Social Dynamics and an honours degree in Psychology. She furthered her education at Wits University, where she obtained a master’s degree in Research Psychology. She is extremely passionate about social research and thus, has focused her research endeavours on poverty and education in South Africa. She has a background in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which is pertinent to the work she does at CLEAR- AA. Her duties include conducting literature reviews, survey design, data collection and data analysis.

Siyabonga Sibiya

Siyabonga Sibiya is a Junior Researcher in the Strengthening Evaluation Practice business line. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Management and Governance and an Honours Degree in Development Studies from the University of Johannesburg. Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, he held a Research and Knowledge Intern position at the Transport Education Training Authority (TETA), where he studied skills development within the transport sector. He previously worked at the Centre for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg where he focussed on research topics in areas of social change and revolutionary ideological themes. Siyabonga’s other research interests include evidence use, participatory evaluation methods and advocacy.

Megan Cooke

Megan Cooke is a Junior Researcher in the National Evaluation Systems business line. Megan holds an Undergraduate Degree in Political Science (Rhodes University) as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Policy and Analysis of African Development (UNISA). She is currently undertaking her Masters in International Development. Megan’s core interests lie within development studies and she hopes to make large contributions towards this field in the subsequent years. She believes that results based evidence is essential to inform decision makers across the African continent, which is what has led her to become a member of CLEAR-AA. Megan previously worked for Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation in the Western Cape (NPO), gaining vast research experience within the South African informal economy.  

Operations

Mark Everett

Mark Everett is an Executive Manager, largely contributing to the operations of the organisation and systems development. His diverse work experience as a project and programme manager cuts across NGOs to working with various donors, including USAID, Danida, DFID, Hewlett Foundation and the United Nation. Prior to Joining CLEAR-AA, he worked as a programme manager in the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) within the evidence branch. He is currently working on his Master’s dissertation in project and programme management, which focusses on the Project Management Office (PMO) for the improvement of performance of government departments, and service delivery.  

Sheila Molapo

Sheila Molapo is a Senior Operations Coordinator whose duties include office administration, finance support and travel arrangements. Sheila also contributes to a professional business environment by ensuring and maintaining the smooth running of administrative processes within CLEAR-AA. Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, Sheila worked at fees and Cashiers office, Central Finance (Account receivable) and Wits Business School as a Finance Officer. She studied at Wits Technikon (now University of Johannesburg) where she obtained her National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting. She also obtained New Managers Programme Certificate from Wits Business School.

Sky Konrad

Sky Konrad is a Finance Officer whose duties are to administer the day to day finances and the financial analysis of the Centre’s spend. Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, Sky worked for NPOs, Entertainment and engineering companies where she was either in a managerial or finance position. Outside her passion for numbers, Sky is an avid writer and spend most of her free time writing. One of Sky’s valuable skills is in conflict resolution, which she gained from a non-profit organisation she worked for called Ceasefire Campaign that advocated for Demilitarization and promoted peace and nonviolent practices and women’s rights. She further gained proposal writing and project management skills which have been invaluable in her role at CLEAR-AA. Sky holds a Bachelor degree in Accounting Sciences from the University of

Communications

Talitha Hlaka

Talitha Hlaka is a communications officer at CLEAR-AA. She is responsible for the production and dissemination of a range of marketing communication and knowledge management tools within the organisation. Talitha holds a Bachelors degree in Strategic Marketing Communications (from University of Johannesburg) and an Honours degree in Integrated Organisational Communications (from UNISA). Prior to joining CLEAR-AA, Talitha was working for marketing agencies as an account manager, taking care of marketing needs for various companies and organisations.

Research Associates and Advisors

Dr Ian Goldman

Ian has worked for 40 years on issues of rural development, decentralization, sustainable livelihoods approaches, community-driven development, and evidence-based policy-making and implementation, in 19 countries. From 2011 to June 2018 he was the Head of Evaluation and Research and later Deputy Director General in South Africa’s Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), where he led the establishment of South Africa’s national evaluation system. Ian has been a Commissioner of 3ie since 2012, and one of the founders of the Twende Mbele African M&E Partnership, with partners Uganda, Benin, South Africa, CLEAR AA and African Development Bank. Ian joined CLEAR Anglophone Africa in July 2018, and is leading a research project leading to a book on evidence-based policy in Africa. In addition Ian lectures at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town, and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Reading in the UK.

Logan Cochrane

Logan Cochrane is a Banting Fellow at Carleton University. For the last twelve years, he has worked in non-governmental organizations internationally, including in Afghanistan, Benin, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Qatar, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Logan has served as a Director for two non-governmental organizations, and worked as a consultant with clients that have included Save the Children, Management Sciences for Health, The Liaison Office, UNICEF and UNAIDS.

Kieron Crawley

Kieron is a Masters Graduate from the Wits School of Public and Development Management. He has helped to establish the CLEAR Africa centre, lecturing to a range of students and government staff in the areas of Development Theory, Monitoring and Evaluation, Results based Management and Project Planning. Kieron’s background as a Development Country Programme Director within the INGO sector has provided him with experience in developing and managing multi-sectoral poverty alleviation programmes in East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia. His country experience spans Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the Gambia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Kieron’s work with CLEAR has included the facilitating of two global meetings on behalf of the World Bank CLEAR Global Secretariat in Paris and Accra, CLEAR AA course curriculum development, action research on Citizen Based Monitoring Systems as well as leading an M&E Readiness Diagnostic in Fragile and Conflict Affected States. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Mine Pibari

Mine Pabari has over 20 years’ experience in the fields of natural resource management and sustainable development with a primary focus in participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) processes. Mine has facilitated self-appraisals and internal evaluations; conducted external evaluations; supported projects in the development and implementation of their M&E plans as well as capacity building in programme and project level M&E. She has also been responsible for the strategic design and management of complex regional programmes at multiple levels. This includes working on the ground at field level in challenging contexts as well as at more strategic levels in planning and policy influencing processes. Mine’s experiences include managing multi-disciplinary teams comprising of senior level professionals as well as mid-level technical staff and project managers. Her work experience also involves programming, resource mobilization and managing strategic partnerships with development partners.

Research Fellow

Angelita Kiwekete

Angelita is a postdoctoral student at CLEAR AA as of October 2018. Angelita’s field of expertise situates her between the public and the development sector where she primarily seeks to leverage intellectually the discourse at the grassroots level. Angelita is passionate about the empowerment of marginalised communities and directs her capacities towards this broad vision. More importantly she is conversant with gender issues and works to provide strategic linkages conceptually and practically between vulnerable women in community; policy and development processes and has authored as well as made presentations in this regard.  Her research experience has been gleaned from civil society, development organisations as well as government. Her research interests reflect on the innovations and constraints that government operates in. She has conducted work, research and published on the supra, national and local political and economic landscape of the continent. She conducts sector specific training and workshops as an independent trainer. She has a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand.

Twende Mbele

Cara Waller

Cara Waller has been managing on the Twende Mbele Programme since 2016.  She has grown the programme substantially through strong program planning and communication skills.  Cara has been at CLEAR-AA for three years, playing a variety of roles. She has been working in the evaluation space in South Africa for five years, coming previously from an evaluation career in Australia. With a Masters in International Health and Evaluation, she has been working in evaluation for over ten years, primarily in health promotion and youth development.

Parfait Kasongo

Parfait D.K Kasongo is responsible for capturing learning and communicating new knowledge through Twende Mbele programme’s vast African network. Having recently joined the team, he’s returned to academia to pursue his dreams of doing research based work through the M&E space. Through his enrolment at Wits, Parfait is completing two social sciences degrees plus a LLB, which he hopes will contribute to both his work and person.

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