We are a multi-disciplinary team of research and support staff, supplemented by a pool of contract research assistants and postgrad students, and three Honorary Professors. Staff members have qualifications in public health, psychology, sociology, information sciences, law, public policy and development, political science, and social work. Our experience covers statistical analysis of large administrative datasets and household survey data; social and legal research; ECD policy and programming; local and indigenous knowledge; and participatory methodologies for doing research with vulnerable children. We are committed to building a cohort of researchers skilled in the area of child-centred and policy-oriented research, and staff supervise post-graduate students from a range of disciplines.


Associate Professor Wiedaad Slemming

Associate Professor Wiedaad Slemming
Expertise: Maternal and child health and nutrition, early childhood development (ECD), child disability, and health systems strengthening


Senior researchers

Katharine Hall

Katharine Hall
Social policy, child poverty and inequality, social grants, households and mobility, indicators

 +27 21 650 1441

Lucy Jamieson
Child rights, participatory democracy, governance, law reform and policy development, child protection
 +27 21 650 1466

Paula Proudlock

Paula Proudlock
Expertise: Child rights, legislative review, law reform, democracy and governance, socio-economic rights for children
 +27 21 650 1442

Marsha Orgill

Marsha Orgill
Expertise: Health policy research, health systems research, management and leadership in health systems, implementation research


Mbonisi Nyathi

Mbonisi Nyathi
Expertise: Administrative law and constitutional law

 +27 21 650 7391

Malibongwe Gwele

Malibongwe Gwele
Expertise: Early childhood development, ECD policy and programming, local and indigenous knowledge, perspectives and practices in the early years, monitoring and evaluation research
 +27 21 650 1181


Communications Specialist

Leanne Jansen-Thomas

Leanne Jansen-Thomas
Expertise: Media relations, social media management, materials development, knowledge translation

 +27 21 650 2042

Communications and Education Specialist

Lori Lake Expertise: Knowledge translation, materials development, teaching and children’s rights

 +27 21 650 1465


Senior Administrator

Zelda Warrin


Zerina Matthews
 +27 21 650 1468


IT Liaison Officer

Kevin Ernstzen
+27 21 650 3890

Honorary staff

Hnonorary Professor

Ria Reis 
Medical University of Leiden and University of Amsterdam
Expertise: Children and violence, child protection, child abuse, gender policy, gender-based violence, evidence-based programming

Honorary Associate Professor

Tara Collins
Associate Professor, School of Child and Youth Care, Faculty of Community Services, Toronto Metropolitan University
Expertise: Child rights, human rights, child and youth participation, monitoring

Honorary Professor

Lorraine van Blerk

Lorraine van Blerk
Professor of Human Geography, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee

Expertise: Social justice, inequalities and poverty reduction, refugee livelihoods, co-produced research and participatory methodologies, children, youth and families

Research Assistants 

Sinozuko Juta
Expertise: Constitutional law and social justice

Neo Segoneco
Research Interests: Food security, child malnutrition, early childhood development (ECD)

Ntsakisi Ntsekhe
Research interests: Gender equality, grant receipt and its relationship with empowerment, mental health and feminist economics

Delreeze Moshopane
Research interests: Decoloniality, race and representation, citizen participation and African Renaissance

Junior Research Fellows

Dr Rizwana Mallick
Research interests: Rizwana is a decolonial researcher with a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology. Her research explores issues relating to intersections, early childhood, social justice, inclusion, and violence. 

Our students

Masters students 

Sashen Naidoo
Study title: An exploratory study on the therapeutic alliance between  student support officers and students presenting with substance abuse challenges at a higher education institution in Cape Town

Dr Mumta Hargoven
Title of thesis:
 The influence of the COVID-19 crisis context on policy formulation: An illustrative case of alcohol regulation in South Africa (2020-2021)
Degree: Master in Public Health, health systems track (MPH)

Grace Kiarie
Title of thesis:
 Workplace based learning in district health leadership and management strengthening: A qualitative evidence synthesis.
Degree: Master in Public Health, health systems track (MPH)

International research assistants 

Sachi Shukul (Toronto Metropolitan University)
Research interests:
 Youth participation, children's rights, child rights advocacy, equity in education systems, child welfare, early childhood development, child protection, marginalised youth in education systems, intergenerational partnerships around children's rights. 

Sheldon Caruana (Toronto Metropolitan University)
The use of Afrocentric land and community-based agricultural practices to prevent and treat addiction among Black youth. Other research interests: anti-Black racism, community-based agriculture, youth participation and governance models, children's rights, addiction and child welfare.