Dr Tim GB Hart



PhD in Social Anthropology and an MPhil in Social Science Methods – both from Stellenbosch University.

Tim has three decades of experience in rural and peri-urban research and development, most of which has involved working for several NGOs and two science councils. He is currently a chief research specialist in the Developmental, Capable and Ethical State Group of the Human Sciences Research Council. Tim’s interests are multiple and include rural and urban development, land reform, agriculture, food security, poverty, innovation, brokers and mediation, gender, xenophobia, participation, and disability. He conducted monitoring and evaluation studies on behalf of the GTZ, WFP and several South African Government Departments and private enterprises since 2000.

In 2002, he consulted on participatory methodology in Uganda on behalf of the Makerere University and the McKnight Foundation. In 2004 he was a co-founder of the South African chapter of the multi-stakeholder platform Prolinnova (PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and Natural Resource Management). In 2005 he led research on the significance of indigenous knowledge and food in household agriculture. In 2007 the International Social Sciences Council requested him to coordinate and to contribute to the social science component of a Discussion Paper for the Commission on Sustainable Development.

In 2008 and 2009, he co-led research on poverty and food security in South Africa for the DfID supported Commark Trust. The findings resulted in a special edition of Agrekon on food security, guest-edited with Miriam Altman and Peter Jacobs. In 2009 he served as the External examiner of a Master of Arts Dissertation in land and rural development at PLAAS the University of the Western Cape and an external moderator for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Land and Agrarian Studies coursework. From 2014 to 2019, he was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Africanus, the Journal of Development Studies.

Since 2015 he has served as a member of the Industry and Scientific Advisory Council for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research collaborative project with ARC on grass-fed beef products. In 2017 he co-led research on land reform and land hunger in South Africa for the Belgian Technical Cooperation. During 2020 and 20221Tim was the South African Co-Investigator and project manager of a COVID-19 and disability experiences study in South Africa, led by IDS (UK) and funded by the UKRI. He is currently a Co-Investigator on a traditional foods, food security and urbanisation project led by the University of Newcastle (UK), in partnership with the University of York (UK) and funded by the British Academy . He serves on the HSRC Research Ethics Committee and the Statistics South Africa Disability Advisory Group.

Selected Publications

Book Chapters:

  • Hart, TGB. 2021. He who pays the piper calls the tune: Personal reflections on collaborators, conspirators and researchers at the HSRC. Chapter 30. In Soudien, C., Swartz, S. and Houston, G. Society, Research and Power: A History of The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  • Bank, L and Hart, TGB. 2020.. Land reform and belonging in South Africa: A place-making perspective. Chapter 4. In Steyn-Kotze, J and Bohler-Muller, N. (Eds.) Reflections on the 2019 South African General Elections Quo Vadis? London: Routledge.
  • Hart, Tim GB. 2019. Translating farmland redistribution project practices into policy outcomes. In Peter T Jacobs (ed) Equitable Rural Socio-Economic Change: Land | Climate dynamics | Technological Innovation. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  • Booyens, I and Hart, TGB. 2019. Innovation in a Changing South Africa: Extant Debates and Critical Reflections. In J Knight and C Rogerson (eds), The Geography of South Africa: Contemporary Changes and New Directions. Springer Scientific Press.

Journal articles:

  • Tim GB Hart, Yul Derek Davids, Stephen Rule, Precious Tirivanhu and Samela Mtyingizane. (2022). The COVID-19 pandemic reveals an unprecedented rise in hunger: the South African Government was ill-prepared to meet the challenge. Scientific African Special Edition on COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2022.e01169
  • Tim GB Hart, Yul Derek Jacobs, Mary Wickenden, Yamkela Majikijela, Mercy Ngungu and Stephen Thompson. (2021). Perceptions of persons with disabilities on the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in South Africa. South African Health Review 2021. Durban: Health Systems Trust. Pp 287-295. https://www.hst.org.za/publications/South%20African%20Health%20Reviews/Chapter27_SAHR21_04022022_OD.pdf
  • Tim GB Hart, Irma Booyens and Sikhulumile Sinyolo. 2019. Innovation for Development in South Africa: Experiences with Basic Service Technologies in Distressed Municipalities, Forum for Development Studies, DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2019.1654543
  • Tim GB Hart, Margaret Chandia and Peter T Jacobs. 2018. Land reform and changing gender patterns in rural farmland ownership. Agenda 32(4).
  • Esther Makhetha and Tim GB Hart.2018. Hunger for farmland among female farmers in Limpopo Province: bodies, violence and land. Agenda 32(4).