NBA's multi-disciplinary team of educational specialists designs and delivers tailored, cost-effective services to solve your planning, implementation, and research challenges.
- Neil Butcher
- Monge Tlaka
- Andrew Moore
- Cathy MacDonald
- Sarah Hoosen
- James Swash
- Kirsty von Gogh
- Mohini Baijnath
- Merridy Wilson-Strydom
|NEIL BUTCHER is based in South Africa, from where he has provided policy and technical advice and support to a range of national and international clients regarding educational planning, uses of educational technology and distance education, both as a full-time employee at the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) from 1993 to 2001 and as Director of Neil Butcher & Associates since then. He has worked with various educational institutions (including UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning), assisting with transformation and research efforts that focus on effectively harnessing the potential of distance education methods, educational technology, and OER. Neil has travelled extensively through the developing world conducting research on educational policy, higher education, distance education, education management information systems, and educational technology for a range of organizations, governments, and donors. He works with OER Africa as the project’s OER Strategist and is also currently consulting to the World Bank on a range of project activities across several African countries and in Asia.
|MONGE TLAKA joined NBA in 2002 as Database and Systems project manager. Monge’s role involves website development, improvement and quality control, including continuous content updates, monitoring of other websites targeting a similar audience and producing analytical reports on site visits and usage. She works closely with the clients and various subject experts to develop appropriate taxonomies and tagging for OER materials. Monge has managed a range of online database and web development projects for various organizations. She has gained extensive experience in publishing content online, developing interactive tutorials and implementing online social media strategies. She also leads a range of media strategies producing online marketing materials, website content and keywords for Search Engine Optimizations (SEO), and works with copy editors and graphic designers to produce marketing materials, brochures and newsletters. Monge manages the website technical team and hosting environment. Together with the client, Monge supports the implementation of communication and advocacy strategies that promote OER across all publicity materials and websites.
|ANDREW MOORE has worked at Neil Butcher & Associates since 2003 as an author, materials developer, instructional designer, web interface designer, and educational technology trainer. He has also facilitated the development of ICT in Education policies at both national and institutional levels. He is currently managing several projects designed to provide capacity to staff at African ministries of education and higher education institutions to design, develop and deploy e-learning solutions using open resources. He has also helped others use the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers to design professional development courses for teachers in Kenya, Rwanda, Togo, South Africa, Oman, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the Philippines. Andrew completed a Master of Education degree specializing in Computer Assisted Education at the University of Pretoria and has 14 years’ experience teaching secondary education.
|CATHY MACDONALD is an expert Project Manager with over 18 years’ experience, specialising in the implementation and management of education projects, nationally and internationally. Cathy has substantial experience in the management of large-scale, multifaceted content and materials development projects with multiple participants and stakeholders across South Africa and internationally. Cathy believes that education should support learners to be able to generate sustainable livelihoods and become active, engaged, and accountable citizens. She seeks to achieve this through her work in the TVET Sector where she is assisting the Department of Higher Education and Training to widen and improve access to quality further education opportunities for all South Africans through an Open Learning materials development approach. Cathy has a BSc Ed (Hons) ICT from the University of Durham in England and a Master’s degree in Computer-integrated Education from the University of Pretoria.
|SARAH HOOSEN is a lead researcher at NBA. Since joining NBA in 2006, Sarah has evaluated several projects in the area of education and technology, bringing data collection, research, problem solving, analytical, writing, and critical thinking skills. Sarah has worked with, and provided research services to several organizations including Microsoft, UNESCO, Commonwealth of Learning, GESCI, DAAD, and African Leadership Academy. Sarah has also published on issues related to distance education and open educational resources. Sarah manages several research projects, and is currently evaluating the effectiveness of an Africa Careers Network pilot programme (an initiative of the African Leadership Academy running in South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia), a project which aims to enhance the career trajectory of students. She has a Masters Degree in Social Science (Counselling Psychology) and started her career as a counselling psychologist.
|JAMES SWASH joined NBA in 2011 as a Senior Developer, Technical Advisor, Systems Administrator and Project Manager. James has been developing, setting up, hosting and maintaining various online platforms, learning management systems (LMS) and content management systems (CMS) since 2008. James worked as a junior developer in C# and .NET languages, using the Dot Net Nuke and Community Server platforms as well as database design using Microsoft SQL Server. James has Advisory, Training, PHP, MySQL, and Linux Server management skills in the Moodle and Drupal platforms. James is a proponent of using open source software and systems to enable and improve access to quality, relevant educational resources in Africa. James enjoys the research and implementation of these web technologies to provide meaningful improvements in education.
|KIRSTY VON GOGH joined NBA as a project manager in 2016 and since then her work has focused on early literacy and open licensing for a project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Her work on various projects includes research, editing, writing, and content development with a focus on open learning. Before joining Neil Butcher & Associates, Kirsty worked in educational publishing, producing titles for South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. Kirsty has extensive experience publishing print and digital textbooks, online assessment and courses, and resource materials for the schools’ curricula across all grades and subjects.
|MOHINI BAIJNATH is a researcher at Neil Butcher and Associates (NBA), where she provides educational research and evaluation expertise. At NBA, she has worked for distinguished national and international organizations and government entities. She has managed projects for UNESCO Cairo, Artificial Intelligence for Development (AI4D) Africa, and the Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance (VVOB). Mohini has also honed her skills in content development and narrative writing, developing instructional and promotional content for clients such as African Leadership Academy and the Department of Higher Education and Training. In 2017, she obtained her Master’s degree in Sociology at the University of Cape Town, having attained her Honours degree in Social Anthropology at the same university. Her Master's dissertation examined conceptions of decolonization and academic freedom and their impact on South Africa’s higher education landscape. Mohini’s career interests lie at the nexus of research and education, which continues to drive her advocacy for accessible, high-quality education for all.
|MERRIDY WILSON-STRYDOM is a senior researcher and project manager with 18 years’ experience doing social and educational research in both traditional academic and applied environments. Merridy has worked at all levels of the education sector in South Africa and other developing country contexts, including schooling, technical and vocational education and training, community colleges, universities and skills development. She is well versed in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including monitoring and evaluation, institutional research, participatory and action research. She has published widely in national and international journals, has published two scholarly books and was an Associate Editor (Education and Social Sciences) for the South African Journal of Science from 2015-2017. Merridy has a PhD in Higher Education Studies from the University of the Free State and an MPhil in Development Studies from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar. Amongst other clients, she is currently working with the African Leadership Academy (ALA), providing support for institutional learning, and is leading the monitoring and evaluation of the ALA Anzisha Prize programme that works with talented young African entrepreneurs.