ACE TEAM

We are a multi-disciplinary team and in much of our work we collaborate with other institutions; this collaboration helps us to continuously learn and improve our work. Below are the team members ACE currently employs.

Charity Chisoro

Portfolio(s):
Evidence communities

MA, University of Johannesburg

Charity is a programme officer at the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) responsible for coordinating the enhancing evidence capacities workstream. Charity believes that evidence-use is crucial in decision-making because it aids the implementation of relevant policies. Having grown up in Zimbabwe, Charity started her working life in a very different field: she worked as a temporary teacher and a banker. But through her passion for making a difference in society, Charity chose to further her studies in South Africa. She has since completed her MA in social impact assessment and plans to complete her PhD.

Connect with Charity on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Laurenz Langer

Portfolio(s):
Art and science of using evidence, Evidence capacities, Evidence communities, Evidence synthesis

PhD, University College London

Laurenz is a senior researcher and the portfolio lead for ACE’s evidence synthesis portfolio. Laurenz’s work at ACE involves supporting national government decision-makers to integrate evidence from research syntheses (e.g. evidence maps, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses) in the formulation and design of public policies and programmes. His experience of running a failed sport-for-development programme in the Eastern Cape motivates his passion for using evidence to understand and design public policies that achieve their objectives and improve lives. He strives to support public sector organisations in building effective and sustainable systems for evidence management and use. This includes the institutionalisation of policy-relevant evidence maps, responsive evidence services, and co-production approaches. In his role at ACE, Laurenz is building a growing a team of well-respected evidence synthesis experts adapting methods and technologies for synthesis to the contexts of African decision-makers. Laurenz is the lead author of the Science of Using Science report, a systematic review of what works to enhance evidence use. He has conducted over 50 evidence syntheses including reviews published by the Campbell Collaboration and the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence and holds a PhD from the University College London on evidence-informed development.  

Connect with Laurenz via email llanger[at]uj.ac.za.

Precious Motha

Portfolio(s):
Evidence communities

PDM, Wits Business School

Precious is the programme officer of the Africa Evidence Network (AEN) responsible for network relationsWith her extensive experience in relationship management, Precious is known as the face of the Network and is oftentimes the first point of contact for members. Precious has more than 10 years of experience in communications and networks, having worked at organisations such as the Human Sciences Research Council and the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She holds a BA in psychology and a BA Hons in industrial sociology, both from the University of Johannesburg, as well as a postgraduate diploma in management from Wits Business School. She also holds a certificate in digital marketing from the University of Cape Town and science communication from the University of Stellenbosch. 

Elton Mpinyuri

Portfolio(s):
ACE operations

MCom finance, University of Johannesburg

My bio is coming soon. 

Kekeletso Makau

Portfolio(s):
ACE operations

BA, North-West University

Kekeletso works as the communications and monitoring, evaluation and learning officer at ACE. In this role, she communicates ideas and amplifies messages that matter to inform, influence, and build relationships through her management of ACE’ digital platforms. She also digs deeper in the difference ACE is making in the EIDM ecosystem by capturing stories of change. A former teacher, Kekeletso’s aim is to contribute to the ACE mission, one key message at a time.

Connect with Kekelesto on LinkedIn.

 Hazel Zaranyika

Portfolio(s):
Evidence capacities

MA, University of Johannesburg

Hazel works as part of the evidence capacities team to deliver ACE’s short learning programme on the practices of evidence-informed decision-making. Hazel is no stranger to the ACE team, having previously served as the very first Africa Evidence Network coordinator. She holds an MA in development studies from the University of Johannesburg. Hazel has experience in networks and relationship management. Her past roles include those of researcher at UJ’s Centre for Anthropological Research and Alumni Officer for the Australia Awards-Africa program. She is passionate about fostering and maintaining relationships with diverse stakeholders. In her view, collaborations, linkages and engagement are imperative in the production and use of evidence. Hazel is passionate about supporting education programs that bring about positive change. She also enjoys reading on literature, religion, and autobiographies.

Connect with Hazel on LinkedIn.

Promise
Nduku

Portfolio(s):
Art and science of using evidence, Evidence capacities, Evidence synthesis

MSc, University of Johannesburg

Promise is a researcher at ACE with a MA in development economics from the University of Johannesburg. His skills include econometric modellingstatistical analysis, and team management. At ACE, Promise works with and coordinates a team of junior reviewers on multiple evidence syntheses. Promise is an ardent supporter of embracing sustainable development, inclusive growth in particular, as an effective tool for poverty and inequality reduction. Not only is Promise passionate about education and development, but he is also a budding urban agriculturist with a passion project of growing a vegetable patch at his Johannesburg home.  

Connect with Promise on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Andile Madonsela 

Portfolio(s):
Evidence synthesis

BA Hon, University of Johannesburg

Andile holds a BA honors degree in development studies from the University of Johannesburg. Her honors research focused on how a feminist government would affect the lives of women in South Africa. Andile works as a researcher with the evidence synthesis team at ACE.  She has done a lot of community work and believes that evidence-informed decisions can bring about effective change in the lives of people.

Connect with Andile on LinkedIn.

Lorna Singh

Portfolio(s):
ACE operations

BA, University of Johannesburg

My bio is coming soon. 

Ruth Stewart

Portfolio(s):
Art and science of using evidence, Evidence capacities, Evidence communities, Evidence synthesis, ACE operations

PhD, University of London

Ruth is the director of the Africa Centre for Evidence as well as the chairperson of the Africa Evidence Network. Having grown up in Malawi, Ruth completed her undergraduate degree at Cambridge University and her PhD at the University of LondonRuth has worked for over twenty years on the production and use of synthesized evidence to inform decision-making, including systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments, and evidence maps. She is a member of the South African Academy of Science and holds a B1 rating from South Africa’s National Research Foundation. She is committed to making a difference through her work by ensuring that research evidence is useful and used, which she does by building relationships and communities around this common goal. She has played an instrumental role in establishing the field of evidence-informed development, and in establishing the concept of evidence networks. Throughout her career, Ruth has worked across academia and government with the goal to engage stakeholders in her research using a wide range of approaches. When not directing ACE or chairing the AEN, Ruth can be found either walking the Camino de Santiago or running after four children, two cats, and two dogs at her Johannesburg home.  

Connect with Ruth on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Siziwe Ngcwabe

Portfolio(s):
Evidence communities

MPM, Regenesis Business School

Siziwe started her professional life as a qualified social worker in 1997 and completed her MA in public management at Regenesys Business School in 2014. Over her 21-year career with various non-governmental organisations, commercial companies, international donors, and government departments, Siziwe has developed skills in community development facilitation, operations management, capacity-building, and psycho-social support. At ACE, Siziwe works as the operations manager for the Africa Evidence Network, leading the evidence communities portfolio. Siziwe has a passion for running, having qualified and completed the Comrades marathon three times.

Connect with Siziwe on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Natalie Tannous

Portfolio(s):
ACE Operations

MA, University of Johannesburg

Trained as a journalist, Natalie is renowned for asking too many questions. Happily, that equips her well in her role as the strategic marketing and communications manager at ACE. Natalie services all of ACE’s portfolios by sharing how her colleagues’ work showcases ACE’s missions of reducing poverty and inequality in Africa through the use of evidence. She is also passionate about employee wellbeing, having been allowed to establish, grow, and lead ACE’s wellbeing programme since 2018.  

 

Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.

Carina van Rooyen

Portfolio(s):
Art and science of using evidence, Evidence capacities, Evidence communities, Evidence synthesis

PhD, University of London

At ACE Carina is the portfolio lead for evidence capacities. In her role at ACE, Carina coordinates all of ACE’s internal and external professional and capacity developmentOne part of this work is ACE postgraduate supervision and programmesincluding the postgraduate short learning programme in evidence-informed decision-making. Carina also acts – alongside Ruth – as the co-director of the South African centre for the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, namely CEE Johannesburg In addition to this, Carina is famous for her amazing fire-making skills demonstrated on various work retreats. 

Connect with Carina on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Zafeer Ravat

Portfolio(s):
Art and science of using evidence, Evidence synthesis

MCom, University of Johannesburg  

Zafeer Ravat is a research consultant at ACE. He holds a Master of Commerce degree in development economics from the University of Johannesburg. His skills include data management, statistical analysis, project management, public speaking, and stakeholder engagement. His work at ACE is primarily focused on how technological developments can simplify evidence synthesis as well as facilitate evidence-informed decision-making processes. Zafeer believes in the importance of transparent, clear, and effective research with interests in social justice, inequality, and pro-poor economic development. Often referred to as a ‘bargain hunter’, he prides himself in procuring goods at the lowest possible price.  

Connect with Zafeer on LinkedIn.

Metoh Azunui  

Portfolio(s):
Evidence communities, Evidence synthesis

MA, University of Johannesburg

Metoh is a research assistant at the Africa Centre for Evidence. He is a Cameroonian by birth. He began his working life as a chemistry teacher after graduating with a BSc in chemistry from Buea University in Cameroon. He has worked in the NGO sector for over 15 years as a researcher and Helpline supervisor. He holds an MA (Cum laude) in development studies from the University of Johannesburg and is currently writing his thesis for a PhD in development studies with ACE. His work at ACE and interests include climate change, environmental governance, and how to employ the use of research evidence in policy decision-making.

Connect with Metoh on LinkedIn 

Tanya Mdlalose

Portfolio(s):
Evidence synthesis

Tanya is a firm believer in being the change you want to see in the world. This was part of her motivation in studying for a BA degree in humanities and an honours degree in anthropology. Using the skills gained through her studies, Tanya hopes to initiate that change by working at places such as ACE. Being part of the ACE team helps Tanya live as an agent of social change.

Connect with Tanya on LinkedIn

Aziza Modise

Portfolio(s):
Art and Science of evidence use, Evidence capacities

BA, University of Johannesburg

Aziza is currently working for the Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE) as a research assistant. Her current role is that of Capacities support in where she is immersed in the design and implementation of the ACE short learning programme on the principles, processes, and practices of evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM). She is also the ACE storyteller who has just completed a blog series on the history of ACE, and was previously involved in the AEN stories of change research. Her experience includes programme design and implementation, capacity-development and skills transfers, implementing operational objectives and activities, human resources, risk assessments, project evaluation, and stakeholder management. Some projects on which she played a significant role include the design and implementation of the Citizen Based Monitoring (CBM) in the presidency of South Africa, the establishment of PuoMandla, a web-based platform facilitating citizen feedback to government and development organisations alike, and the management of the “Follow the Law” project linking with NetDem in the Netherlands and CEWIT in Uganda (CBM) pilot project for the Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (the DPME) at the Presidency. Aziza is in the process of completing a Masters’ degree in Anthropology, selected because her first love is people. This love has allowed her to investigate people and write their stories, a passion that ACE not only gives space to but uses to support its growth as an organisation.   

Sithabile Ndlovu

Portfolio(s):
ACE operations

Diploma in human resources, Damelin College

Sithabile Ndlovu joined ACE as an intern on the operations team in 2019.  She holds a diploma in human resource management from Damelin College and works with the team in coordinating asset registers, scheduling meetings, and filing. 

Shafiequah Hutton

Portfolio(s):
ACE operations

BA, University of Johannesburg

With a strong interest in development and anthropology, Shafiequah is working towards studying in this field further. Shafiequah is starting out in her career in operations with a special interest in academic and startup operations. Working as the ACE centre administrator, Shafiequah has an active interest in employee wellbeing and how to create workspaces that support the greatest human potential.  

Likeledi Morailane

Portfolio(s):
ACE operations

Microsoft Office Specialist (Excel)

Likeledi Morailane is the senior manager of monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and a project manager at the Africa Centre for Evidence. Qualified as a Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel, Likeledi will often describe herself as a maths person.  Likeledi supporteis a seasoned MEL practitioner, havingd HPCA and FHI360 in designing and implementing their MEL systems.  Likeledi describes her personal goal at ACE as being to make MEL ‘everybody’s business’. She is passionate about getting teams to love MEL and helping them enjoy using Excel in measuring the difference they make with their work. Likeledi is a proud single mother of two amazing women and the fabulous grandmother to a young king.

Beryl Leach

Portfolio(s):
Art and science of using evidence, Evidence synthesis

MSc, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Beryl is a UJ Global Excellence and Stature (GES) Professor of Practice and an ACE senior advisor.  As a GES professor, she is providing research and innovative leadership that supports UJ’s Fourth Industrial Revolution agenda.  As an ACE senior advisor, she contributes to the delivery of ACE’s work, with a focus on advancing research and innovative practices to improve evidence-informed decision-making. She contributes 30 years of experience regionally and globally to support expanding ACE’s reach and impact and institutional development.  She has provided advice to the Vaccines for Africa initiative at UCT in the development of a new regional programme. She is the PI on an ACE research project to develop a gender and equity index and other tools to improve gender- and equity-responsiveness in evidence appraisal and use in decision-making.  She is currently the global technical lead for monitoring, learning and adaptation and gender and equity in the FCDO-funded programme, Strengthening the use of Evidence for Development Impact in Ghana, Pakistan and Uganda. She has a MSc in international public health (distinction) from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Connect with me via Twitter or LinkedIn.