TEAM

We are a multidisciplinary team with backgrounds in public health, education, health promotion, sociology, biostatistics, demography and medicine.

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Dr Nirvana Pillay
Director

Nirvana Pillay is a sociologist and focuses her work on research, evaluation, capacity development, training, facilitation and materials development. She has experience working in projects that require interfacing closely with communities, government and civil society. Nirvana has worked at an implementation and evaluation level, and has experience with qualitative research practice through participatory-based methodologies. She is comfortable using systems thinking and an appreciative approach that draws on working with all relevant “systems in a room,” particularly important when working within multi-stakeholder forums. She was a contributing author to the book, Developing Capacity for Health: a Practical Guide, Heineman (2010).

CONTACT NIRVANA

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Dr Nancy Coulson
Director

Nancy Coulson focuses her work in the areas of capacity development, training, materials development, communication, organisational and institutional change, evaluation, qualitative and case study research. Her extensive experience covers HIV and AIDS (especially support to vulnerable children), primary health care, health promotion, environmental health and mine occupational health and safety. She holds a M.Ed in Education for Primary Health Care and is completing a PhD through the School of Public Health at the University of Witwatersrand. She lives and works in South Africa and has work experience in Southern and West Africa.

CONTACT NANCY

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Associate Team

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Dr Sibusiso Mkhwanazi
Biostatistician and Demographer

Dr Sibusiso Mkhwanazi has ten years of consultancy experience in health and social research.  She is a qualified Dentist and holds a PhD in Demography and Population Studies, a Masters in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and postgraduate qualifications in public policy and analysis, project management, marketing management, and employee health and wellness. Dr. Mkwananzi has vast experience in public health, statistical analysis, policy analysis and advocacy as well as youth development. She is a fellow of the South African Humanities Deans' Association (SAHUDA) and a previous recipient of the National Research Foundation Innovation and Scarce Skills Fellowship, Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Foundation and Wits University Postgraduate Merit Scholarships.

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Dr Lucy Connell
Board Member

Lucy has extensive experience in the clinical care of HIV-infected children and in the training of clinicians in PMTCT and childhood HIV and TB. More recently she has trained and, more recently clinical leadership and clinical governance. Lucy has a keen interest in planning, implementing and evaluating initiatives to strengthen health systems, with a focus on maternal and child health services. She continues her in involvement in the clinical management of HIV-infected children. Lucy trained as a medical doctor and has completed an MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has diplomas in Child Health, Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and HIV Management.

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Francesca Bazzini
Project Manager

Francesca Bazzini is a consultant Project and Operations Manager with skills in planning and financial system management, working with a wide variety of clients across the Southern and Eastern African Region. She has 9 years of experience in the public health and development sector, Francesca has worked on various projects including the Technical Support Facility for Southern and East Africa, as well as the SADC Capacity Development Programme. Her experience in project management includes budgeting, contracting, maintaining client / consultant relationships and project/fieldwork coordination.  Francesca’s experience in operations includes the roll-out and implementation of integrated management systems, and training and maintenance of project management databases. Other responsibilities include proposal management, workshop management and logistics for various clients.

Cheryl Goldstone is a medical doctor with extensive experience working in and managing primary health care services, developing district health services, health programme development, implementation monitoring and evaluation. She also worked in the private health sector as medical advisor & subsequently medical director of two multinational pharmaceutical companies. Her consulting experience includes situation analysis and resource mapping, programme review; capacity assessment and capacity development planning; programme monitoring, evaluation and support, programme management and impact assessment. Her particular interests are health systems strengthening and capacity development through coaching and mentoring. She is a contributing author to a book published by Heinemann entitled Developing Capacity for Health: A Practical Approach. Cheryl holds postgraduate qualifications in Child Health, Infectious Diseases (Tropical Medicine & Hygiene), Public Health & Health Services Management.

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Angela Ochse
Sociologist, Researcher

Angela Ochse is trained in sociology, with specialisation in gender studies. Her research interests include health, gender, development and environmental studies. She is skilled in qualitative research, fieldwork, report writing, and analysis. She has worked at the University of Pretoria as a lecturer and offered courses on development, globalisation and research methodology; as well as post-graduate gender and identity studies. Angela has experience working on reviews and evaluations related to HIV, TB, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, empowering Young Women and Girls, and employment. Her work and responsibilities include proposal writing, instrument design, qualitative data analysis using Atlas.ti™ software, report writing and presentation, project management of research teams and fieldwork teams.

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Jelika Gumbo
Researcher

Jelika Gumbo holds a master’s degree in health sociology. She is skilled in qualitative research and fieldwork. In her master’s research, she investigated how social factors
influence health-seeking behaviours of individuals living with food allergies. Jelika is currently an intern at Sarraounia Public Health Trust. She has worked as a tutor for history and health
sociology courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has worked as a field worker for the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under Wits University. Jelika is also interested in gender studies, children and youth-related studies and holds a degree in child and youth development.

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Dr Cheryl Goldstone
Medical Doctor