Mr Ben Roberts is the Acting Research Director within the Develomental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) division at the HSRC. He has a BSc in town and regional planning (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand and an MSc in urban and regional planning (development) (cum laude) from the University of Natal.
Before joining the HSRC, he was research fellow in the Population and Poverty Studies Programme at the School of Development Studies at the University of Natal.
His areas of research interest include the analysis of poverty and inequality dynamics, sustainable livelihood development, poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs), and monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He has extensive experience in the micro-econometric analysis of household surveys, with a particular emphasis on the measurement of poverty. He was one of the researchers involved with South Africa?s first large-scale panel study, the KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study (KIDS, 1998), as well as Department of Land Affairs' Quality of Life surveys. In addition, he has assisted various Southern African states in respect of PRSPs and MDG processes.
He worked with the UNDP and Government of Lesotho to help develop mechanisms to monitor poverty and evaluate the impact of poverty reduction measures. He also helped prepare that country's first Millennium Development Goals Report and recently completed a review of Lesotho's PRSP process for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
More recently, he has conducted poverty and inequality analysis for Namibia?s MDGR, run training on national poverty line specification in Zimbabwe, and participated in a scoping exercise to help inform the design of DFID's envisaged regional hunger and vulnerability programme for Southern Africa.