New SALDRU Youth Explorer Team Members

Image: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay.

The Youth Explorer which uses national datasets to map indicators of youth well-being at national, provincial, and various sub-provincial levels, now includes information on government services that can equally be mapped down to the community level. The need to add this new ‘layer of knowledge’ to the portal emerged through the SALDRU-led Basic Package of Support intervention and in conversation with the National Pathway Management Network of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI).

Currently, large amounts of data on government provided services are being gathered and verified in a collaborative effort by SALDRU and OpenUp, supported by PYEI and its partners. The work receives funding from the Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion (CBPEP) – a key BPS partner funded by the European Union and based in the Government Technical Advisory Centre. More recently the World Bank allocated resources to provide short-term, intensive strengthening of the Youth Explorer team, from 1 May 2021 until the end of June 2021.

The additional team members are presented below. In the run up to the launch of the new Youth Explorer during June 2021, the extended team’s main focus in the next few weeks is a) to speed up the verification of services and service information, b) to begin to develop an approach to develop and map indicators of local economic activity and c) to strengthen the development capacity at our partner OpenUp to increase the Youth Explorer’s functionality.

Going forward, financial support will also be provided by the Agence Française de Développement as part of the Research Facility on Inequality funded by the European Union.


Paidamoyo Bodzo – Research assistant

Paidamoyo is a Research Assistant at SALDRU working on the Youth Explorer and NIDS-CRAM projects. She joined SALDRU in 2020. Paidamoyo holds a BBusSc in Economics from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is currently in her second year of a Master’s in Public Health, specialising in Health Economics. Her research interests are health and economic equity as well as adolescent wellbeing.


Katherine Davidson – Research assistant

Katherine is a research assistant who recently joined the team working on the Youth Explorer, and is funded by the World Bank. Katherine has recently completed her Master’s in Economics at UCT under the supervision of Dr. Neryvia Pillay Bell. Her research interests include data quality, education and gender.


Grace Budiaki – Research assistant

Grace is a research assistant who recently joined the Youth Explorer team, and is funded by the World Bank. Grace is a Master’s student in Applied Economics at UCT. She has a strong interest in labour economics, poverty and inequality, and public health. Her current research broadly focuses on labour supply, commuting and workers’ time use in the labour markets in South Africa. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCT.


Gibson Mudiriza – Senior analyst

Gibson recently re-joined the Youth Explorer team as a senior analyst, and is funded by the World Bank. Gibson is a Lecturer in Economics at the University of the Free State (UFS) in the Department of Economics and Finance. Prior to joining UFS, Gibson was a SALDRU Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. His research interests are in the area of Development Economics with a focus on local labour markets, inequality, poverty, and youth well-being. Gibson holds a PhD in Economics from UCT, and his dissertation looked at regional wage disparities in South Africa.


Michael Glenister – Software developer

Michael is a senior software developer working on the Youth Explorer project. He is based at OpenUp, and is funded by the World Bank. He studied at Nelson Mandela University completing a Bachelor of Technology (Software Development) in 2015. Between 2016 and 2021 he worked at the Research Unit in Bioinformatics. There he worked with a team of researchers to support high-performance compute infrastructure, developing computational web services, and building databases such as the South African Natural Compounds Database.