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The Supervisor Excellence Award goes to…

- Kemantha Govender

Dr Kambidima Wotela recently won the Commerce, Law Management 2018/19 Supervisor of the Year award.

Currently, the convenor for Research Degrees at the Wits School of Governance, Wotela supervises both Masters and PhD students.

It has been a long crusade from having not a single student choosing me to supervise them in 2013 through 2016 to when I eventually supervised the highest number of students (25 Master of Management students)”, says Wotela.

After being generously thanked by a group of students, he was inspired to do more to get research supervision right.

“I attended the European Conference on research methodology for management students alongside meeting the students regardless of who was supervising them every weekend. I learnt a lot from them actually (what works and what does not). I have so far written five papers - my greatest contribution being on literature review, theoretical frameworks and conceptual frameworks,” adds Wotela.

Not only have his students submitted their reports but they have also published papers and there are more in the pipeline for publication.

“I have learnt a lot from my colleagues’ different styles and sometimes all I needed to do was put this information together. I once again thank my Head of School, Professor David Everatt, for making this possible. I also want to thank Professor Pundy Pillay [WSG Research Director] for the money that allows my students and I to attend conferences where we get critical feedback that allows us to improve,” says Wotela.

Professor Pillay praised Wotela for his dedication and commitment to students in general and the hard work he puts into supervising a large number of students.

More about Wotela

Wotela is an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar and a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow. He studied demography and population studies for all his degrees. During his studies, he picked up academic skills in ethnography, quantitative and qualitative research approaches, designs and methods.

He started his career life in 1994 working for the Zambian planning department—the former National Commission for Development Planning as an economist cum demographer and rose to the post of a senior planner in 1999 before he left in 2001. As a civil servant, he picked up practical skills in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development interventions. He put these skills to use when he joined a World Bank initiated technical intervention—called the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) Development Programme—as a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist. In this capacity, he designed the TEVET monitoring and evaluation system including a mechanism for tracking and reporting on the progress of students graduating from institutions offering technical and vocational training in Zambia. In addition, after completing his Master of Science degree in 1998, he lectured part-time at the University of Zambia before he took up the position on a full-time basis. He left Zambia in 2004 to pursue his doctoral degree with the prestigious Centre for Actuarial Research (CARe) at the University of Cape Town.

Wotela teaches analytical methods, research methodology, and economic development and population trends at WSG. He also supervises research students pursuing their masters and doctoral degrees in public and development management. He continues to write on Zambian history, anthropology, and demography as he takes up a new line of research in development, public policy, leadership, governance, monitoring and evaluation.