Charmaine Smith

Charmaine is a writer, editor and communication specialist who’s worked in the academic and civil society sectors for the past 20 years, often in partnership with high-profile government departments and development agencies. She previously served as the communication and knowledge manager of the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town, where she played a central role in the development and implementation of a communication strategy that has raised the visibility and reputation of the Institute as a cutting-edge policy research and advocacy unit. She was a co-editor, for 10 years, of the South African Child Gauge series – an evidence-based annual review of the situation of South Africa’s children aimed at especially government decision-makers and practitioners. Since then, she has worked as the part-time communication manager for several SALDRU-led projects: the Mandela Initiative, UCT’s Poverty & Inequality Initiative and currently for the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research and the Basic Package of Support project. She has a good understanding of South Africa’s poverty and inequality challenges, coupled with experience in the management of publications and high-profile public events, and with a strong network across government, academia, civil society and the news media. Charmaine has a MA Journalism degree (cum laude) from Stellenbosch University; a post-graduate diploma in writing and producing for the media from Hertsford College, England; and a national diploma in journalism from Pretoria Technicon.