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The V-Dem Regional Center for Southern Africa was founded in January 2018. It aims to develop research on the causes and consequences of democratisation and multi-party politics in Southern Africa, which includes the following countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and South Africa. The Centre will be funded locally with some support by V-Dem Institute based at the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

The Centre aims to organise several activities, namely yearly academic conferences, workshops on research methodology and the use of statistical applications to determine policy/programme/project impact, and policy oriented workshops. We invite scholars, policy-makers, policy implementers, journalists, the general public and other actors in governance to contact us.

Research

The V-Dem Regional Centre for Southern Africa will conduct research on the causes and consequences of democracy, democratisation and governance in the region, using the Varieties of Democracy dataset, and combining it with historical research and other datasets on democracy and governance. For the next five years, the centre will pursue the following research projects:

  • A comparative study of patterns of governance, local development, democratic and government quality in Southern African countries;
  • Explore the nature and causes of Southern African democratisation, party politics and factionalism, and regime changes within a cross-regional analysis;
  • Conduct opinion polls, PVTs and participate in election monitoring locally and in the region;
  • Explore the long-run consequences of democratic institutions for human welfare, economic development, and social and political trust in Southern Africa;
  • Conduct research and training on environmental politics and climate justice in Southern Africa;
  • Conduct research and training on social accountability of the use of public resources, and;
  • Conduct research and training on measuring the impact public and social policies, programmes and projects.

Team

Njekwa Mate is Head of the Center. He is a lecturer of Public Administration at the University of Zambia, Department of Political and Administrative Studies specialising in Governance and Public Management, Administrative Law and Ethics, Democracy and Migration. He is also the V-Dem Regional Manager for Southern Africa. From 2011 to 2015, Mr. Mate served as Head/Chair in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Zambia. Mr. Mate is also the Founding Vice-President for the Zambian Society for Public Administration (ZSPA). He possesses a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a BA degree from the University of Zambia. With Phineas Bbaala, he recently published “Nowhere to Run: A Review of the Political Economy of Migration, Identity and Xenophobic Violence in Zambia”, African Human Mobility Review, Vol.2 No3, 2016.

Phineas Bbaala is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zambia where he is also a PhD candidate in Public Administration. His PhD research is on “The Role of Public Administrative Institutions in Zambia’s Electoral Politics”. He is a governance enthusiast with many researches and scholarly publications. His recent publications include the following: ‘Emerging Questions on the Shifting Sino-African Relations: Win-Win or Win-Lose’?, Africa Development, Vol. 40, No.3, 97-120, 2015, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal; With Jotham, C. Momba,’Beyond a Free and Fair Election: The Ethnic Divide and the Rhetoric of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ in Mihyo, P.B (ed.), Election Processes Management and Election-Based Violence in Eastern and Southern Africa, Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA), Ethiopia, 143-169, 2015; ‘When a Dragon Changes its Colors: Governance Implications of the New Sino-Southern African Relations’, Radical History Review, Issue No, 131, 139-145, 2018, Duke University, United States. From July 2017 to date, he is researching into ‘Electoral Conflict Management under the SADC Principles and Guidelines’ for the Trade Law Centre (TRALAC), Cape Town, South Africa.

Clever Madimutsa is a lecturer and coordinator of postgraduate programmes in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Zambia. He holds a PhD in public administration from the University of the Western Cape. His research interests are public sector reform, labour relations and governance networks. His most recent publication is “Revisiting Trade Unions’ Response to New Public Management: A case from Zambia”, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 46, No. 3 (2017), pp. 288-307, doi: 10.1177/0091026017713230.

Lee M Habasonda is currently a lecturer of political science at the University of Zambia. He specialises in politics and international affairs. He holds a Diploma in education, a BA from the University of Zambia and an MA from SOAS, University of London. He is currently enrolled as DPhil student. His research, practice and teaching interests focus on international politics, diplomacy, security, conflict resolution, transitional justice, international human rights law and governance. He has been a civil society practitioner in Zambia since the advent of multiparty democracy in the early 1990s. He has served as the President of the Transparency International Chapter in Zambia. He is a member of the Panel of Peace Experts for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA). He is formerly the Executive Director of a Non-Governmental Organisation- the Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD). Currently he is a Commissioner on both the Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission and the Commission of enquiry on voting patterns and political violence in Zambia. Prior to this, he served as an Electoral Officer on the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET).

Aaron Wiza Siwale is a lecturer of Political Science in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Zambia. He possesses an MA in Political Science from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and a BA degree in Political Science from the University of Zambia. His research focus is in Comparative Politics and International Politics. He is interested in the stability of Political Institutions, Elections and Democratisation.

Joe Ndambwa is lecturer of Political Science in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Zambia. He holds an MA and BA in Political science from the University of Zambia. His research focuses on political theory and comparative politics and is interested in distributive justice, equality, responsibility, global justice, ethics of war and peace, climate change ethics, methodology in moral and political theory, classical and contemporary just war theory, and feminist theories.

Evans Daka, M. A. Degree in Political Science (University of Zambia, 2013) and B.A. Degree in Political Science (University of Zambia, 2009), is a lecturer at the University of Zambia. His research interest comprises governance (elections, electoral systems and political parties, interest groups and human rights) and international relations (international organizations and diplomacy). Since 2015 he is V-Dem country coordinator for Zambia.

Nayunda A. Wamunyima holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Zambia. His research interests include: Governance and Public Service Delivery; Human Rights; Gender and Women Empowerment as well as Political Culture and Citizen Participation. He has been a Lecturer in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies since November, 2016. He is currently working on a book chapter titled: Project Management in the Public Sector: Lessons from ZESCO’s Prepayment Metering Project.

Penzi Shikabi is a lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of Zambia in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies. He is also the V-Dem Research Assistant for the Regional Manager for Southern Africa. His research interests include governance, service delivery and public policy.

Ellison Tjirera holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Namibia (2012) and is currently a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Namibia (UNAM). He joined V-Dem as a Country Coordinator for Namibia in 2013. Tjirera has been a Research Associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) since 2009 when he co-authored Not Speaking Out: Measuring National Assembly Performance and later went on to complete research on Gender and Parliament commissioned by the government and the UNFPA. He has contributed to several IPPR briefing papers dealing with corruption-related issues in Namibia. Ellison joined the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER) as a PhD Fellow in July 2013. His academic interests include urban sociology/studies, post-apartheid societies, parliamentary democracy, gender studies and governance issues.

Alfred Mangani holds a Honors Degree in Political Philosophy majoring in International Cooperation from Urbaniana University in Rome and a Master’s Degree in Political Science majoring in Governance and Local Development from University of Malawi. Currently, he is lecturing at the University of Malawi. Alfred has interest and experience in research on agriculture, climate justice, democracy, governance and development and also in political analysis at both local and international levels. He also has skills in training facilitation, project implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. He possesses additional knowledge in social development related activities, and coordination for social support networks having been involved in social, economic as well as political development related projects. Alfred has also been involved in gender related issues in male dominated societies. He has experience in Gender Based Violence Project Implementation and Evaluation.

Simona Simona is a data scientist and research expert who is currently a lecturer of research methods and sociology at the University of Zambia. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and Quantitative Social Science Methods and a Master of Research (MRes) degree in Sociology and Research Methods from the University of Glasgow. His Ph.D. research used Bayesian multilevel models to study structural sources of disparities in health and maternal healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. Simona has advanced expertise in a wide range of social research methods including generalized linear models, structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, applied Bayesian modeling, big data analytics, and agent-based modeling among others. He has taught these methods in different countries across the world. He has enormous experience leading and participating in local and international collaborative research teams. In 2019, he was a visiting scholar in the Institute of Health and Social Policy at McGill University in Canada. Areas of substantive application include Sociology of Health and Illness, Global Health, Mental Health, Migration studies, Political Sociology and Gender Based Violence. His recent works have appeared in the African Journal of AIDS Research, Science Journal of Public Health, BMC Women's Health, International Journal of Social Science Studies and Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma among others. He is currently working on Quantitative Social Science Research Methods with Applications in R. He brings to this team methodological skills and data-related aspects such as data management, visualization and analysis using several software packages.

Ackson T. Mwale is a quantitative research expert and a Lecturer of Research Methods and Sociology at the University of Zambia. He is currently a Doctoral student at University of Glasgow where he is pursuing a PhD in Sociology with focus on Social and Public Health (One Health). His PhD project focuses on developing a one health approach to the management of trypanosomiasis across various sectors in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. He holds a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Sociology from Stockholm University. Ackson has advanced expertise in Advanced Social Research Methods and Social Network Analysis using software packages such as Stata and Pajek. He has enormous experience leading and participating in local and international collaborative research teams. He has conducted research with international organisations such as the World Bank, European Union, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Save the Children, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and several government ministries including the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and Ministry of Home Affairs. Ackson has knowledge and interest in Political Sociology with focus on post-democracy, One Health, Social and Public Health, Social and Gender Inequality. His recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, World Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, International Journal of Scientific Research and Innovative Technology, and European Scientific Journal. He brings to this team methodological skills and data-related aspects such as data management, visualization and analysis using several software packages.

Contact

Address: Mr. Njekwa Mate, Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Zambia, Great East Road Campus, PO Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.

Email: njekwa.mate@unza.zm