Anglophone Africa Team Profile

The Regional Centre for Learning on Eavaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) is one of the six regional centres that form part of the CLEAR Global Initiative. It is situated at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) School of Governance in Johannesburg South Africa.


lDr. Laila Smith, Director of CLEAR-AA,

Dr. Laila Smith has been working for 20 years in the development arena both in Canada, South Africa and within Southern Africa.  With a PhD in urban geography, Laila has focused her professional interests on addressing inequality in service delivery in the face of rapid urbanization.  She has spent over a decade in the South African water sector wearing a variety of hats ranging from: research in public private partnerships; regulating water services for the City of Johannesburg; developing and implementing bottom-up methodologies for citizen engagement in the regulation of municipal water and sanitation services;  and as Head of Policy for the Mvula Trust, steering civil society policy engagement in strengthening local government capacity to deliver services.  Over the last four years, Laila has been managing the Australian government's investments in water and sanitation in Southern Africa.


sLaurie Less, Executive Manager,

Ms. Laurie Less is currently employed as the Executive Manager: CLEAR AA a project of the Wits School of Governance. She was previously employed in various government agencies the most recent one being the Community Schemes Ombud Services (CSOS), within the Department of Human Settlements, as the Executive: Corporate Services. She has over 12 years’ experience as an Executive and has held strategic leadership roles over the past 16 years in various highly complex organizations. She brings with her a wealth of experience having worked in both the private and public spaces. In the development sector she worked as a senior programme manager for both Swedish SIDA and the Open Society Foundation of SA .Her skills are in end-to-end operations services such as Strategy making, HR, ICT, Communications and Marketing as well as Stakeholder Relations. She regards herself as a transformistic leader and enjoys driving transformation and change processes in an organization. Her highest educational qualification is a Masters in Public Administration (UWC).  

Caitlin Blaser Caitlin Blaser, Senior Project Manager - Twende Mbele,

Caitlin Blaser has a decade of experience in monitoring and evaluation, research, and organizational development. She's excited about understanding what drives change in complex social systems, and figuring out how to measure the impacts of policy change. Her background is in global civil society, and she's particularly interested in rural development. She joined CLEAR-AA in July, 2015, and hopes to finish a PhD soon, looking at how local government is responding to demographic change.


Kieron Crawley Kieron Crawley, CLEAR-AA Associate and M&E Expert,

Kieron is a Masters Graduate from the WITs School of Public and Development Management. He has helped to establish the CLEAR Africa centre, lecturing to a range of students and government staff in the areas of Development Theory, Monitoring and Evaluation, Results based Management and Project Planning. Kieron’s background as a Development Country Programme Director within the INGO sector has provided him with experience in developing and managing multi-sectoral poverty alleviation programmes in East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia. His country experience spans Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the Gambia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Kieron’s work with CLEAR has included the facilitating of two global meetings on behalf of the World Bank CLEAR Global Secretariat in Paris and Accra, CLEAR AA course curriculum development, action research on Citizen Based Monitoring Systems as well as leading an M&E Readiness Diagnostic in Fragile and Conflict Affected States. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand.


cCandice Morkel, Senior Technical M&E Specialist,

Candice is an accomplished Monitoring, Evaluation and public policy specialist with over 18 years’ research and M&E experience in the public and non-profit sectors in South Africa. She spent more than 10 years in the public sector in South Africa as a senior M&E Specialist, focusing on building systems and capacity for evidence-based policy making. She has been involved in numerous policy reviews and programme evaluations, including more recently the Ministerial Review of the White Paper on Social Welfare (1997). She served as a Board Member and Chair of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) from 2008-2010. She has also written a case study on the development of M&E in the Eastern Cape Provincial Administration published in 2015 by Stellenbosch University (South Africa) as part of a book entitled: Evaluation Management in South Africa. Ms Morkel has an Mphil in Confilct and Conflict Management (cum laude) from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and is currently reading for her PhD in Public Management and Leadership. Her research interests are focused around building a developmental state, state capacity, civil society and the co-production of public goods. She joined CLEAR-AA in August 2016 as a Senior Technical M&E Specialist, focusing on strengthening evaluation practice in Anglophone Africa.


Cara Waller Cara Waller, Senior Project Manager,

Since leaving the Australian Outback and her life evaluating Aboriginal health programs, Cara has been working in the evaluation space in South Africa for three years. With a Masters in International Health and Evaluation, she has been working in evaluation for over ten years, primarily in health promotion and youth development. Cara joins CLEAR-AA as the person responsible for capturing CLEAR-AA's learning and communicating new knowledge through our vibrant African Networks. She also works on evaluations from time to time.


sBasia Dennis Bless, Senior M&E Technical Specialist,

Basia Dennis Bless has joined CLEAR AA as a Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Specialist and will be driving the Innovations in African Evaluation business line. He completed his junior degree in Development Studies at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and holds Msc in Development Planning from Wits. He also holds PGD and MPhil in Monitoring and Evaluation from Stellenbosch where he has also been admitted for PhD. He has worked for a number of organizations including NUL and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA).


sDr. Lewis Ndhlovu, Senior M&E Technical Specialist,

Dr. Ndhlovu holds a Ph.D. degree in medical demography obtained from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  As an M&E practitioner, he has conducted several evaluation studies in many sub-Saharan African countries.



sDr. Takunda Chirau, M&E Technical Specialist,

Dr. Chirau joined CLEAR-AA as Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Specialist; he holds a Ph.D. degree in Sociology (Rhodes University) and other degrees obtained from Rhodes University, University of Fort Hare and Stellenbosch University. As a Monitoring and Evaluation practitioner, he has conducted numerous evaluation studies in South Africa particularly in non-governmental organizations.


Khotso TsotsotsoKhotso Tsotsotso, M&E Officer,

Khotso is currently an M&E Officer at the Centre for Learning Evaluation And Results - Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) and African Micro-Economic Research Unit (AMERU). Prior, Khotso has been a Junior Researcher for South African Institute of International Affairs and Wits PADM in 2013. His primary interest is in Basic Education and he was part of a team that evaluated the impact of Platinum mines on school outcomes. Khotso also worked for various corporate companies/organizations such as Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, Barloworld Equipment, Massmart Holdings and Afrisam as a Data Analyst and Consultant. Khotso has experience in Impact Evaluation, Negotiation, Data collection, Data Cleaning and Analysis.


Sheila MolapoSheila Molapo, Programme Administrative Officer,

Sheila Molapo has been an employee of Wits University since April 2004. She has worked at fees and Cashiers office, Central Finance (Account receivable) and Wits Business School as a Finance Officer. She joined the CLEAR-AA team in January 2013, and her duties include office administration, finance support and travel arrangements. Her duty is to contribute to a professional business environment by ensuring and maintaining the smooth running of administrative processes within CLEAR-AA. She studied at Wits Technikon (now UJ) and obtained her National Diploma in Cost and Management Accounting in 2000 and also obtained New Managers Programme Certificate from Wits Business School in 2010.


sDr. Precious Tirivanhu, Post Doctoral Research Fellow,

Dr Tirivanhu holds a PhD in Rural Development and has close to twenty years of experience in rural development practice.  He has engaged in number of regional and local Community Driven Development and agricultural development programs in southern Africa with funding from WK Kellogg Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and USAID. His current research interests are in; systemic evaluations, community driven development, climate change and resilience, transformative learning, institutional development, African knowledge systems and application of systems thinking to rural livelihood programs. 


Izethu MandlelizeEzethu Mandlelize, Junior Researcher,

Ezethu Mandlelize is a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at CLEAR-AA. She is also an external examiner for the University of South Africa (UNISA). She is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) holding a BA degree in Geography, BA honours in Development Studies and currently completing a Master’s degree in Development Studies. She has been involved in numerous community projects, tutoring, writing consultancy and has provided research support to various NGO’s in Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the National Research Foundation (NRF). Her past research endeavours have mainly been centred upon urban waste reclamation, particularly the work and lives of waste reclaimers in South Africa. She is currently conducting an assessment of the Monitoring and Evaluation system of the Gauteng department of human settlements. She speaks all 11 official languages of South Africa.


aLinda Khumalo, Junior Researcher,

Linda Khumalo is a Junior Researcher at CLEAR-AA in the Legislative Oversight Business Line. She has previous experience in Performance Improvement consulting in the public sector. She also has experience in Social Research & Development Work. She has been involved in a number of research projects inclusive of Monitoring and Evaluation work with key focus being on Qualitative Methods. She obtained a Master’s degree in Industrial Sociology and Labour Studies at University of Pretoria. She is passionate about being involved in research work that produces useful evidence to inform community development initiatives.


sThabang Motsoeneng, Junior Researcher,

Thabang Motsoeneng is a Junior Researcher at CLEAR-AA working in the Strengthening National and Subnational Evaluation Systems. Prior to this he was working for the Foundation for Human Rights as a Junior Project Officer, also worked for the Health and Welfare SETA as a Monitoring and Evaluation Provider Accreditation/ Learner Achievement intern, Administrative Research Assistant at UJ. He is a graduate of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) holding a BA Humanities and a BA Honours degree in Public Management and Governance majoring in Public Policy. He has been involved in monitoring and evaluation projects with the HWSETA, community projects on human rights with the FHR and a volunteer at the Tomorrow Trust. His past research interests have been on evidence informed decision making in the South African public sector.