Ms Diana Sanchez Betancourt

DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
TELEPHONE: 021 466 7823

Diana is a Chief Researcher within the Impact and Research Development division at the HSRC . She is a Colombian who has spent several years in Africa and studied in various countries, gaining knowledge and experience from various disciplines, approaches and life experiences. She holds an MA in social sciences from the Department of Peace and Conflict at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, a BA in finances, government and international relations from Universidad Externado in Colombia, was an exchange student at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Calgary, Canada and has attended various fellowships and short courses through organisations like APISA, CLACSO and the ISSC.

Before joining the HSRC Diana's work trajectory included working for the Colombian Government monitoring multi-stakeholder collaborative mechanisms to assist IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and populations at risk in conflict areas, and as a researcher for the Swedish NGO Diakonia, Regional Office for Southern Africa.

At the HSRC Diana has managed and participated in various projects dealing with urbanisation processes, transforming governance systems, social accountability methodologies, south-south comparative research, the challenges of socio-economic transformation and community based and participatory action research. She is an ISSC World Social Science Fellow on sustainable urbanisation, was selected as part of the "100 Colombians" in 2014, is member of TUKN global network of urban researchers and is a co-founder and member of the citizen-based urban movement Open Streets Cape Town. Some of her recent work includes; thematic leader of the citizen engagement governance work stream of National Treasury's Cities Support Programme; field work and participatory research coordinator of the international comparative project(South Africa - Brazil) funded by the Safer and Inclusive Cities programme 'Social Cohesion: The missing link in understanding poverty, inequality and violence?' ; thematic coordinator for two inter-continental learning alliances (on Citizen Oversight and Human Rights) for the UK funded Evidence and Lessons from Latin America Programme- ELLA; project coordinator for the Sustainability Hearings in South Africa gathering the voices of ordinary citizens; thematic researcher of study assessing the the impact of the World Cup on social cohesion and nation-building and other projects looking at the socio-economic transformation in South Africa, SMMEs and the Corporate Social Responsibility of South African companies in the region. She is passionate about trans-disciplinary research and collaborations, community based research and implementing action research initiatives that hold transformative power.Her publication record includes the authoring and co-authoring of conference presentations, research articles and book chapters on the subjects outlined above. Similarly, she has directed the production of short videos and multi-media outputs for disseminating research material in non-academic audiences.


Governance Index Implementation Plan

The HSRC seeks to develop a Good Governance Index for South Africa that would operate as a policy monitoring instrument and a tool for generating evid....

BCURE Consortium

INASP has contracted with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for the provision of services for the Building Capacity for the Use o....

Social Cohesion: The Missing Link in overcoming Violence and Inequality

The overall purpose of the project is to deepen our knowledge of violence, and consequently our ability to respond to it in Cities in the Global South....

Cities Support Programme

Background: The CSP is an initiative of National Treasury in collaboration with key government departments to address spatial inequalities and dev....

Evidence & Lessons From Latin America

Practical Action Consulting Southern Africa (PAC SnA) is implementing the final phase of the project Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA). T....