Dr Mercy Nduku Ngungu

DEPARTMENT: Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES)
TELEPHONE: 012 302 2711
EMAIL: mngungu@hsrc.ac.za

Dr Mercy Ngungu is a Data Manager - research specialist in the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) research programme. She holds an PhD Science in Mathematical Statistics (approved with distinction). a Masters in Mathematical Technology from Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa and a BSc. Hons. Actuarial Science form Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya. Mercy specialises in quantitative research with key specialities in data modelling using machine learning techniques, data & analytics (database design & administration, data management, data analysis), survey designs, and reporting..

Experience and special projects: She is an established data scientist with her expertise spanning over 13 years in the actuarial, mathematical and statistical modelling spaces. She has undertaken projects for organisations such as, SANDF, SA DoH, LGSETA, DPSA, AfDB, SA DoE, IEC, KPMG, SARS, SA Standard Bank, SA ABSA Bank, USAID and the World Bank..

Prior to joining HSRC Mercy worked as an Actuarial analyst for SolveCo Actuarial consultants, Eagle Africa insurance brokers and KPMG as a Senior analyst specialising in financial modelling, product development and data & analytics. Currently, Mercy is the lead data manager for South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) which is an annual nationally representative survey that tracks societal values in changing times from 2003, The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Voter Participation Surveys (VPS), Elections Satisfaction Surveys (ESS), Food Security and Nutrition Survey and many other quantitative research projects at DCES.

Publications: Her research interest is in estimation methods with incomplete data and predictive modelling using machine learning with applications in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Her estimation methods have been applied in climate change, finance, epidemiology & ecology research, published in journals and presented in conferences..