Professor Lucie Cluver

Lucie Cluver

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Professor of Child and Family Social Work

Governing Body Fellow of Wolfson College

University of Cape Town, Honorary Lecturer, Division of Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health

Lucie Cluver is a Professor of Child and Family Social Work, in the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and an Honorary Lecturer in Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. She works closely with the South African government, USAID-PEPFAR, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and Save the Children, and with other international NGOs, to provide research evidence that can improve the lives of children affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lucie is lucky to work with an incredible and dedicated team of PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and colleagues at the Universities of Cape Town, University of Witwatersrand, Brown and KwaZulu-Natal. Recent projects include the ‘Young Carers Study’, the world’s largest study of risk and resilience amongst AIDS-affected children, following 6000 children longitudinally in South Africa, and the ‘Orphan Resilience Study’, which was the developing world’s first longitudinal study of the impacts of AIDS-orphanhood on children, following 1000 children over four years in urban South Africa.


Two projects started in 2013. The first is in collaboration with the South African government, UNICEF and the University of Cape Town, and aims to identify predictors of non-adherence to antiretroviral medication and non-use of sexual and reproductive health services amongst HIV+ adolescents. A 3-year longitudinal quantitative cohort survey of 1500 adolescents is assessing long-term predictors, and a longitudinal qualitative study led by Dr Rebecca Hodes is investigating lived experiences of HIV+ teens, their families and their healthcare providers.

The second major project is in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the South African government and the Universities of Cape Town and Bangor. This is an initiative called 'Parenting for Lifelong Health' - developing and testing in randomised controlled trials a set of evidence-based child abuse prevention programmes for free access to all. The Sinovuyo Teen programme has gone through three stages of testing in South Africa, and a large cluster randomised trial (n=1200, 40 sites) is underway, with initial results showing reductions in physical and emotional absue and improved parenting. 

Funders: European Research Council 'Horizon 2020', The Nuffield Foundation, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Foundation, DFID/EHPSA, the National Research Foundation (South Africa), UNICEF Innocenti Office of Research, UNICEF Headquarters, USAID-PEPFAR, the Health Economics and AIDS Research Division at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ilifa Labantwana, the Claude Leon Foundation, the National Department of Social Development South Africa, the World Health Organisation, the John Fell Fund, the Regional Interagency Task Team for Children Affected by AIDS and the International AIDS Society Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research.


Lucie would welcome applications for D.Phils from students who are committed to policy and programming-relevant research and to helping mitigate the impacts of HIV/AIDS and family distress on children in sub-Saharan Africa. She speaks terrible Xhosa and has a bad habit of missing flights.

Current DPhil Students

Previous Students

Lucie's previous DPhil students have gone on to be successful in academia, policy and practice:


  • Caroline Kuo (2010) - is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences in the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University
  • Lena Saleh (2012) - is the Director of Program Planning in HIV Prevention in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Tyler Lane (2013) - is a research fellow in the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research at Monash University
  • Franziska Meinck (2014) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford
  • Beth Vale (2015) - is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand
  • Jamie Lachman (2016) - is a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at Oxford