Title: Co-Director
Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa
Qualification: PhD (CANTAB), MPhil
Email address: andrew.charman@livelihoods.org.za

Andrew trained as a sociologist and development economist. His current research focuses on understanding the scope, scale and spatiality of the township informal economy through an examination of area case studies. His interests include studying the dynamics of micro-enterprises / entrepreneurship as well as understanding the politics of informality. Andrew has experimented with new research methods to enhance stakeholder participation and visualise outcomes. He has written about food insecurity in rural societies, the use of welfare transfer as a strategy to reduce unemployment, micro-enterprise competition and violent entrepreneurship, state policies to enforce informalisation and the sociology of drink and drinking. In his current role, Andrew seeks to translate research into policy measures that can better serve the needs of people living in poverty through empowering them with active citizenship to challenge unfair laws and hold politicians and policy makers to account for their development interventions.

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


Charman A, 2013. ‘Chapter 2. Social protection and labour markets in Malawi: the centrality of agriculture’, in Social protection, growth and employment: evidence from India, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico and Tajikistan. UNDP.

Charman A, Herrick C and L Petersen. 2014. ‘Formalising Urban Informality: Micro-Enterprises and the Regulation of Liquor in Cape Town’, The Journal Of Modern African Studies.

Charman AJE and LM Petersen. 2015. Chapter 4. A Transnational Space of Business: The Informal Economy of Ivory Park, Johannesburg. Mean Streets. Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in South Africa. Southern African Migration Programme, the African Centre for Cities, International Development Research Centre.

Charman AJE, Petersen LM and T Govender. 2015. Street trade in Ivory Park, in Mortenbock, P. and H. Mooshammer. Informal Market Worlds. The architecture of economic pressure. NAI010 Publishers.

Charman AJ, Petersen L, Piper L, Liedeman R and T Legg. 2015. Small Area Census Approach to Measure the Township Informal Economy in South Africa. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1558689815572024.

Charman A, L Petersen and T Govender. 2014. ‘Shebeens As Spaces and Places of Informality, Enterprise, Drinking and Sociability’, South African Geographical Journal.

Charman A, Petersen L and L Piper. 2013. Enforced Informalisation: The Case of Liquor Retailers in South Africa. Development Southern Africa.

Charman A, Petersen L and L Piper. 2012. From Local Survivalism To Foreign Entrepreneurship: The Transformation of the Spaza Sector in Delft, Cape Town. Transformation, 78.

Charman A and L Piper. 2012. Xenophobia, Criminality and Violent Entrepreneurship: Violence Against Somali Shopkeepers in Delft South, Cape Town, South Africa. South African Review of Sociology, 43:3.

Herrick C and Charman. 2013. Shebeens And Crime: The Multiple Criminalities of South Africa Liquor and Its Regulation. Sa Crime Quarterly, 45.

Liedeman R, Charman A, Piper L and L Petersen. 2013. Why Are Foreign-Run Spaza Shops More Successful? The Rapidly Changing Spaza Sector in South Africa. Econ3x3.

Petersen L, Charman A and F Kroll. 2017. Trade Dynamics in Cape Town Township Informal Foodservice – A Qualitative and Supply Chain Study. Development Southern Africa. 1 (35). 70-89. Doi: 10.1080/0376835x.2017.1412297

Petersen LM, Charman AJ, Moll EJ, Collins RJ, and MT Hockings. 2014. Bush Doctors and Wild Medicine: The Scale of Trade in Cape Town’s Informal Economy of Wild-Harvested Medicine and Traditional Healing. Society & Natural Resources. 27(3):315-336.