Dr Rebecca Surender

Dr Rebecca Surender is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention where she supervises doctoral students and undertakes research in health policy and social policy in developing countries. Her main focus concerns the politics, implementation and outcomes of health and income maintenance policies in South Africa (SA). Recent research in SA has included evaluating the impact of the Child Support Grant and the implementation of mobile phone technology for patients, examining the politics and policy dynamics of the National Health Insurance (NHI) reforms, and assessing the role of regional bodies such as the African Union in health policy making in 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 and is a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University, South Africa. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of Global Social Policy and Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy.

Rebecca Surender has held a number of senior administrative positions within the department and the wider university including University Proctor in 2013 and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality and Diversity (2014-2021). She is a member of Advance HE’s EDI Strategic Advisory Group and serves as a Special Advisor on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the London School of Economics.

She is a Governing Body Fellow and Deputy Principal of Green Templeton College. 


Edited Books and Monographs 

  • Handbook of Social Policy and Development, Midgley, J., Surender, R. Alfers, L. (Eds.) Elgar, 2019.  
  •  Social Policy in a Developing World, Surender, R. Walker, R. (Eds.) Elgar, 2013.
  •  Attitudes to Work and Social Security in South Africa, Ntshongwana, P. Surender, R. Noble, M HSRC Press, 2007.
  •  Welfare State Change: Towards a Third Way? Lewis, J. Surender, R. (Eds.) Oxford University Press, 2004.

Journal Articles

  • Roosa Lambin & Rebecca Surender (2021) 'The rise of big philanthropy in global social policy: implications for policy transfer and analysis' Journal of Social Policy, Dec 2021, pp. 1 - 18
  • Wedekind L, Noé A, Mokaya …Surender, R. J et al. (2021) ‘Equity for excellence in academic institutions: a manifesto for change’ Wellcome Open Res 2021, 6:142 PMID: 34381874
  • Yeates, N., Surender, R. (2020) ‘Southern social world-regionalisms: the place of health in nine African regional economic communities’ Global Social Policy
  • Jagsi, R., Padayachy, L., Surender, R. (2019) ‘Preventing the tower from toppling for women in surgery’ The Lancet, Vol. 393, Issue, 10171, P. 495-497 (Feb 9, 2019).
  • 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.
  • 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.   
  • Virk, A., Surender, R. (2016) ‘Implementing National Health Insurance in India: Lessons for Policymaking and Practice in Low-income Countries’, British Journal of Health Informatics and Monitoring, 3(1), 1-19.
  • Ovseiko, P.,...Surender, R. et al. (July 2016) ‘A global call for action to include gender in research impact assessment’ Health Research Policy and Systems,14:50.
  • Surender, R., van Niekerk, R., Alfers, L. (2015) ‘Moving towards universal health coverage in South Africa: the role of private sector GPs’ Public Health Association of South Africa, Issue 3.
  • Leon, N., Surender, R., Bobrow, K., Muller, J., Farmer, A., (July 2015) ‘Improving treatment adherence for blood pressure lowering via mobile phone SMS-messages in South Africa : a qualitative evaluation of the SMS-text Adherence SuppoRt (StAR) trial’ BioMed Central, Family Practice, 16:80.
  • Zembe,W., Surender, R., Sanders, D., Swart, R., Ramokolo,V., Wright, G., Doherty,T. (2015) ‘The experience of cash transfers in alleviating childhood poverty in South Africa: Mothers’ experiences of the Child Support Grant’, Global Public Health, 10(7), 834-851.
  • Surender, R., Van Niekerk, R., Hannah, B., Allan, L., Shung King, M. (2015) ‘The Drive for Universal Healthcare in South Africa: Views from the Medical Professiom’, Health Policy & Planning, 30(6), 759-67, 2015.
  • 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.  
  • Zembe,W., Surender, R., Sanders, D., Swart, R., Ramokolo,V., Wright, G., Doherty,T. (October 2012) ‘Why do families still not receive the unconditional child support grant in South Africa? A longitudinal analysis of a cohort of families across South Africa’ BioMed Central, International Health and Human Rights, 12:24.
  • Surender, R., Ferretjans-Urbina, M. (2012) ‘China’s developmental model in Africa: A new era for global social policy?’ Social Policy Review, 24, 83-202.
  • 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., 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., van Niekerk, R (2008) 'Addressing poverty through community-based generation projects; the evidence from South Africa', Policy & Politics 36: 3 325-342.
  • 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.
  • Locock, L., Surender, R., Dopson, S., Gabbay, J. (2002) ‘Closing the gap between research and practice in health: lessons from a clinical initiative’, Public Management Review, 4(1), 45-61
  • Surender, R., Fitzpatrick, R. (1999) ‘Will Doctors Manage?  Lessons from GP Fundholding’, Policy and Politics, 27(4), 491-502.
  • Surender, R., Fitzpatrick, R. (1998) ‘The Patient’s View of GP Fundholding: Results of a cross-sectional survey’, Health and Social Care in the Community, 6(5), 370-377.
  • Stewart-Brown, S., Surender, R., Coulter, A., Bradlow, J., Doll, H (December 1995) ‘The Effects of Fundholding in General Practice on Prescribing Habits Three Years after the Introduction of the Scheme’, British Medical Journal, 311:1543.
  • Surender, R., Coulter, A., Bradlow, J. (November 1995) ‘Prospective Study of Trends in Referral Patterns in Fundholding and Non-Fundholding Practices in the Oxford Region, 1990-4, British Medical Journal, 311:1205.
  • Hendricks, M., Surender, R., (1993) ‘Why They Work: Successful Programs That Help High Risk Youth’, Breaking New Ground for Youth at Risk, OSAP Report, DHHS Publication, (ADM) 89-1658.

Book Chapters

  • ‘Social-policy in the BRICS’ (with Amrit Virk) in Student’s Companion to Social Policy (6th edition), Alcock, P., May, M., Haux, T. (Editors), SPA, 2022.
  •  ‘Universal Health Care in South Africa: Challenges and Opportunities’ in Towards Universal Health Coverage in Emerging Economies: Opportunities and Challenges, Ilcheong Yi (Editor), Palgrave, 2016.
  •  ‘Enhancing global cooperation in social development’ (with Marian Urbina-Ferretjans) in Future Directions in Social Development, Midgley, J., Pawar, M. (Editors), Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
  •  ‘Social-policy in the BRICS’ in Student’s Companion to Social Policy (5th edition), Alcock, P., May, M., Wright, S., Haux, T. (Editors), SPA, 2016.
  •  ‘New Kids on the Block?’ The implications of the BRICS alliance for global social governance’ (with M. Urbina-Ferretjans) in Actors and Agency in Global Social Governance, A. Kaasch & K. Martens (Editors), OUP, 2015.
  •  ‘The Health System of the United Kingdom', (with Matsuoka, KY, Ovseiko, PV.) in Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences", Biomedical Sciences, Elsevier, 2015.
  •  ‘South Africa: A different welfare and development paradigm?’, R. Hasmath (Editor) ed., Inclusive Growth, Development and Welfare Policy: A Critical Assessment, Routlegde, 2015.
  •  ‘The Role of Historical Contexts in Shaping Social Policy in the Global South’ in Social Policy in a Developing World, (Eds. R, Surender, R. Walker) Elgar, 2013.
  •  ‘South-South Cooperation: A New Paradigm for Global Social Policy?’ (with M. Urbina) in Social Policy in a Developing World, (Eds. R. Surender R. Walker) Elgar, 2013.
  • 'The Health System of the United Kingdom' (with K. Matsuoka) pp 427-434, in International Encyclopaedia of Public Health, (Ed. K. Heggenhougen) Elsevier, 2008.
  • ‘Modern challenges to the welfare state and the antecedents of the Third Way’ in Welfare State Change: Towards a Third Way? (Eds. J. Lewis and R. Surender) OUP, 2004.
  •  ‘Health and Health Care’ (with R. Fitzpatrick and T. Chandola) in Britain since 1945, (Ed. J. Hollowell), Blackwell, Oxford, 2002.
Current students