Who We Are

Our People

Dr Wilfred Lunga
Chief Research Specialist
Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)

Dr Wilfred Lunga is a senior research specialist with the HSRC's Developmental, Capable and Ethical State research division. He holds a PhD in development and management with disaster risk reduction, a Master of Science in development studies, a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Education in science and mathematics education, a diploma in development and disaster management, and a licentiate degree in geography. His research interests include disaster risk, vulnerability reduction, climate change, indigenous knowledge, community operational research, climate change, resilience strengthening including social science, environmental science, cooperative development, as well as rural livelihood and basic social service provision and access, socioeconomic impact assessments, and monitoring and evaluation.

Lunga has more than twenty years? experience in disaster risk management, rural development programming, research, and consulting work in several African countries, including Malawi, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Cuba, Haiti, Netherlands, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, with several funding agencies like Intermon Oxfam, Sida, GIZ, Practical Action, UNDP, World Vision, Horn relief, UNFPA, DFID, IOM and USAID among others. This experience spans across various areas including monitoring and evaluation; food security; institutional development for local authorities; youth and gender inclusion; building community resilience to external shocks; and community-driven development.

He is currently the principal investigator for a study on strengthening disaster risk resilience through enhanced coordination mechanisms at local level in flood hazard-prone areas, and co-principal investigator for the national assessment on the linkages between migration, desertification, land degradation and drought in South Africa. Lunga was previously involved in several studies, including the development of urban governance indicators for the South African Cities Network and a study on ageing (SAGE) funded by the World Health Organization. He was part of the HSRC team that reviewed the South African National Youth Policy 2020-2030 and worked on the development of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

Lunga has published more than 15 scientific articles in local and international peer-reviewed academic journals, policy briefs and 4 book chapters. He is a peer reviewer for several international journals, including the Jamba journal of disaster risk studies, and the International Journal of Disaster Risk Science.