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WSG academic staff

There are over 40 highly qualified academics, including full and part time staff, at the WSG. With a broad diversity of experience and sectoral focus, we are in a position to offer over 40 short courses. Our academics are known for advising African policymakers on foreign and national security policy processes and frameworks as well as local policy makers. They have experience in social activism, working with trade unions and in global organisations. Several are sought-after for interviews and contribute to media reports by providing their expert analysis on various subjects.

Professor David Everatt

Professor David Everatt, Head of the Wits School of Governance, has over 25 years of experience in applied socio-economic and development research, political and governance reform, designing and implementing monitoring systems, and programme evaluation, across sub-Saharan Africa.

He is the former Executive Director of CASE, founding partner of Strategy & Tactics (winner of two Impumulelo Black Empowerment awards), and founding Director of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory. David was responsible for path-breaking research into youth marginalisation in South Africa in the early 1990s; his research into political violence was quoted at length by Nelson Mandela at the UN; he was the chief evaluator of the South African Constitutional Assembly between 1995 and 1997; and has researched issues from poverty and inequality to urbanism to class formation and voting behaviour.

He was Vice-President (sub-Saharan Africa) for the 'Sociology of Youth' committee of the International Sociological Association for 14 years, and now sits on their Advisory Board, and serves on the Board of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the National Statistics Council.

Research Interests

  • Politics, polling and voting behaviour
  • Youth development
  • Development, poverty and inequality
  • Non-racialism, race and identity
  • Governance and reform
  • Public participation

Email: david.everatt@wits.ac.za 

Dr Caryn Abrahams

Caryn Abrahams, a senior lecturer, holds a PhD in Social and Political Science from the University of Edinburgh, in the Centre for African Studies. 

She completed her Masters, Honours and undergrad degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand, with specialisation in Human and Urban Geography. Before joining the WSG, Caryn was a senior researcher at the Gauteng City-Region Observatory – a partnership of Wits University, University of Johannesburg and Gauteng Province – where she focused on social cohesion, anti-racism, urban inclusion, and urban food systems in Gauteng Province.

Previously, Abrahams completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Development Studies at UNISA, and was the research manager at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, a prominent civil society organisation concerned with deepening non-racialism in South Africa. At the NGO she designed an exhibition on Eight Decades of Kathrada’s Life, oversaw public discussion series, commissioned research and contributed to the Presidency’s 20 Year Review on Social Cohesion.

Before completing her doctoral studies, Abrahams lectured development and post-development at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Geography. She has guest lectured at the University of Edinburgh, Sociology, and taught a module on Sustainable Development at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Abrahams’ research and publications are concerned with two areas of work – governing urban food systems (the basis of her doctoral studies), and anti-racism and social cohesion (an interest that grew from her civil society involvement). She has published work on alternative food networks in the developing South, supermarkets and informal food markets, and the developmental imperative in urban food systems thinking. She has also published work on non-racialism, social cohesion, and has forthcoming chapters on the future of race in South Africa, and uncertainty and nation-building in South Africa in edited collections. She is the editor of and contributor to the GCRO’s Pathways to Anti-Racism (2016). Her interest in governance brings together these bodies of work – how food systems or societal interaction are co-governed by the interests at work, particularly by the imperatives of ordinary people. 

Abrahams’ research is anti-disciplinary as it draws on a range of scholarship broadly in the social sciences – urban studies, development, economic geography, sociology, politics – but is not confined to a particular discipline. Her research interests and curiosities include anti-racism, urban inclusion, urbanity, urban food systems, urban society, Batho Pele governance, micro forms of governance, and localisation. 

Research interests:

  • Urban planning 
  • Development 
  • Agribusiness 
  • Intergovernmental relations and governance 
  • Local councillors and local politics 
  • Race, social cohesion and social change

Email: caryn.abrahams@wits.ac.za 

Professor Patrick Bond

Patrick Bond, a Professor of Political Economy, combines political economy and political ecology in his research and applied work. He is a professor of political economy at the Wits School of Governance and honorary professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Built Environment and Development Studies where from 2004 until 2016 he directed the Centre for Civil Society. Prior to that he was a professor at the WSG from 1997 until 2004 and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and also held visiting professorships at York University and the University of California/Berkeley on sabbaticals. During the 1990s he served at the Johannesburg NGOs Planact and the National Institute for Economic Policy and from 1994 until 2000 drafted more than a dozen government policy documents, including the White Paper on Reconstruction and Development. Bond has written several books.

He earned his doctorate in economic geography under the supervision of David Harvey at Johns Hopkins following (non-degreed) studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance and an undergraduate economics degree at Swarthmore College. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1961, was raised in the US states of Alabama and Maryland, and since 1989 has been a resident of Southern Africa.

Research interests:

  • Political economy
  • Political ecology
  • Social movement advocacy

Email: patrick.bond@wits.ac.za 

Professor Susan Booysen

Susan Booysen is a professor at the WSG, author of three solo-authored and three edited books and highly experienced researcher in politics, public policy and governance. 

She started her academic career at the University of Johannesburg in its ‘RAU days’ and then moved to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, where she was head of department, director of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Acting Dean. She has been at Wits since 2005.

Booysen has been active in applied research for well over twenty years and has worked with a wide range of government agencies, national and international non-governmental organisations and research institutions. She has excellent skills in qualitative and quantitative research and has a particular interest in the government-civil society interface. Many of her projects have concerned public participation, public consultation, public policy and institutional design, and policy evaluation and review.

She is a past president of the South African Association of Political Studies and serves on the editorial board of the South African Journal of Political Studies, Politikon. She holds a D.Litt. et Phil. from the University of Johannesburg and has obtained both her Honours and Masters degrees cum laude. She has published more than fifty book chapters and research articles in refereed national and international journals. The Wits Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management recognised her as ‘Top 5 Researcher’ for 2015. Booysen is also a political analyst, media commentator and regular columnist for a range of online and print publications.

Email: susan@booysen@wits.ac.za 

Murray Cairns

Murray Cairns is a principal tutor and joined the WSG in 1997 as finance manager, and remained on the administrative staff of the School in various capacities until 2009 when he became an academic. He runs the Writing Centre at the school, and is the Convenor for the Masters of Management. His teaching started in the area of HIV and AIDS both at WSG and the Wits Business School, but has moved to research conceptualisation, research methods and proposal development. Cairns’ teaching is focused on assisting students to conceptualise and define their research focus, to build an analytical lens, and to explore the literatures that guide their disciplinary area.

Cairns supervises in the broad area of the social response HIV and AIDS, HIV and AIDS policy analysis and implementation.  Much of his supervision has focused on policy issues that affect minorities and vulnerable groups, as well as broad policy implementation topics. He provides support to the school in the development and construction of curricula for degrees and short courses, as well as system development and web application development.

Email: Murray.Cairns@wits.ac.za 

Dr Lynn Hewlett

Dr Lynn Hewlett, senior lecturer, teaches qualitative research methodology courses and is currently convenor of the PhD and Master’s degree by dissertation programme. She has served on numerous university and faculty committees and has been an Assistant Dean (Teaching and Learning) for the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management. She has consulted, taught and researched in the areas of curriculum, education and training policy and practices, workplace learning and evaluation of learning programmes. She has developed curricula and materials for adult and basic education and academic literacy courses at tertiary level and for capacity building initiatives in the public sector. She has been involved in research and development in relation to capacity building for government departments in South Africa and Mozambique and for the NGO sector in East Africa.

Her research interests encompass higher education policy and practices, curriculum, capacity building and development, literacy and language studies and educational development. Her previous work has included research and development in relation to curriculum, education and training, academic literacies, developing workplace learning initiatives, HIV/AIDS and student learning. Her current research interests include knowledge and professional education, youth development and young women and sexual health.

Prior to joining the WSG in 1999 she worked in further and higher education in South Africa and the UK. She has been a lecturer in higher education and further, adult and continuing education in the UK, an assistant lecturer in the English Department at the University of Cape Town, a lecturer in the Department of Applied English Language Studies at Wits University and an independent researcher and consultant in education and development. She has taught on undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and programmes in the fields of Public Management, Education and English Language Studies and has been involved in education development work in higher education.

Her general areas of specialisation for supervision include: Higher education policy and curriculum; educational development and knowledge and curriculum in professional education.

Email: Lynn.Hewlett@wits.ac.za 

Marcel T. Korth

Marcel Tsholofelo Korth is a Lecturer in the Wits School of Governance. He holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Johannesburg (2008). His current teaching and applied work focus on monitoring and evaluation, and his supervision revolves around monitoring systems, evaluation, and the use of evidence in decision-making, as well as youth development and gender-based violence.

Marcel's background is in social justice work. He joined Wits from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) where he served as M&E Advisor for 15 countries in the southern African region. Prior appointments include Research Specialist at the University of Johannesburg with a focus on the use of evidence for policy-making; Programme Manager for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s southern African Criminal Justice and Violence against Women programme; and Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg, with a focus on Children and Youth, Gender, Urban Development and Research Methodology. Marcel’s practical experience spans from working in and supporting a number of community-based organisations, primarily in youth development, to developing and managing social development programmes across the SADC region. 

Email: marcel.korth@wits.ac.za 

Odile Mackett

Odile Mackett, a lecturer, holds a Masters of Commerce degree in Development Theory and Policy from Wits University, a Bachelor of Commerce honours degree in International Trade and Finance, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies (majoring in Politics and Economics), both from the University of Johannesburg. Odile started her academic career at the University of South Africa in the Economics department, teaching undergraduate economics. She currently lectures quantitative methods and economics.

Research interests:

  • Labour markets
  • Poverty and inequality

Email: odile.mackett@wits.ac.za 

Kholiswa Malindini

Kholiswa Malindini is a lecturer and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. She completed her Honours and undergraduate degrees at Walter Sisulu University, with specialisation in Economics and Econometrics. Before joining the WSG, Malindini was a full-time teacher at Umtata high School and a part-time lecturer at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape where she taught economics and business management. She currently lectures economics and quantitative methods.

Email: kholiswa.malindini@wits.ac.za 

Dr Darlene Miller

Dr Miller, a senior lecturer, completed a Doctorate in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, with a focus on regional political economy. In her activist days she was the National Education Coordinator of SACCAWU, a COSATU retail trade union. She was also the Director of the Institute for African Alternatives, South Africa, a research and training Institute with chapters in London and across Africa. Her recent work includes film documentaries on women’s leadership, as well as project management of research on large-scale land acquisitions in Southern Africa. She was the Bloomberg Africa Fellow at Human Rights Watch in New York in the year of 9/11 and Senior Advisor to the CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council for the International Social Science Council, Paris. Her current research interests are feminist critiques of patriarchal accumulation in Southern Africa, women in leadership and food governance.

Email: darlene.miller@wits.ac.za 

Dikgang Motsepe

Motsepe is an economist and a senior lecturer at the WSG, focusing on macro-economic policy, and public finance.

Motsepe has a Masters in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch, and both a BCom and BCom (Hons) in Economics from the University of Cape Town.

Before joining academia, he worked as a senior economist at the NEPAD Secretariat in the office of Professor Nkuhlu, the Economic Advisor to President Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki and Chairman of the NEPAD Steering Committee; Programme Manager/Economist at the Business Trust, managing the community investment programme focusing on the Presidential Nodal Economic Development Programme; and a financial market economist at the South African Reserve Bank. Motsepe has gained experience in the field of financial markets and development economics.

Email: Motsepe@wits.ac.za

Professor Pundy Pillay

Professor Pundy Pillay is a Professor of Economics and Public Finance and the Research Director at the WSG. He earned a PhD in Economics and an MA in Economics from the University of Cape Town. He completed his BA Honours at Wits University. Prior to joining the school he was a Visiting Professor at the Universities of the Western Cape and Johannesburg from 2007 to 2010. Between 2001 and 2007 he was a Senior Economist at RTI International. He was Head of the Policy Unit in the Office of the President between 1998 and 2000 and the Executive Director of the Financial and Fiscal Commission between 1995 and 1997. He began his academic career at the University of Cape Town where he was a Senior Lecturer in Economics from 1983 to 1994.

Pillay’s publications include the books Higher Education in the BRICS countries (2015), co-edited with Simon Schwarzmann and Romulo Pinheiro, Springer; Higher Education and Economic Development in Africa(2015), with N Cloete, P Maassen, T Bailey, and I Bunting, CHET, Cape Town; Linking Higher Education and Economic Development: Implications for Africa from Three Successful Systems, (2010) CHET, Cape Town.

In addition to these, he has written the following journals and book chapters:

Pillay et al: Designing a Pro-Poor Bus Fare Policy for the City of Johannesburg, being considered for publication in ‘Research in Transportation Economics’; Research and Innovation in South Africa – in Schwartzmann et al (eds.),

Higher Education in the BRICS countries (2015); Pillay et al: Improving the fit: Making the Skills Development Levies Act work better in South African government departments, Journal of Public Administration, 49 (2), June 2014;

Pillay et al: Unemployment, vulnerability and economic empowerment: implications for career guidance and counseling for youth in South Africa (2014) in International Handbook of Career Guidance; Student Financing in the Developing World: Africa, (2013) in Student Financing of Higher Education: A Comparative Perspective, eds. Donald E Heller and Claire Callender.

He is currently leading the WSG’s participation in an international five-university Horizon 2020 research project on “The EU and Global Justice”. The universities are Oslo, Bologna, Dublin, Tubingen (Germany), and Wits. WSG is leading research on “Trade, development and global justice” in the project.

Research interests:

  • Economics and Public Policy
  • Public Finance
  • The Political Economy of Development in Africa
  • Economics of Education
  • Inequality and Poverty

Email: Pundy.Pillay@wits.ac.za 

Dr Ivor Sarakinsky

Sarakinsky, the Academic Director at the WSG, is a political philosopher who teaches public governance and the green economy at the WSG. He has supervised numerous topics in these areas and his research is published in top-rated international and national scholarly journals. He has direct experience of the public sector as a Chief Director responsible for the Green Economy in the Economic Development Department. He has also engaged in numerous consulting projects ranging from helping develop the governance assessment methodology for NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism to working with municipalities on their Green Economy strategies and implementation processes. His current research deals with the changing nature of governance from static processes of accountability to complexity and the coordination of institutional sub-units to enable responsiveness to rapidly changing societal demands. These ideas inform his work on the green economy - institutional and financial adaptation and innovation are critical factors for responding to environmental eco-systems while addressing economic growth and employment creation.

Research interests:

  • Green Economy
  • South African Public Governance: national, provincial and local
  • State Owned Enterprise Governance
  • Governance, Corruption and Development Issues
  • Political Theory, Ethics and Governance
  • Policy, Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation

Email: Ivor.Sarakinsky@wits.ac.za 

Professor Alex van den Heever

Van den Heever presently holds the Chair of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand and is an adjunct professor in the Wits School of Governance.

He holds a Masters in economics from the University of Cape Town and has worked in the areas of health economics and finance, public finance and social security in various capacities over the past 23 years.

This includes participation in the Melamet Commission of Inquiry into medical schemes, the Taylor Committee of Inquiry into Comprehensive Social Security, and the Ministerial Task team on Social Health Insurance.

Over the period 2000 to 2010 he worked as an advisor to the Council for Medical Schemes, which he was responsible for establishing, and in an advisory capacity to the social security policy processes (including the Department of Social Development, the National Treasury, and the Inter-departmental Task Team on Social Security) taking forward the recommendations of the Taylor Committee.

Research interests:

  • Health and social security policy
  • Health economics and finance
  • Social security finance
  • Public finance
  • Competition economics
  • Governance and accountability
Professor Anthoni van Nieuwkerk

Professor Anthoni van Nieuwkerk holds an MA in political science from the University of Johannesburg and a PhD in international relations from Wits University, Johannesburg. He has been research-active from the early 1990s and has pursued an academic career in teaching, training and policy analysis from 2000.

He is based at the Wits School of Governance (WSG), where he coordinates Security studies. In 2013 he received recognition by the National Research Foundation as a rated scholar and in recent years, held positions as Assistant Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management and WSG Academic Director. In 2015, the South African government appointed him to the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR) where he serves as a Steering Committee member. In 2018 he was appointed as a member of the Presidential Review Panel on Intelligence.

Van Nieuwkerk has developed comprehensive skills as an institutional architect. He publishes widely on African foreign and security policy, has participated in several scenarios development exercises, and has broad experience with advising African policymakers on foreign and national security policy processes and frameworks.

He is a visiting lecturer and external examiner in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent, and serves as editorial board member of the accredited journals African Security, Administratio Publica and European Journal of International Studies.

Email: Anthoni.VanNieuwkerk@wits.ac.za 

Merle Werbeloff

Werbeloff is a registered industrial psychologist working in applied statistics, data mining and data modelling. She has worked in a sessional capacity for WSG for over 15 years, teaching quantitative analytical methods, quantitative research methodology and computer literacy to some thousands of post graduate students. She has advised on numerous PhD and Masters theses at WSG, WBS, UP and Monash SA among other universities, and trained and consulted on the use of major statistical software. She has several years of running an independent statistics and methodology practice, and worked on projects involving analysis of national databases. Her special interests include crime statistics, human rights and adult numeracy. She is the statistical analyst of several joint papers.

In January 2016 she consolidated her academic activities as a quantitative analysis and methodology lecturer at WSG and began the pursuit of her own doctoral studies at Wits in the field of adult numeracy, judgment and decision making. This topic is in line with her passion to reduce and even reverse the almost universal fear of statistics and numbers that seems to haunt most students (and some academics), and to channel their energies more positively into quantitative research.

Email: Merle.Werbeloff@wits.ac.za 

Dr Kambidima 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 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 the Wits School of Governance. 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.

Research interests:

  • Development interventions
  • Public policy
  • Leadership
  • Governance
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Currently, Wotela is pursing three research strands:

Development interventions particularly institutionalisation and tuition of monitoring and evaluation as well as the link between development, public policy, leadership, governance, monitoring and evaluation.

Business and public administration students' research techniques, tuition and supervision particularly structured approaches to (i.) conceptualising "what" research and (ii.) deriving interpretive (theoretical) and conceptual "how" frameworks.

Zambian demography and population studies.

Email: Kambidima.Wotela@wits.ac.za 

Dr Horácio Zandamela

Zandamela, a senior lecturer, obtained his doctoral degree from the WSG, previously known as the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, in 2004. His MM Degree in Public and Development Management was awarded by the same School in 1999. He holds an Honours degree in Forest Engineering from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.

Zandamela has become familiar with a range of developmental issues including local economic development, local government, unions and civil society participation, gender, development training, electoral monitoring, urban water provisioning, micro-credit and small business development, rural development, natural disaster management and curriculum development. He has successfully supervised a large number of students for Master and PhD degrees at WSG, where he lectures in the field of social theory, research methodology and development.

Zandamela has been a full-time senior lecturer at WSG since January 2009 and a part-time lecturer at the Wits Business School. He served for almost eight years as a convenor of the PhD and Master Degree by Research and Dissertation programme at WSG and in that capacity also served on the faculty graduate studies committee. He has been member of the WSG postgraduate studies committee for many years. He is a visiting lecturer and external examiner at various academic institutions in South Africa.

Zandamela was born in Mozambique and is married with one son.

Email: Horacio.Zandamela@wits.ac.za 

Dr Jacqui Poltera

Dr Jacqui Poltera, a senior lecturer, holds a PhD in Philosophy focused on ethical theory from Macquarie University, Sydney. She was awarded a Masters and Honours from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University. On completing her PhD, she held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy at Western Sydney University.

Prior to her appointment at WSG, she worked as a senior consultant in Melbourne, Australia. Her consulting work focused on evaluating and planning public health and social services systems. She also has experience working in government, project managing and implementing large scale national policies and reform at the provincial level. During this period Poltera held affiliate positions with the University of Adelaide, School of Population Health and the University of Tasmania.

Poltera’s doctorate and associated research focused on theories of agency and identity. Specifically, the ways in which contingencies such as violence, trauma and/or oppression threaten agency. She has published her work in national and international peer-reviewed journals and lectured at universities in Australia and South Africa on topics such as business and professional ethics, public health, media ethics and the law, epistemology, critical thinking and logic.

 Research interests:

  • Professional ethics, public governance and accountability
  • Agency, identity and politics
  • Policy debates at the interface of ethics, justice and the law
  • Violence and oppression
  • Feminist approaches to governance
  • Non-racialism and epistemological ignorance

Email: Jacqui.Poltera@wits.ac.za

Dr Chelete Monyane

Dr Chelete Monyane is an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. He holds a PhD and was a National Research Foundation: Security and Justice Fellow at the Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town.

He has worked at the Impact Litigation Unit of Legal Aid South Africa, where he focused on impact litigation matters, justiciability of socio-economic rights and class actions. He also served at the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa, Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit. He has lectured at the UCT, University of North West (Mafikeng) and University of Johannesburg. He has also served at the International Criminal Court of Justice at the Office of the Prosecutor.

He has published widely on interdisciplinary issues ranging from political economy of criminal justice and criminal law, socio-economic rights, consolidation of democratic institutions and electoral reforms. He has worked in close partnership with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority from a human rights perspective, with the National Planning Commission on achieving sustained citizen safety and protection of human rights, and with the task team to reshape security governance and human rights in the Western Cape.

Some of his publications include Is Ukuthwala Another Form of ‘Forced Marriage’? Operation Rachel: A Case Study in Cross-border Police Cooperation, Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice in Southern Africa and Adjudicating Non-Justiciable Rights: Socio-Economic Rights and South African Constitutional Court.

Research interests 

  • International criminal law
  • Justiciability of socio-economic rights
  • Access to justice, rule of law
  • Crime and policing
  • Money laundering, white collar crime
  • Democratic consolidation, public accountability and oversight

Email: Chelete.Monyane@wits.ac.za 

Ephrem Gebre

Ephrem Tadesse Gebre is a Senior Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the Wits School of Governance. He has 17 years of experience in international development at local, national, continental and global levels, particularly in the fields of governance, democracy and civil society.

His last assignment prior to joining Wits was with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation as a Regional Governance Programme Manager for Southern Africa. In this position, he managed more than 12 multi-year, multi-million and multi-phase regional and continental governance programmes covering more than 20 African countries. Among others, he represented SDC in the National Steering Committee of Small Claims Courts in South Africa chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice between 2007 and 2015.

Prior to SDC, Ephrem worked with various organisations, which include OXFAM (Horn of Africa Capacity Building Programme), CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizens Participation, Forum for Federations (International Federalism Network), Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (Africa Peacebuilding Programme) and PANOS Institute.

His educational background is in the areas of political science, international development and international relations along with management and public administration. He is currently finalising his PhD focusing on an empirical analysis on institutional designs and state capacity. 

Associate Professor Erin McCandless

Erin McCandless, Associate Professor is a scholar and practitioner with over two decades of experience working on and in conflict affected settings, broadly on issues of peacebuilding, statebuiding, security, governance, development and resilience - and their intersections. 

She is also Research Director of ‘Forging Resilient Social Contracts’ and founder and also serves as a civil society Co-Chair of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) ‘New Deal’ Implementation Working Group of International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. 

McCandless consults widely across the United Nations and with other international organisations, conducting research and evaluation to inform policy and programme design for peace impact, facilitating strategic processes and conducting trainings. She is author of more than fifty publications, including three books and several influential United Nations reports, i.e. “Peace Dividends: Contributions of Administrative and Social Services on Peacebuilding,” and “Second Generation DDR Practices in Peace Operations.”

She is also co-founder and Books Editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.  More information can be found on her website: www.erinmccandless.net; and her project website: www.socialcontractsforpeace.org

McCandless recently relocated to South Africa from New York, where she taught at the New School’s Graduate Program of International Affairs for ten years.

 Research interests:

  • Conflict, peacebuilding, and conflict prevention – and development linkages
  • Political settlements and resilient social contracts
  • Inclusive transitions: processes and outcomes
  • Social movements and transformative social change
  • UN peace operations and international aid
  • Benchmarking and transition, evaluation for peace impact
  • Statebuilding, institutions and social cohesion

 

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