Our Team

Dr Robyn Pharoah (PhD)

- Senior Researcher, Lecturer & Programme Coordinator

Robyn is researcher with more than 18 years’ applied research experience. She has worked as a researcher and analyst in the private, non-governmental and academic sectors, and has experience in social and development research, policy analysis and training and education, both in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa.

She obtained a BA Honours degree in Anthropology from the University of Durban in the United Kingdom and a Master’s of Social Science in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Over the course of her professional career she has worked on issues as diverse as land reform, crime and victimization, human trafficking and people’s knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS and the epidemic’s implications for human security. Following almost a of decade developmentally-oriented research in the private and NGO sectors, she became interested in the linkages between development and disasters, and returned to university in the mid-2000s, obtaining a post-graduate degree in Disaster Risk Science from the University of Cape Town, and later her doctorate, which focused on flooding in informal settlements and low-cost housing in Cape Town.

Her recent research projects include a multi-disciplinary post-event review of high-impact weather events in the Western Cape and a review on risk and resilience in African cities. She also convenes RADAR’s MPhil programme in DRSD at Stellenbosch University..

Contact Details

Tel: 021 808 9492


BA Honours (Anthropology), Durham University, 1997
  • M Social Science (Development Studies) (cum laude), University of KwaZulu-Natal, 1999
  • PhD, University of Cape Town, 2013

Publications, Articles and Research

Ziervogel, G., Pelling, M., Cartwright, A., Chu, E., Deshpande, T., Harris, L., Hyams, K., Kaunda, J., Klaus, B., Michael, K. and Pasquini, L., 2017. Inserting rights and justice into urban resilience: a focus on everyday risk. Environment and Urbanization29(1), pp.123-138. The link is https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0956247816686905

Zweig, P. & Pharoah, R. 2017. Unique in their complexity: Conceptualising everyday risk in urban communities in the Western Cape, South Africa. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 26 December 2017: 51-56.

Pharoah, R (2016). Strengthening Urban Resilience in African Cities: Understanding and addressing urban risk. ActionAid International.

R Pharoah, A Holloway, G Fortune, A Chapman, E Schaber and P Zweig (2016). Off the Radar - Synthesis Report High Impact Weather Events in the Western Cape, South Africa 2003 – 2014. Research Alliance for Disaster and Risk Reduction (RADAR): Stellenbosch University.

R Pharoah (2014). Built-in Risk: Linking housing concerns and flood risk in subsidised housing settlements in Cape Town, South Africa. International Journal of Disaster Risk, vol. 5(4).

Pharoah, R, Fortune, G, Chasi, V and Holloway, A (2013). The Environment and Risk Reduction: Focus on urban risk. Input paper for Integrated Urban Development Framework. South African Cities Network.

Pharoah, R (2009). ‘Fire risk in informal settlements in Cape Town’. In Pelling, M and Wisner, B (eds.) Disaster Risk Reduction: Cases from Urban Africa. Earthscan: London/Sterling, VA.

Pharoah, R (2009). Sustainable Livelihoods and the Disaster-Poverty Nexus. Input paper prepared for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction’s 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Ndinga-Muvumba, A and Pharoah, R (eds.) (2008). HIV/AIDS and society in South Africa. Scottsville: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

2021 © UX Design & Development by NetMechanic