Carina van Rooyen

About me

I am senior researcher at the Africa Centre for Evidence (ACE) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) South Africa, where I coordinate our portfolio on Evidence Capacities, and co-direct the South African centre of the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence (CEE Joburg), with Prof Ruth Stewart.

CEE Joburg is one of seven centres of CEE. Our overarching focus is to encourage the production and use of synthesised research evidence in decision-making for environmental policies and practices in South Africa. [Read about our commitment at ACE to transparency and accountability, and how this got our Centre a five-star rating from Transparify.] I also serve on the editorial board of the journal of the CEE, Environmental Evidence.

CEE Joburg team 2016

I am passionate about learning, teaching, and supervision, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and professional learning of academics. I have been lecturing for over twenty years, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and received acknowledgement for my efforts in this regard through the Vice-chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2009. And in 2016 I was invited to joined the UJ Academy of Distinguished Teachers. I have successfully supervised numerous Honours research reports, MA dissertations, and PhD theses. My current PhD students are Luvuyo Zigana, Metoh Azunui, Charity Chisoro, and Hazel Zaranyika.

My research interests are in the nature of evidence (for whom and why), science-policy-practice engagements, political ecology of water and climate, and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and supervision. In all these I am conscious to look at these through a gender and social justice lens. In 2012 I completed my PhD with a Commonwealth Scholarship at the University of London. In my thesis I looked at bulk water governance in South Africa, and what flows on water reveal about flows of power, and specifically what we can learn from water governance about economic and social transformation in South Africa.

My current research projects are:

  1. A responsive evidence synthesis service for / with the South African national Department of Environmental Affairs. Our Responsive Evidence Synthesis Service (RESS) project is intended to map current environmental evidence in South Africa to support the co-production of responsive (including rapid) evidence syntheses with the national Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), through a demand-led process. We work with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) on the evidence mapping phase of this project. The overall goal of the RESS project is to strengthen South African environmental policy-makers to self-help and self-serve regarding the use of research evidence in various parts of a policy process. UJ’s University Research Committee is providing financial support for this project. Read more about this project under the Research tab at the top.
  2. Post-graduate student support in a blended learning environment: In this project we make use of evidence mapping methodology to learn about successful interventions of post-graduate student support. UJ’s Teaching Innovation Fund provided financial support for this project.
  3. Mentoring as a tool to support EIDM in Africa. As part of the project on Strengthening the Use of Evidence for Development Impact (SEDI), we are developing a learning brief on the use of mentoring in Africa to support EIDM.
    RESS people

Some of the collaborators on the RESS project

I serve on the editorial board of the journal Environmental Evidence, on the CEEDER Review college, a member of the UJ Academy of Distinguished Teachers, a member of the SEDI capacity development working group, a member of the UJ Humanities Internationalisation working group, and has been a reference group member for Water Research Commission-funded research projects on numerous ocassions.

It only takes two words to describe both my personal and professional life so far: water and social justice. Being a Piscean, I just LOOOVE water – in any form, shape, at any time and at any place. Combining this passion with my search for equalities and restless curiosity; these are what make me tick. If you want to know a bit more personal information about myself, see some ‘getting to know me’ info.

Fish eating fish


You can also follow my work at:

Twitter @carinavr


Google Scholar

2 thoughts on “About me

  1. I wonder if you have a recorded talk for this set of PowerPoint slides I have found.

    Also – do you have any other saved talks – From the visuals I see I would like to follow any leads you have for epistemological roots for evidence mapping (and public involvement in research).

    Thank you – from a first year PhD student in Exeter uk (

    Mary – no yet on twitter – but hope to be in 2021


    • Apologies for missing your comment Mary. I have no recording of the talk you are interested in. We did a conference presentation in March 2021 at the Evidence and Implementation Summit which hinted at epistemological roots (more on co-production), and which was recorded (though possibly behind a paywall). I’ll see if I can find it. A colleague of mine is writing an article on our policy-relevant evidence mapping – hoping that it will be ready later this year. Best with your PhD! NS: loved your blog posting of last year.


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