AboutAbout What Works


Core Group

The Global Programme is directed by a core team of experts, who provide advice on strategy, research and programme design. These individuals are globally known and respected in the field of violence prevention, for the contributions they have made to research, programmes and policies to prevent violence against women and girls. Core members work directly for the organisations that make up the Global Programme’s consortium, but contribute to the Global Programme.

Professor Rachel Jewkes

South African Medical Research Council

Professor Rachel Jewkes is the Director of the What Works to Prevent Violence Global Programme, as well the Executive Scientist: Research Strategy in the SAMRC Office of the President and Secretary of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative. She is an Honorary Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand School of Public Health and a public health physician. She has spent 20 years undertaking research into violence against women and girls and gender inequity and health, mainly in South Africa. She was the lead technical advisor to the UN Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific, is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Injury and Violence Prevention and Control and the WHO Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on HIV. She is an author of over 150 peer reviewed journal publications, and more than a 100 book chapters, reviews and technical reports. | Contact

Dr. Tirhani Manganyi

South African Medical Research Council

Dr. Tirhani Manganyi is a South African national with over 15 years of experience in international development, research and grants acquisition and management (GAM). She has vast experience in the development as well as the management community-based programs, gender and development (GAD); monitoring and evaluation (M&E), program and project management, including proposal development. Dr Manganyi brings to her new role over 5 years of experience at senior management level and worked with multiple countries in Southern Africa. For 4 years, she has worked and supported 9 countries with proposal development as well as the management of programs funded by private, bilateral and multilateral donors. In her role as Regional Grants Quality Assurance Advisor in World Vision International, Dr Manganyi managed a portfolio of at least $400mil across the 9 countries from various donors that had diverse compliance modalities and requirements.

Dr. Manganyi possess proven capacity development, technical and management skills as well as strong networking and liaising capabilities to engage various donors; host governments, universities, and community-based stakeholders throughout the life of the project cycle to build capacity and ensure local ownership as well as sustainability of projects. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Education and Communication as well as a certificate in Gender and Development from the University of Florida, USA. She is also certified in Project Management, training and she recently completed the Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT). | Contact

Samantha Willan

South African Medical Research Council

Samantha Willan is the Capacity Development Manager for What Works, she has over 15 years’ experience working on preventing violence against women and girls, gender equality, sexuality, and HIV, from a women’s rights perspective. Her work spans research, capacity development, training and policy influencing. Predominantly based in South Africa over that time, her focus has been across southern and eastern Africa and South Asia, with a global outlook in relation to research and policy developments. Prior to joining the What Works Global Programme, Samantha co-founded and was Project Lead for the Gender Equality and Health Programme at HEARD, which undertook research and programming to prevent violence against women and reduce women’s HIV risk. Previous to this, she was Policy Advisor on HIV&AIDS and Gender at VSO International, and Information Manager for the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Samantha has a Masters in Political Science. | Contact

Dr. Leane Ramsoomar

South African Medical Research Council

Dr. Leane Ramsoomar holds a PhD in Public Health from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Master’s degree in Health Promotion (with distinction) from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, an Honors degree in Psychology from the University of Durban-Westville and a BA degree (Cum Laude) from the same university. Leane has over 14 years’ experience in research and academia, starting her career at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Prior to her appointment as Research Uptake Manager in the Global What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls? Programme, Leane was an honorary lecturer at the School of Public Health at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa and an independent public health consultant. Between 2009- 2013 she was a full time lecturer in the Master of Public Health programme at Wits. Leane has extensive experience working with international University and donor organizations, including, the Universities of Kentucky and Ohio, The World Health Organization, and UNICEF. Her research interests include youth risk behavior, with particular focus on youth alcohol use, HIV prevention, health promotion and behavior change. | Contact

Dr. Lori Heise

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Lori Heise is a senior lecturer at LSHTM, with 20 years’ experience in women’s health and HIV/ AIDS. She is an internationally recognised expert on the dimensions, causes and prevention of intimate partner violence and served on the core research team of the WHO Multi-country study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence.  She is author of What works to prevent partner violence: An evidence-based review and co-author of Researching Violence Against Women: A Practical Guide for Researchers and Advocates. She currently serves as the Co-research Director for the DFID-funded STRIVE programme, is head of the LINEA consortium that develops research and work to prevent violence against children. | Contact

Alice Kerr-Wilson

Social Development Direct

Alice Kerr-Wilson is a senior social development specialist with over ten years’ experience in international development working on assignments for DFID and other donor agencies. A gender expert by background, she has led a wide range of assignments in this field including many gender equality audits and assessments to inform policy and programme development as well as participatory research and evaluation. She has worked on DFID’s first internal Issues and Opportunities Paper on VAWG and conducted the final review of a CHASE funded UN Women programme to support women’s engagement in peace building and preventing sexual violence in conflict. She has also worked on DFID’s Girls’ Education Challenge Fund with specific responsibility for projects, which plan to address violence against girls. | Contact

Dr. Anna Vassall

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Anna Vassall is a health economist with over twenty five years of experience in economic analysis. Her first degree is in economics. She then worked in the NHS supporting funding/contracting. She then took an MSc in Health Planning and Financing at the LSHTM, thereafter working for DFID as a health economist in the UK and Pakistan. This was followed by a period at Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) Amsterdam working on health planning and financing, aid effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of tuberculosis and reproductive health in a wide range of low and middle income countries. Thereafter she directed and provided economic support to European Community and World Bank funded health sector reform and development projects in Yemen, East Timor, Syria and Sudan. Her PhD is in the economic evaluation of tuberculosis control.

She has worked at LSHTM since 2010 specialising on the economics of HIV, sexual and reproductive health, gender based violence prevention and tuberculosis. She has an interest in incorporating a health systems perspective into economic evaluation and priority setting methods. She currently leads the economic evaluation and priority setting group in the Department of Global Health and Development. She is lead member of the TB-MAC modelling consortium and sits on the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for the WHO's Global Tuberculosis Programme (STAG-TB). She currently is the senior economists on the costing analysis of the What Works programme. | Contact

Dr. Kristin Dunkle

South African Medical Research Council

Dr. Kristin L. Dunkle is a Chief Specialist Scientist in the Gender and Health Research Unit at the SAMRC. Dr. Dunkle is a social epidemiologist who has been working on gender-based violence and health for over 20 years, and has published widely on: connections between intimate partner violence and HIV among both  women and men; links between gender‐based violence, transactional sex, and poverty; intimate partner violence; sexual violence and health among men who have sex with men (MSM) and others in LGBTQIA communities. In addition to extensive research in South Africa, Dr. Dunkle has worked on projects in Swaziland, Rwanda, Zambia, India, China, and the USA. Dr. Dunkle’s training includes a BA summa cum laude in Biology and English from Case Western Reserve University, and an MPH in International Health and a PhD in Epidemiological Sciences both from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. In addition to scientific work on What Works’ programme to develop and evaluate programmes to prevent intimate partner violence, Dr. Dunkle oversees the What Works portfolio on understanding and preventing gender‐based and sexual violence among people living with disabilities in lower and middle income countries (LMICs). | Contact

Dr. Giulia Ferrari

London School of Economics and Political Science

Giulia Ferrari originally trained as a quantitative economist at Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), and obtained a PhD in International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Giulia has more than ten years’ research experience in socio-economic research on violence in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, and have worked as a consultant in the international and sustainable development fields. | Contact

Kate Bishop

Social Development Direct

Kate Bishop is a Senior Technical specialist and Lead Consultant for Social Development Direct’s Gender Based Violence (GBV) portfolio. She has 14 years’ experience working on Violence against Women and Girls, women’s rights, and gender equality across a range of development contexts. She previously worked as a Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Advisor for DFID, where she was involved with the strategic development of DFID’s portfolio of work on VAWG. Whilst at DFID she developed a ground-breaking and ambitious portfolio on ending VAWG including the £25m flagship ‘What Works to prevent VAWG research and innovation fund’. Kate has a strong track record in evidence-based policy and programme development, and organisational strategy and development in a range of international and national contexts. She holds a Masters in Violence, Conflict and Development form the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. | Contact