Dr Rebecca Surender

Dr Rebecca Surender's research is primarily in the area of health and social welfare in developing countries, in particular the politics, implementation and outcomes of policies in South Africa. Past studies have included the implementation of the Child Support Grant, the effectiveness of micro-finance initiatives, and the attitudes of benefit recipients to labour activation strategies and social grants. Most recently, she has led a five year year project with colleagues at Rhodes University examining the implementation and policy dynamics of the proposed new National Health Insurance (NHI) reforms in South Africa. She is currently (together with colleagues at the Open University), working on a project which evaluates the role of regional bodies such as the African Union in health policy making in Africa.

Dr Surender was a founding member of the Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy (CASASP) at Oxford University, the first UK academic centre to undertake research exclusively on South African social policy and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University, South Africa. She has worked as a consultant and advisor for various multilateral and government agencies including the World Bank, UNRISD, United Nations (Women's Directorate), UK DfID and SA's DSD. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of two journals: Global Social Policy and Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy.

In addition to her Fellowship at the Department, Dr Surender holds senior administrative positions at the university and Green Templeton College. She was appointed Oxford’s first Advocate and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality and Diversity in January 2015. The role provides leadership and coordination of all equality and diversity work across the university in order to advance the university’s commitment to building an inclusive culture for all its staff and students. She is a Fellow and Deputy Principal of Green Templeton College. 

Selected Publications

Midgley, J., Surender, R., Alfers, L. (Eds.) (2019) Handbook of Social Policy and Development, (Forthcoming), Elgar.

Zembe,W., Surender, R., Sanders, D., Swart, R., Ramokolo,V., Wright, G., Doherty,T. (2018) 'Mothers’ experiences of the Child Support Grant in supporting children’s diets and nutrition in South Africa’, BMJ Open,  Vol. 8, Issue, 4. http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/4/e019376 

Surender, R. (2017) "The Drivers of Universal Health Care in South Africa: the role of ideas, actors and institutions", Ilcheong Yi ed.,Towards Universal Health Care in Emerging Economies. Palgrave Macmillan

Surender, R., van Niekerk, R, Alfers, L (2016) "Is South Africa advancing towards National Health Insurance? The perspectives of general practitioners in one pilot site", South African Medical Journal 106: 11 1092-1095. URL: www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/issue/current/showTocDownload

Leon, N., Surender, R., Bobrow, K., Muller, J., Farmer, A.,(2015) "Improving treatment adherence for blood pressure lowering via mobile phone SMS-messages in South Africa", BMC Family Practice 16:80 . doi: 10.1186/s12875-015-0289-7

Surender, R., Van Niekerk, R., Hannah, B., Allan, L., Shung King, M. (2014) "The Drive for Universal Healthcare in South Africa: Views from the Medical Profession", Health Policy & Planning. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czu053

Surender, R., Walker, R. ed., (2013) Social Policy in a Developing World. Cheltenham: Elgar

Urbina, M., Surender, R. (2013) 'Social policy in the context of new global actors: How far is China's developmental model in Africa impacting traditional donors?', Global Social Policy 13: 3 

Surender, R., Noble, M., Wright, G. and Ntshongwana, P. (2010) 'Social Assistance and Dependency in South Africa: An Analysis of Attitudes to Paid Work and Social Grants', Journal of Social Policy, 39 39: 2 203-221

Surender, R., Devi, A., Rayner, M (2010) 'Improving the food environment in UK schools: Policy opportunities and challenges', Journal of Public Health, 31: 2 212-226

Surender, R., van Niekerk, R (2008) 'Addressing poverty through community-based generation projects; the evidence from South Africa' , Policy & Politics  36: 3 325-342

Noble, M. Ntshongwana, P., Surender, R. (2007) 'Attitudes to Work and social security in South Africa' , Cape Town: HSRC Press

Rajaraman, D., Surender, R. (2006) "HIV Testing in Botswana: Lessons for Policy and Practice", Medical Sociology Online  31: 1 4-21

Jagsi, R & Surender, R. (2004) "Regulation of junior doctors' work hours: an analysis of British and American doctors' experience and attitudes ", Social Science & Medicine,  58: 2004 2181- 2191

Lewis, J. & Surender, R. ed. (2004) Welfare State Change: Towards a Third Way. UK: Oxford University Press


Full publication list

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