Gill Black

Gill Black

Title: Managing Director
Hometown: Edinburgh, Scotland
Qualification: PhD (CANTAB); B.SC (Hons – GU)
Email address: gill.black@livelihoods.org.za

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.

Grants Awarded

2019: Co-Investigator; UK Research Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (£992 388) Title: Water and Fire: Enhancing capacity and reducing risk through 15 ‘Best Bets’ for transformative adaptation with vulnerable residents on the Cape Flats; Duration: 3 years.

2018: Principle Investigator, Wellcome Trust Public Engagement grant (£93 000). Title : Bucket Loads of Health; Duration:12 months.

2016: Principle Investigator, Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award (£33 000). Title: The Heart of the Matter; Duration: 9 months.

2015: Co-Investigator; Making All Voices Count (£75 000) Title: Translating Complex Realities Through Technology: Lessons about government responsiveness in South Africa; Duration: 18 months.

2015: Co-Investigator; Institute of Development Studies Participate Initiative (£30 000) Title: Citizen-led policies for safer and inclusive cities: shifting accountabilities in Cape Town, South Africa; Duration: 12 months.

2015: Principle Investigator, USAID TB Care II (R750 000). Title: Participation in action for the prevention of tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa; Duration: 6 months.

2014: Co-Investigator; Institute of Development Studies Accountable Grant Partnership with the UK Department for International Development (£10 000) Title: Researching collective action with men and boys against gender-based violence; Duration:12 months.

2013: Principle Investigator; Institute of Development Studies Participate Initiative (£10 000) Title: Engaging South African youth in the digital storytelling process on the theme of tuberculosis and HIV; Duration: 6 months.

2013: Principle Investigator; USAID TB Program South Africa (R500 000). Title: Engaging a vulnerable South African community in tuberculosis and HIV prevention using a participatory approach; Duration: 12 months.