Working to Advance
Health Equity in Africa

A message from our Chair of Governors

For over 15 years, HEARD has pioneered, developed, organised and supported knowledge exchange and the uptake of research evidence across much of the African continent and beyond. The organisation has a strong track record of directing research to decision makers across the spectrum of local, national and international government and non-government organisations.

Under the leadership of Professor Nana Poku, as Executive Director since January 2014, the organisation has worked with partners and funders to broaden the scope of HEARD’s research, education and short term consultancies from a focus on HIV and its impacts on African economies and societies, to encompass Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Health Governance and Financing, and Health Systems Strengthening, among others.

Through the long-term support of Swedish International Cooperation Development Agency (SIDA) and the University of Kwazulu-Natal, HEARD has been able to make great strides in pioneering regional research into neglected issues such as understanding abortions (legal and illegal), intimate sexual violence and disabilities among adolescents and young people in East and Southern Africa.

HEARD benefits from the support and guidance of an influential Board of Governors that assists HEARD to maintain the high quality of its research and identify over-the-horizon issues for early attention. Governors are prominent individuals from the public and private sectors with a passionate commitment to development, including political scientists, development economists, and health policymakers.

– Janet Love, Chair

Board of Governors

Janet Love


is the National Director of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) and is actively engaged in networking activities in South Africa and abroad in the interests of achieving the human rights mission of the LRC. She has postgraduate qualifications from the universities of the Witwatersrand and London in public administration, development management and economics. Love was an anti-apartheid activist, involved in the trade union movement and the ANC prior to and during her ten years in exile. She became a Member of Parliament in 1994 and served as Chairperson of the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Water Affairs and Forestry. She was a member of the Constitutional Committee of the Constitutional Assembly. She left Parliament to become special advisor to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and thereafter worked at the South African Reserve Bank as Head of strategic analysis and support. Love is a Commissioner on the South African Human Rights Commission.

Professor Frederik Booysen

is a Professor of Economics at the University of the Free State. He is a Fulbright scholar and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Stellenbosch. He specialises in Health Economics and teaches Econometrics and Experimental and Behavioural Economics. His research on the Economics of HIV and AIDS has focused on the socio-economic impact of HIV and AIDS on households, social assistance and HIV/AIDS, and on the impact of anti-retroviral treatment on life satisfaction and labour market outcomes. He is the principal investigator of the Effective Aids Treatment and Support in the Free State (FEATS) study. He is published widely, including the scientific journals Social Science and Medicine, AIDS Care, AIDS, BMC Public Health, and World Development.

Dr Pierre Somse

is deputy regional director of the UNAIDS regional support team for Eastern and Southern Africa. A medical doctor, Dr Somse specialises in public health and community medicine. He has spent the majority of his career working in the field of HIV and AIDS. His work with UNAIDS over the past 14 years includes an assignment as the UNAIDS country coordinator (UCC) for Jamaica responsible for the Bahamas and Belize. Prior to this, Dr Somse was UCC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; UNAIDS inter-country programme advisor for Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles; and programme development officer at UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva. He has consistently contributed to the efficient implementation of UNAIDS strategies in the areas where he has served. Somse has also worked as an international consultant for WHO, UNICEF, GTZ and the Organisation for the Coordination of Endemic Diseases in the Central African Region.

Professor Lesley Stainbank

is Dean of the faculty of Management Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Professor of Financial Accounting in the School of Accounting at the institution. Professor Stainbank has published in, and is an associate editor of, the South African Journal of Accounting Research, Meditari Accountancy Research, and is an editorial adviser to Accounting Education: An International Journal. She also serves on the editorial boards of the SA Journal of Accounting Research and the African Journal of Accounting, Economic, Finance and Banking Research. She is the Vice-President (membership) of the International Association for Accounting Education and Research and is currently collaborating on an international research project to develop an Accountancy Development Index.

Kelvin Storey

is a Partner at WORTHAFRICA PLC, an investment corporate based in Nairobi, Kenya. Between October 2008 and October 2013 he served as the Executive Director of Africa Capacity Alliance (ACA) (formerly Regional AIDS Training Network). He is a Development Economist by training and currently pursuing a PhD in Economics and Social Policy at the University of Malawi. His leadership experience and research expertise spans inter-linkages of poverty and development, household decision making, dynamics of achieving improved health access among vulnerable groups and HIV and AIDS. He has worked on multiple development projects and research and consultancy assignments in sub-Saharan Africa, Italy, Egypt, China, India and the Laos.