Gill Black

Gill Black

Title: Managing Director
Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland
Qualification: PhD (CANTAB); B.SC (Hons – GU)
Email address:

Gill began her career as an infectious diseases researcher in 1993. Her experience as a field-based health scientist in Kenya, Brazil, Malawi and South Africa, and extensive interactions with research participants in each of these contexts, catalysed Gill’s transition to the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation (SLF) in 2010. In her capacity as a director at SLF, Gill now works to engage with people living in townships and informal settings about the public health concerns and health-related research activities that most affect their lives. Gill has developed a core interest in the use of participatory visual methods (PVM) as platforms for action research to foster community mobilization and transform health practice.

Over the past 8 years she has gained extensive experience in a wide range of PVM including digital storytelling, applied theatre, participatory photography and collaborative film-making. Gill has developed innovative approaches to working with body mapping and hand mapping as grounded platforms for knowledge exchange and co-learning. Most recently she wrote a blog for Saferspaces on using hand mapping in the contexts of violence and insecurity. Gill received her qualifications and biomedical training at the Universities of Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge, London and Stellenbosch. She has lived and worked in Cape Town since 2002.

For a more in-depth and comprehensive view of Gill’s publication history, please visit her Research Gate profile.


Staunton C, de Roubaix M, Baatjies D, Black G, Hendricks M, Roussouw T, Moodley K. 2018. Ethical challenges in developing an educational video to empower potential participants during consent processes in HIV cure research in South Africa. Journal of Virus Eradication; 4 e25-29.

Black G, Davies A, Iskander D and Chambers M. 2018. Reflections on the ethics of participatory visual methods to engage communities in global health research. Global Bioethics; 29 (1): 22-38  Published online : 20 Dec 2017

Bivens F, Black G, Hartnack H, Waltz M, Wheeler J. 2017. Translating Complex Realities Through Technologies: Lessons about participatory accountability from South Africa. Making AllVoices Count Research Report, Brighton : IDS

Mills E, Shahrock T, Wheeler J, Black G, Cornelius R and van den Heever L. 2015. Turning the Tide : The Role of Collective Action for Addressing Structural and Gender-based Violence in South AfricaIDS Evidence Report No 188 Empowerment of Women and Girls. Institute of Development Studies.

Arteaga W, Black G, Newell N, Kahiu Gathigi M, Rahman L, Shaw J, Tusiime P. 2014. Knowledge from the margins: An anthology from a global network on participatory practice and policy influence. Shahrokh T and Wheeler J (eds.).
Chapter 2.1  Methods and Challenges in using Participatory Processes in Diverse Contexts : Bridging the Gap Between Community Reality and Policymaking

Black G and Petersen N. 2016. The Heart of the Matter. A Narrated Photobook of Public Engagement in Cardiovascular Disease Research. Published for Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation : Cape Town.

Black G, Derakhshani N, Liedeman R and Wheeler J. 2016. What we live with every day is not right. National Report : Partnership for accountability and safer cities in South Africa. Published for Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation : Cape Town.