CREATE Research Associates and Independent Researchers

Luke Akaguri

Luke Akaguri is a DPhil student studying at the Centre for International Education (CIE), University of Sussex. His current DPhil thesis is on private education for the poor with a main focus of analyzing the impact of educational costs and finance on access to basic education for the poor in rural areas of Ghana. His research interest is in the area of Educational cost and financing, Education, poverty and development and Educational Management and Planning.

CREATE outputs:

Bina Akoobhai

Bina Akoobhai, Research Manager in the Education Evaluation and Research Division at JET Education Services, has a Masters degree in Science Education. She has extensive research knowledge in the field of teacher professionalism and school dynamics, using qualitative methods. She has been instrumental in developing the Microscience system and other scientific tools for the classroom from Primary through to High schools. Her training is in teacher development, curriculum development and coordination of various school based projects within an academic environment. She has worked as a lecturer within  School of Education at Wits university and has extensive experience in school and teacher development programmes. She has presented at various conferences locally and abroad. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honours Society.

CREATE outputs:

Terry Allsop

Terry is an independent educational consultant.

Professor Robin Alexander

Robin is a Fellow of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge and Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Warwick.

CREATE outputs:

Eric Daniel Ananga

Eric has a background in Education and Development Planning
and Management. He is currently a final year DPhil student from Ghana
studying at the Centre for International Education (CIE), University of
Sussex. He is a CREATE research associate. His thesis explores the dropout
experiences of basic school children in Ghana, and its implications for
universalising basic education. His research interest is marginalised and
excluded children, focusing particularly on rural children in Ghana.

CREATE outputs:

Kingsley Arkorful

Kingsley is a Commonwealth scholar and DPhil student studying at the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex. His research focus is on the capitation grant and alternative providers in Ghana.

CREATE outputs:

  • CREATE Policy Brief 2

Dr Harsha Aturupane

Dr. Harsha Aturupane is a Senior Economist in the World Bank. He is presently the World Bank’s Human Development Coordinator for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He has worked and written extensively in the fields of human development, education economics, labour economics and the economics of poverty. His recent work includes research and analysis and the preparation and supervision of World Bank projects, in the fields of basic education, general education, higher education, and human development. He has worked on education and human development policies, programmes and projects in a variety of countries, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Maldives.

CREATE outputs:

Desmond Bermingham

Desmond is currently the Director of the Education Global Initiative for Save the Children and a consultant adviser to Results for Development and the MasterCard Foundation. Desmond was formerly the Head of the Education for All–Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Secretariat at the World Bank and prior to that was the Head of the Education Profession in the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID).  In 2005, Desmond advised the UK Prime Minister’s office on the commitment to expand the UK’s education aid program to £10 billion over ten years and from 2006 – 8 he helped to expand the FTI to over 40 countries and secured donor commitments of over US$1.2 billion. Desmond has written widely on the international aid architecture for education and the case for scaling up aid for education.  He has recently published a paper (jointly with Nicholas Burnett) on innovative financing for education for the Soros Foundation Open Society Institute.  He is currently working on the development of the Ed Venture Fund – an innovative social venture capital approach to financing education programs in developing countries.Desmond was a member of the UNESCO International Advisory Panel on Education For All and a board member of the Commonwealth of Learning based in Vancouver.  He has also been a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Education since 2008. Desmond has an honours degree in English Language and Literature from St John’s College Oxford; an MA in Education from the London Institute of Education, an M Sc in Global Development Management from the UK Open University and is currently completing a doctorate in international education policy at the London Institute of Education.

CREATE outputs:

Graeme Bloch

Graeme Bloch is an education analyst at the Development Bank of South Africa.

CREATE outputs:

Cynthia Bosumtwi-Sam

Cynthia is the Municipal Director of Education at the Ghana Education Service. she was previously the National Coordinator for the School Health Education Programme of the Ghana Education Service. She completed her masters in international education from the University of Sussex in 2009.

CREATE outputs:

Stephanie Buckland

Stephanie is a DPhil student at CIE, University of Sussex. Stephanie is a Commonwealth scholar. Her research is on Zimbabwean refugees in the South African education system.

Katherine Giffard -Lindsay

Katharine Giffard-Lindsay is an associate tutor at the CIE, University of Sussex. In addition, in 2008 she wrote a background paper for the 2009 UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report on poverty reduction strategies and governance, with equity, for education, and co-authored (with Pauline Rose) a working paper for DFID on the governance aspects of educational exclusion in the context of the MDGs.

CREATE outputs:

Stuart Cameron

Stuart is a DPhil student at the CIE, University of Sussex. His thesis is on household decisions about schooling among poor households in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He also works as a Research Officer at the Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Brighton. Prior to this he worked for Eldis, a development information service, at the Institute of Development Studies. Stuart’s DPhil research will examine the school decision-making processes amongst households living in slum areas of Dhaka, Bangladesh. It will examine a wide range of economic, social and cultural costs and benefits of schooling, and try to understand how these are seen by children and parents, and how they are incorporated into decisions about schooling. As well as the initial decision to enrol in a primary school, it will consider the ongoing decisions whether to attend school or drop out, what type of providers (government, private, madrasa, NGO) are chosen, and whether private tuition is used.

CREATE outputs:

Dr Joseph Chimombo

Joseph is Director of the Centre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) in Malawi. He is interested in statistical analyses of basic education.

Roger Deacon

Roger is Honorary Associate Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Senior Research Fellow at St Augustine College, South Africa. He publishes in education, philosophy and politics, and has conducted research and managed research projects on behalf of the Department of Higher Education and Training, the National Research Foundation, the OECD and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

CREATE outputs:

Dr (James) David Gilmour

David is Senior Lecturer in University of Cape Town School of Education. His research interests include economics of education, education and the labour market; educational planning; educational evaluation; social theory and education.

CREATE outputs:

Sierd Hadley

Sierd Hadley is an economist specializing in governance and development and currently works at Her Majestys’ Treasury in the United Kingdom. Having lived in Africa and Asia for over 15 years and worked with local NGOs in Zambia, his work on ‘seasonality and education’ began at the Institute of Development Studies. Sierd’s recent work with Action Against Hunger and the Institute of Development Studies has centred around building the profile of seasonality in development discourse and practice. His other interests include: the resource management, public finance, environmental conservation, empowerment, and participatory research.

CREATE outputs:

Dr Joanna Härmä

Joanna works on the Education Management Information System (EMIS) for
ESSPIN in Nigeria. Joanna was Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. In
2008 she completed her DPhil research at CIE, Sussex University, UK. Her
research interest is on low-fee private schooling for the poor, particularly
in rural Uttar Pradesh, India, and increasingly in urban Lagos, Nigeria.

CREATE Outputs:

Jimena Hernandez Fernandez

Jimena is a PhD student at the Institute of Education (IOE), Department of Lifelong Learning and International Development, University of London. Jeevani will be researching the impact of financial, human and social capital at home and school on the educational outcomes of Grade Four students in Sri Lanka. Earlier studies in Sri Lanka had assessed mostly the impacts of human and financial capital at home and school on educational achievement. In contrast, Jeevani’s research proposes to use the concept of social capital at home and school as well. The supervisor for this PhD is Professor Angela Little. Jeevani previously worked as a Lecturer in Social Science Education, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; and a Research Associate, National Education and Research Evaluation Center (NEREC), Sri Lanka.

Create Outputs:

Jeevani Herath

Jeevani is a PhD student at the Institute of Education (IOE), Department of Lifelong Learning and International Development, University of London. Jeevani will be researching the impact of financial, human and social capital at home and school on the educational outcomes of Grade Four students in Sri Lanka. Earlier studies in Sri Lanka had assessed mostly the impacts of human and financial capital at home and school on educational achievement. In contrast, Jeevani’s research proposes to use the concept of social capital at home and school as well. The supervisor for this PhD is Professor Angela Little. Jeevani previously worked as a Lecturer in Social Science Education, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; and a Research Associate, National Education and Research Evaluation Center (NEREC), Sri Lanka.

Shashiranjan Jha

Sangeeta Kamat

Sangeeta Kamat is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her professional interests include globalization and education; critical theory; gender analysis and South Asia.

CREATE outputs:

Dr Sachiko Kataoka

Dr. Sachiko Kataoka completed her doctoral thesis on educational decentralisation in Sri Lanka in 2006. She specialises in education financing, management and governance and has worked in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Nepal. She is interested in examining impacts of an expansion of access to primary education on sub-sectoral resource allocations and the quality of education provided in public schools. While appreciating participation of the private sector and non-governmental organisations in providing education, Sachiko focuses on the role of the government at different levels in resource allocations, governance, and monitoring and supervision as her major subjects of interests.

Dr Michel Lafon

Michel Lafon is a Linguist Seconded by French Cnrs-Llacan to IFAS Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a Research Fellow at CentRePol, Center for Research on the Politics of Language, University of Pretoria.

CREATE Outputs:

Dr Peter Laugharn

Dr Peter Laugharn is Executive Director of the Firelight Foundation. He was previously Director of Programme Development at the Bernard van Leer Foundation in the Netherlands. Previous to this he worked for Save the Children USA, including five years in Mali, the West Africa Area Director and Education Adviser for Africa. For CREATE Peter is writing a monograph in the Pathways to Access Series on access to education in community schools in Mali. This work is based on his PhD thesis carried out at the Institute of Education, University of London.

CREATE outputs:

Setungoane Letsatsi

Setungoane Letsatsi has worked at the Education Policy Unit as a research assistant. She was engaged in different projects at the EPU including CREATE. She is currently working as an assistant consultant on National Policy Development on IECCD.

Gift Luxomo

Gift works for the Centre for Education Quality Improvement at the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa. Previously he worked as a research assistant with CREATE.

Thabo Mabogoane

Thabo Mabogoane has a PhD in the Economics of Education from Syracuse University. He has been a teacher of maths and science and spent four years as Policy Analyst in South Africa’s national Department of Education, before joining JET Education Services as Senior Research Specialist in  2007. He was recruited to the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in the Office of the President in August 2010.

CREATE outputs:

Audrey Mwansa

Audrey Mwansa is a second year EdD degree student at the Institute of Education, University of London and the only Centenary Scholar. Audrey is from Zambia and advises the Ministry of Education and local and international NGOs on the provision of services to orphans and vulnerable children. Her EdD dissertation will focus on political agendas and the provision of universal primary education in Zambia and is supervised by Professor Angela Little.

Abena Oduro

Abena Oduro is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics University of Ghana, Legon where she specialises in the Economics of Education.

CREATE outputs:

Authors: Akyeampong K., Djangmah, J., Seidu A., Oduro, A. & Hunt, F.
Date: June 2007

Dr Asayo Ohba

Asayo Ohba is a research associate for CREATE and is currently working at the Center for the Study of International Cooperation in Education (CICE), Hiroshima University, Japan as a researcher. She completed her DPhil degree at the Center for International Education at the University of Sussex. Her doctoral research was about the expansion of access to secondary education in Kenya with special attention to equity. She is currently conducting research at a slum in Nairobi.

CREATE outputs:

Kate Orkin

Kate Orkin is a DPhil candidate in the Department of International Development, University of Oxford, supervised by Professor Stefan Dercon and Dr Laura Camfield. Her DPhil uses qualitative and econometric methods to analyse home and school factors which affect the schooling participation and achievement of rural Ethiopian children. She is a Research Associate at Young Lives ( and worked on the first survey of schools attended by Young Lives children, conducted in Ethiopia in 2010. She is a South-Africa-at-large Rhodes Scholar and holds an MPhil (dist) in Development Studies from Oxford and a BSocSci (Hons) (cum laude) in Economics from the University of Cape Town.

CREATE outputs:

Ruth Otienoh

Ruth is a Lecturer at the Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development Eastern, Pakistan. She obtained her M.Ed in Teacher Education from Aga Khan University, Institute for Education, Pakistan. She is currently enrolled in a doctoral programme EdD at the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research interests lie in classroom teaching and learning. Her doctoral study will focus on issues of teaching and learning in large classes.

Andrew Owusu

Andrew is an assistant professor in Health Education/Promotion at the Department of Health & Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). Andrew’s research interests include adolescent health risk behaviors and, technology use in health education/promotion. In addition to his academic duties, Andrew is the country coordinator for the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) surveillance system in Ghana, West Africa. The Ghana GSHS project is a collaboration between MTSU, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Education (MOE, Ghana).

CREATE outputs:

Anupam Pachauri

Anupam is a DPhil student at the CIE, University of Sussex. She is funded through the Commonwealth scholarship programme. Her thesis looks at multiple providers of education in India.

Carla Pereira

Carla joined JET Education Services (JET) as a research intern in March 2002 and moved up the ranks over the 9 years that she worked at JET. In October 2006 she was promoted to Division Manager and in 2009 was promoted to Executive Manager of the Education Evaluation and Research Division.  She has vast experience in research, monitoring and evaluation in the education sector in South Africa, with management of both large and small scale research projects in South Africa.  Her experience in leading and designing large scale research projects involving assessment methodologies and teacher training, facilitated her role in the 2007 Systemic Evaluation for Grade 3 pupils (60 000 learners) and the 2008/9 Gauteng Provincial Assessment study (250 000 learners and 1400 schools).  She is currently the lead research manager on the external evaluation of the Western Cape’s Literacy Numeracy Implementation project (64 schools) as well the 2010-2014 Gauteng Provincial Assessment project where testing of approx 320 000 learners will be done.  Apart from managing projects,  she has data analysis experience, both quantitative (statistical) and qualitative (thematic and discourse analysis) of data.

CREATE Outputs:

Dr Samer Al Samarrai

Dr Samer Al-Samarrai is an education economist working in Africa and Asia. His areas of interest include: international education policy, the governance and financing of education systems, educational access and learning outcomes, education-labour market linkages and the relationships between poverty and education. Recently he has been involved in a 3 year research project exploring the financing and governance of education and health services in Bangladesh. Samer works for the GMR at UNESCO in Paris.

CREATE outputs:

Anita Sharma

Anita Sharma is working towards a PhD on the problems of access to education for the Bakkarwals of Jammu and Kashmir in the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. She is a Commonwealth split-site research scholar at the University of Sussex, Department of International Education. She is author of The Bakkarwals of Jammu and Kashmir - Navigating Through Nomadism that was on the shortlist for the Vodafone Non-Fiction Award 2009.

CREATE Outputs:

Jennifer Shindler

Jennifer Shindler is a senior research manager in the Education Evaluation and Research Division at JET Education Services. She has worked as an education researcher since 1982. Between 1992 and 2004 she worked at the Education Foundation as a senior education analyst.

CREATE outputs:

Professor Shantha Sinha

Professor Shantha Sinha is a Professor in Political Science at the University of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, and presently Chairperson of the recently constituted National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). She is the founder Secretary Trustee of MV Foundation and is known for her pioneering work on the issue of child rights. Professor Sinha’s leadership of the MV Foundation's work in setting up residential bridge courses for rescued child labourers and preparing them for formal schooling has been widely acknowledged and has informed education policies in India and other developing countries. She was awarded the Padmashri in 1998 and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2003.

CREATE outputs:

PTA 40 - School Dropouts or Pushout? Overcoming Barriers for the Right to Education

Author/s: Anugula N. Reddy Shantha Sinha
Date: July 2010

Gaurav Siddhu

Gaurav is a development economist who has focussed primarily on basic education, having worked with The World Bank, UNESCO and several NGOs. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the Centre for International Education, University of Sussex, examining factors influencing transition to secondary education in rural Uttar Pradesh, India.  He is also currently a consultant working on monitoring and evaluation of education sector plans for a major DFID-funded education project in Nigeria, Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN).


Smita has worked in the field of elementary education for two decades. Most of her work has focused on improving the conditions of schooling for the rural poor, and her current research interest is how to achieve quality in a sustainable way. Her work is highly field based, and her research is integrally linked with action. She is currently with the American India Foundation, New Delhi.

CREATE outputs:

Professor Crain Soudien

Crain is Professor of Education and Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Cape Town. His research interests include sociology of education, race, class and gender and policy shifts in education.

CREATE outputs:

Dr Ramya Subrahmanian

Dr Subrahmanian works for UNICEF in Delhi. She is a former reseach fellow at the Insitute of Development Studies. She has extensive experience in the areas of gender, social development, and education. Her experience includes work on mainstreaming gender/social development into development policies and institutional processes in a wide range of development agencies. Ramya’s current research includes work on education exclusion, policy processes, livelihoods and education. She has recently written on 'Scaling Up Girls' Education' for UNGEI, and has co-ordinated a South Asian workshop of policy-makers and practitioners on the same subject. In 2003 she worked as a consultant to the Global Monitoring Report and was the lead author of the two analytical chapters on gender and education. She was the lead researcher of a joint IDS-Sussex led research project on education exclusion in India and South Africa. In addition she has worked with UNICEF and the ILO on child labour, and is also carrying out work related to child-centred social policy.

CREATE outputs:

Nick Taylor

Nick has a PhD in mathematics education. He has taught school maths and science, been a subject advisor in Soweto and worked as a policy research at the Wits Education Policy Unit. In 1991-92 he ran the National Education Policy Investigation (NEPI) under the auspices of the NECC. He was director of the Joint Education Trust (JET) between 1994 and 2000, and has been CEO of JET Education Services since 2001. His mathematics textbooks for Grades 1-12 have been widely used in South African schools since 1984. Research on schools is one of his specialist interests and he has written extensively on this subject, including the books Getting Learning Right (1999), and Getting Schools Working (2003). Dr Taylor is a member of Umalusi’s Standards and Assessment Committee, which is responsible for moderating the results of the annual Senior Certificate examination, and a former member of the National Skills Authority.

CREATE outputs:

Victoria Turrent

Victoria is an ESRC-funded PhD student at the Institute of Education, University of London researching modes of financing education in fragile states. Her research interests include issues of economics and governance in developing countries; international aid policy and practice in relation to education; and the financial barriers to achieving universal access to primary education. Victoria has previously conducted research for Save the Children UK and the Commonwealth Education Fund on education financing policy and civil society involvement in education budget processes.

CREATE outputs:

Grace Wang

Grace is a researcher specialized in education, development policies and international programme management. She gained her PhD from the Department of Education and International Development, the Institute of Education, University of London in 2009. She is also a development practitioner, currently working as the Practice Manager of Poverty Reduction Practice, in the Bureau for Development Policy, the United Nations Development Programme. Prior to her present appointment, Grace was the Team Leader of Democratic Governance, HIV/AIDS, and Disaster Risk Management in UNDP Country Office in China. She also had extensive working experiences with other international development agencies and the Ministry of Education in China, managing multilateral education collaborations.

CREATE outputs:

Samantha Williams

Samantha E. Williams is an Ed.M. candidate in the International Education Policy programme at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned an M.A. in Development Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where her research focused on school-based approaches for supporting children from urban townships. Her interest in education focuses on girls’ education, school and district/provincial leadership, and support services for children from under served communities and backgrounds. She also holds a B.A. in African and United States History from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

CREATE outputs:

Louis Boyake Yiadom

Louis Boakye-Yiadom is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics, University of Ghana. He holds a PhD (economics) from the University of Bath and has special research interest in the empirical analyses of poverty and wellbeing, inequality, household livelihood strategies, and the economics of education. His research activities have focused considerably on the migration-remittance-wellbeing nexus. He is currently involved in a three-country study that is examining the gender dimension of asset distribution within households and communities in Ghana, Ecuador, and India.

CREATE outputs:

  • Working Paper 2