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Gabrielle Wills


Email: gabriellewills@gmail.com


Gabrielle Wills is an education economist and researcher with Research on Socio-Economic Policy,  in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She graduated in 2016 with her PhD in Economics, with a dissertation focused on school leadership and teacher union effects on learning outcomes. Dr Wills has been involved in various research projects and capacity development initiatives for local and international organisations, including the South African Presidency, the South African Department of Basic Education, the Ministry of Education in Namibia, UNICEF and local philanthropy organisations. She was also involved in the monitoring and evaluation at baseline of the DFID funded EQUIP-Tanzania project. Locally she co-authored the “Binding Constraints in Education” project for the South African Presidency and the European Union. Over the past 2 years, she has been a lead researcher on an ESRC/DFID funded project to identify outlier no-fee schools in South Africa while exploring factors associated with academic resilience in challenging contexts. Dr Wills’ current areas of research interest include education systems reform, school leadership and management, teacher union effects and the links between cognitive and socio-emotional skills. She regularly speaks in civil society forums on the state of education service delivery in South Africa. She is also the founder of a volunteer non-profit organisation called Micah6 which facilitates access to improved educational opportunities for vulnerable youth and young adults in Durban, South Africa.