Who We Are

Our People

Ms Shirin Motala
Director:Impact & Research Develop

Ms Shirin Motala is a Chief Research Manager in the Inclusive Economic Development Division (IED) at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and assumed her employment at the HSRC in 2008. She serves as Acting Director for Impact and Research Development and as Head of the IED Durban Office. Shirin?s research interest and experience focusses on employment creation, sustainable livelihoods and inclusive development. Her interest is in how multiple areas of deprivation entrench poverty, marginalisation and inequality. Her specific niche research expertise is the role and contribution of transformative social protection and active labour market programme which support the transition from school to work and contribute to strengthening sustainable livelihood outcomes for those at the margins of society.

Her research expertise includes evaluation of development programmes, design of research studies, development of research instruments, facilitating Theories of Change and Logical Framework development, undertaking large scale fieldwork studies, fieldwork management, analysis of qualitative and quantitative data and report writing. Ms Motala holds undergraduate B. Social Science Honours degree from the University College Dublin, Ireland and a Masters? of Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN - previously University of Natal). She holds an Advanced Diploma in Adult Education also from UKZN and a Certificate in Journalism from the City University, London, UK.

Her work experience has included an internship with the late Professor Fatima Meer at the Institute for Black Research, University of Natal. She thereafter worked in community development in the townships of Phoenix and Inanda including as Director of the Phoenix Child and Family Welfare Society. Her work with the Regional Consultative Forum on Rural Development provided her an opportunity to work in the land and rural development sector. Before joining the HSRC she had served as Provincial Coordinator for the European Union funded Civil Society Advocacy Programme working with three Chapter 9 institutions namely the SA Human Rights Commission, the Public Protector and the Commission for Gender Equality.

As Principal or co Principal investigator Shirin has conducted a large number of national and local research studies on behalf of national, provincial and local spheres of government, key national institutions and international development and donor agencies including the Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Social Development, Department of Tourism, Department of Transport, KwaZulu-Natal, Statistics South Africa, City of Joburg, Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, the Commission for Gender Equality, the Department of Justice, International Labour Organisation and Save the Children, South Africa among others. Shirin led the HSRC Team in writing the close-out report on the Millennium Development Goals Report for South Africa in 2015, was an expert on the ILO team which undertook the diagnostic and designed Phase 4 of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for South Africa in 2018/19.

Ms Motala has published a several peer journal articles, book chapters, peer reviewed monographs, whilst contributing to writing various research reports and policy briefs. Shirin served as Guest Editor for the Agenda issue 86: Gender, Food and Nutrition Security in the context of the global economic crisis and is currently co-editor and author of a soon to be published Social Security Review 2020 on behalf of Department of Social Development. She authored a SEED Working Paper on the Informal Economy for the for the ILO and co-authored a chapter on ?Welfare? in First Call for Children, as part of IDASA, Children?s Budget Project. Shirin's interest in social justice has involved being co-founder of the Childrens? Rights Centre (CRC) and the Alliance for Children?s Entitlement to Social Security (ACESS) and serves as the Chair of the Association for Rural Advancement AFRA, a rural and land rights advocacy institution with a particular focus on marginalised farm workers, farm dwellers and disenfranchised rural households.