Dr Yul Derek Davids is a research director in the HSRC's Developmental, Capable and Ethical State research division and an advisory member at the Department of Applied Legal Studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He holds a PhD in political studies from the Stellenbosch University (2010) and an MA in research psychology from the University of the Western Cape. Davids specialises in democracy, governance and social cohesion and has also done work focussing on the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable people, including those living in poverty, and of their quality of life and wellbeing.
Before joining the HSRC, Davids worked at the Institute for Democracy from 1999 to 2005, where he managed the Public Opinion Service and the Afrobarometer survey project. Davids also did consultancy work for Management Systems International in Nigeria, the US Agency for International Development in Tanzania, as well as the International Foundation for Elections Systems in Uganda. Recently, Davids conducted most of his research in the area of poverty, well-being and quality of life by employing public opinion surveys. Currently, Davids manages the State of the National book publication.
Davids is an experienced researcher and has published 15 scientific articles in local and international peer-reviewed academic journals, 55 research reports, 25 abstracts, and 10 book chapters. He co-edited a book entitled South African Social Attitudes 2nd Report: Reflections on the Age of Hope (2010) which was published by HSRC Press in 2010. Davids also co-edited Paradise Lost: Race and Racism in post-apartheid South Africa that will be published by Brill Publishing in 2022. He has also presented more than 50 papers and posters at local and international conferences. Davids contributed the HSRC University of Johannesburg COVID-19 Democracy Survey project from 2020 to 2022 that culminated in the publication of a series of reports, newspaper articles and media appearances that informed the policy debate on COVID-19 and the impact of the national lockdown.