University of the Witwatersrand
Country: South Africa
Institution: University of the Witwatersrand
Area of Research: Informal social security and its contributions towards meeting the needs of the poor: The case of stokvels in Soweto, Johannesburg
I am currently a lecturer and Deputy Head of Department in the School of Human and Community Development, Department of Social Work, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. I am a holder of a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Master’s and a Doctoral degree in the broad area of Social Development, all awarded by the University of the Witwatersrand. I have over 9 years of experience in supervising and conducting qualitative social research involving a variety of public and population health issues affecting vulnerable groups such as women and children. I have some expertise in advanced qualitative methods for social research, knowledge, and experience of working with vulnerable populations or those who operate within the periphery of the economy. I teach and supervise research students at Honours, Master’s, and Doctoral levels. My research interests are in Health and Social Development, with a specific focus on Social Protection and Social Security (Formal and Informal), and Children and HIV and AIDS. Currently, I am concluding a research project that was investigating the feasibility of using informal social security networks, known as stokvels in South Africa, as platforms for hypertension screening for their women members in Soweto, South Africa. I have published articles and a book chapter in peer reviewed journals within South Africa and abroad. I have also worked with colleagues on different projects from different disciplines within my university, in Africa and abroad. I am a review for the Journal of Social Development in Africa and for the Journal of Human Behaviour in a Social Environment. I externally examine course work and research projects for four universities in South Africa. In terms of institutional affiliations, I was Doctoral fellow in the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow (MMUF) for Wits University. I have worked in the private and NGO sector together within the Higher Education sector in South Africa. I am an Alumnus at Bowdoin College, in the United States of America through the Bowdoin Office of Special Academic Programs. I am also affiliated with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), through the Mellon Mays Graduate Initiatives Program. I have participated and presented in both local, regional and international conferences. I am a member of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).