Harsha Dayal

PhD candidate in Development Studies (University of Johannesburg); Master of Public Health (Wits); BSc Occupational Therapy (Wits): Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation (Cum Laude, Stellenbosch University); Diploma in Disability and Developmental Studies (University of London, UK)

Ms Dayal works as the director of research and knowledge management at the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation within the Presidency of South Africa since 2012. She is currently registered for a PhD in Development Studies, has a Master’s degree in Public Health (2009) and is a qualified Occupational Therapist serving the public health sector from 1993 to 2007. Research experience in democracy and governance; poverty; public health; gender and disability studies gained during her employment at the Human Sciences Research Council from 2007 to 2014 has grounded her in the Social Sciences, where she started a series of knowledge intermediary initiatives to bridge researchers and policy makers.   In 2012, she was seconded to the Presidency to manage the high level Twenty Year Review for DPME. She introduced evidence synthesis methodology in the public sector and has further developed processes, systems and knowledge infrastructure to build public sector capacity. Using a coproduction model to collaborate with the national research system, she has built Evidence Maps in 5 national policy priority areas and is developing a responsive knowledge-brokering service to meet the demand for quality evidence by decision makers. She serves on several advisory and reference groups currently: SDG Knowledge Hub (UP); Africa Center for Evidence (UJ); Water Research Commission – SDG 6; COVID-END (McMaster University, Canada), and previously served on the UN Evaluation group looking at Gender mainstreaming. She strives towards bringing together the two worlds of research and policy in transforming society and pursuing developmental objectives.

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