Skip Navigation LinksStaff Profile / Community Development / Nene Ernest Khalema
Position Associate Professor & Academic Leader
Discipline Community Development
Phone +27(0)31 260 2288
Email khalema@ukzn.ac.za
Campus Howard College Campus
Office Address 714-Shepstone Building

Brief Profile

Professor Ernest Nene Khalema is an interim Dean and Head of School of the School of Built Environment & Development Studies (SoBEDS).  He is also an Associate Professor and Academic Leader of the discipline of Community Development within SoBEDS. Before joining UKZN he was a Senior/Chief Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council (2011-2015), an assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Calgary- Canada (2007-2011), a lecturer/senior lecturer in various Canadian universities and colleges since 2001(-.e. Athabasca University, University of Alberta, MacEwan University, Concordia University College, and Kings University College) just to name a few. Professor Khalema is also an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the University of Alberta’ Centre for Health Promotion Studies (Canada) since 2012. Professor Khalema has taught social science courses in the disciplines of sociology, social work, development studies, education, and community health since 2001. His area of research specialization includes participatory action methodologies (quantitative and qualitative), medical humanities, social epidemiology, health of vulnerable populations (including trauma studies and mental health), child and youth care, global migration studies, community crime prevention, and sustainable development. Professor Khalema has led and co-led numerous national and international research projects and his areas of research interest in numerous countries including seminal work in Canada, Mozambique, Brazil, and currently South Africa. He is a recipient of the 2010 Center for Community Engaged Learning (University of Calgary) Teaching Innovation Award for Service Learning and Student Engagement; the 2011 John Humphrey Centre for Peace & Human Rights’ Individual Human Rights Award; and the 2012 Center for Race & Culture’ Antiracism Award. His projects have tackled interventionist work for community empowerment/engagement; the demography of global migrations and its consequences; and the social epidemiology of vulnerable populations (including migrants and refugees, those experiencing homelessness, people diagnosed with mental health illness, and survivors of racial/gender/sexual violence). Professor Khalema’s publication record includes self and co-authored books, book chapters, technical research reports, conference proceedings, and referred journal articles. He is an editor of two forthcoming books entitled: “Crisis, Identity, and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa” (2017- Springer) and “Affirming their Resilient Lives: African Migrant Youth in Africa and Diaspora” (2017-Sense Publishers). His recent co-edited books –“Children in South African Families: Lives and Times” (2016), “Millennium Development Goals in Retrospect: Africa’s Development Beyond 2015” (2015), and “Africa Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Exploring the Multidimensional Discourses on Development” (2013) unpacked development dynamics in the global south around the political economy of difference where hegemonic prescriptions about modernity, identity, and difference are critically examined and rethought to open up the possibilities of a decolonial analysis of family systems, social inclusion, and development dynamics borne of struggle.

  • PhD Sociology (Health,Social Epidemiology, Stratification, & Social Policy).
  • MEd Theoretical, Cultural & International-Educational Policy Studies
  • Graduate Diploma in Policy Studies (International) Depart of Educational Policy Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts Sociology & Psychology

University of Alberta, Canada

Selected Research Projects as PI or Co-PI

Professor Khalema’ research has involved evidenced-based, policy/practice–driven, and community responsive work that is mindful of context. Prof Khalema has led funded projects as PI, Co-PI, Project Leader, and Co-investigator contributing his research expertise as a mixed methodologist with a strong community-based praxis. The areas of thought leadership Prof Khalema has contributed are diverse and multidisciplinary [i.e. health disparities for marginalised communities, community development, crime prevention, transcultural mental health,  youth transitions, imaginations of difference (i.e. race, identity, class and so forth), employment (in)security; and  most importantly migration (with emphasis on immigration policies, forced migration issues, violence as a result of migration, criminality, xenophobia, integration and settlement of refugees and asylum seekers in health and education systems)]. Below is a selected list of research grants awarded as PI and /or CoPI:

  • (PI) Evaluating Safer Cities Unit of the eThekwini Municipality (2016)
  • (PI) Understanding Homelessness in the City of Durban (2015-2016)
  • (Co-PI) Post 1994 Genocide Survivors in Edmonton: Rwandan Community-based Research Project Exploring Mental Health Challenges, Strengths and Pathways to Healing (2015-2016).
  • (Co-PI) Millennium Development Goals Country Report 2015 (2015)-Lead Author: MDG3: Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women (2015)
  • (Co-PI) Future Impact Evaluation for Informal Settlements Targeted for Upgrading in South Africa (2014-2016)
  • (Co-PI) Assessing Awareness, Understanding, and Implementation of Population Policy in South Africa
  • (PI) Situational Analysis of Population and Development in Eight Priority areas of KZN & EC (2013)
  • (Co-PI) Circular Migration in the Eastern Cape and its Implications on Service Delivery (2013-2014)
  • (PI) Enhancing the Research Capacity and Literacy of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial and Local Government Planners, Community Health Workers, and Community Practitioners Engaged in Research on “War on Poverty Survey ”and Project Management (2012)
  •  (PI) A Review of Risk Factors and Community based Crime Prevention Strategies for Somali- Canadians in Alberta (2011)
  • (PI) A Qualitative Longitudinal Cohort Assessment of Unaccompanied Refugee Youth in Edmonton: Pathways and Transition Options for Successful Integration and Resettlement (2010-2011)
  • (Co-PI) Support needs of postsecondary students who experience mental health difficulties (2009)
  • (Co-PI) Finding Firmer Ground: Support Intervention Preferences for Immigrant Seniors (2005)

Teaching Interests (Community Development)

  • CMDV 101 HC Introduction to Community Development `
  • CMDV 303 HC Population & Community Development
  • CMDV 606 HC Power, Participation and Social Change
  • CMDV  811 HC Advanced Community Economic Development
  • CMDV  812 HC Sustainable Community Development
  • CMDV  814 HC Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • CMDV  820 HC Research Methods
  • Books

  • Khalema, N.E. (forthcoming, 2017). Affirming their Resilient Lives: Migrant Youth in Africa and the Diaspora. Sense Publishers
  • Magidimisha, H. H., Khalema, N.E., Chipungu, L., Chirimabmowa, T., & Chimedza, T (Eds). (in press). Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa. Springer (Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development Series).
  • Makiwane, M., Nduna, M., & Khalema, N.E (2016). Children in South African Families: Lives and Times. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK.
  • Andrews, N., Khalema, N.E. & Assie-Lumumba, N’Dri (2015).  Millennium Development Goals in Retrospect: Africa’ Development Beyond 2015. Springer (Social Indicators Series) ISBN: 978-3-319-16165-5
  • Andrews, N., Khalema, N.E., Oriola, T., and Odoom, I (2013). Africa Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Exploring the Multi-dimensional Discourses on ‘Development Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN(10):1-4438-4184-6
  • Selected Journal Articles (2015-2017)

  • Ndinda, & Ndlovu, T; & Khalema, N.E.(2017). “Conceptions of Contraceptive Use in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Lessons for Programming” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14, 353; 1-16, doi:10.3390/ijerph14040353
  • Lai, D.W.L., Shankar, J., Khalema., N.E (2017). “Unspoken Skills and Tactics: Essentials for Immigrant Professionals in Integration to Workplace Culture” Journal of international Migration and Integration. DOI:10.1007/s12134-017-05135
  • Shankar, J. Khalema, N.E., Zulla, R, Ali, A (2016). “Supporting Visible Minority and Indigenous Students in a Postsecondary Education Setting: Addressing their Academic Aspirations, Challenges, and Barriers”. Journal of Educational Studies. Vol. 2 (3), 46-56
  • Khalema, N.E., Zulla, R., Shankar, J., Chui, Y., & Ortiz, L. (2016). “Participatory Community Action Process Addressing Employment Integration of Internationally Trained Professionals (ITPs) in Canada: Performing CBPR Principles from the Bottom-up”. Action Learning Action Research Journal Vol. 22 (2) p.118-161
  • Curtin, K. D., Loitz, C. C., Spencer-Cavaliere, N., Khalema, N. E. (2016). “Challenges of being new to Canada: Considerations for Physical Activity”. Global Health Promotion. doi:10.1177/1757975916656347
  • Khalema, N.E. (2016). Linguicism and Nationalism: A Post-Colonial Gaze on the Promotion of Afrikaans as a National Language in Apartheid South Africa” International Journal of Language Studies.Vol10 (2), 91-110
  • Khalema, N. E., (2015). “The Fecundity of the Race Discourse in Public Health and Epidemiology:  Understanding the Limits of Explaining Health Disparities Using Race Categories in Brazil.  International Journal of Translation & Community Medicine, Vol. 3(4), 71-78
  • Costumado, M.G.S., Khalema, N.E., Ndinda, C., &, Hari Domingos, M. (2015). “Women’s Access to Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) Services in Mozambique:  Advocacy Strategies to Address Barriers” Ubuntu: Journal of Conflict & Social Transformation. Vol. 4 (1), 55-82
  • Chapters in Books  (Refereed) 2015-2017

  • Khalema, N.E., Magidimisha, H. H., Chirimabmowa, T., Chipungu, L., &Chimedza, T (in press). “Crisis, Identity, and (Be)longing: A Thematic Introduction of the Vestiges of Migration in Post-independence Southern Africa” in Magidimisha, H. H., Khalema, N.E., Chipungu, L., Chirimabmowa, T., & Chimedza, T (Eds). Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa. Springer (chapter 1)
  • Matsinhe, D.M., Khalema, N.E., Costumado, M.G.S. (in press). “From Reservoir to Corridor Changing Patterns of Migration in Mozambique” in Magidimisha, H. H., Khalema, N.E., Chipungu, L., Chirimabmowa, T., & Chimedza, T (Eds). Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa. Springer (chapter 10)
  • Khalema, N.E., Magidimisha, H. H., & Chipungu, L., (In press). “Regeneration and Integration in Southern Africa: Concluding Comments on Contemporary Challenges and Possibilities” in Magidimisha, H. H., Khalema, N.E., Chipungu, L., Chirimabmowa, T., & Chimedza, T (Eds). Crisis, Identity and Migration in Post-Colonial Southern Africa. Springer (chapter 16)
  • Makiwane,M.B., Khalema,N.E., Gumede, N and Nduna, N (2016). “Children in South African Families” in Makiwane, M., Nduna, M., & Khalema, N.E (Eds). Children in South African Families: Lives and Times. Cambridge Scholars Publishing; ISBN (10):1-4438-4184-6, p. xiv-xxi
  • Khalema,N.E., Vawda,M., Ndinda,C., and Makiwane, M. B (2016). “Contesting Children’ Positioning in South African Families: Concluding Comments” in Makiwane, M., Nduna, M., & Khalema, N.E (Eds). Lives and Times: Children in South African Families. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: ISBN (10):1-4438-4184-6, p. 307-312
  • Khalema, N.E & Andrews, N. (2015). “Introduction: Debating Global Development Agenda(s) and the possibilities of Addressing the Millennium Development Goals in Africa” in Andrews, N., Khalema, NE. & Assie-Lumumba, N’Dri (Eds). Millennium Development Goals (MDSs) in Retrospect: Africa’s Development Beyond 2015. Springer, p. 1-16
  • Khalema, N. E., Ndinda, C, Makiwane, M., Vawda, M., Bhembe, L., Mahapa, N, and Zondo, N. (2015). “(Ad) dressing Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Issues and its Determinants in Eight Priority Areas of South Africa: Evidence from a Situational Analysis of MDGs in EC and KZN” in Andrews, N., Khalema, N.E. & Assie-Lumumba, N’Dri. Millennium Development Goals (MDSs) in Retrospect: Africa’s Development Beyond 2015. Springer, p.139-158
  • Khalema, N.E., Makiwane, M., & Andrews, N (2015). “Conclusion: Prospects Beyond 2015” in Andrews, N. Khalema, NE. & Assie-Lumumba, N’Dri (forthcoming, 2015). Millennium Development Goals (MDSs) in Retrospect: Africa’s Development Beyond 2015. Springer, p309-318
  • Ndhlovu, T.P. & Khalema, N.E. (2015) “Southern Africa”. In Barnett, V. (Eds).The Routledge Handbook of the History of Global Economic Thought. London: Rutledge. 257-268. 

Selected Technical Research Reports (2015-2016)

  • Swartz, S. Mahali, A., Arogundade, E., Khalema, N.E.,Cooper, A., & Groenewald, C. (2016). “Annual Progress Report: Education and Emancipation-A five-year Longitudinal, Qualitative Study of Agency and Impasses to Success amongst Higher Education Students in a Sample of South African Universities”, November 31, 2016
  • Khalema, N.E., Mothibi, K., Mahapa, N., Costumado, M.G.S., & Makgato, E.M. (2016). Evaluating the Safer Cities Program of the Ethekwini Municipality. Ethekwini Municipality, March 30, 2016
  • Khalema, N.E., Groenewald, C., Sausi, K., Mthembu, Z., Masvaure, S, Desmond, C., & Timol, F (2015). A Qualitative Assessment of Pathways, Challenges, Opportunities, and Services for Street and Shelter Living in Central Durban. Phase 1 Report-developed for the EThekwini Municipality: Safer Cities Unit, November, 2015.
  • Swartz, S. Mahali, A., Arogundade, E., Khalema, N.E., Morison, T., Molefi, S., Groenewald, C. (2015). Annual Progress Report: Education and Emancipation-A five-year Longitudinal, Qualitative Study of Agency and Impasses to Success amongst Higher Education Students in a Sample of South African Universities, November, 2015
  • Ndinda, C; Hongoro, C; Labadarios, D; Ngandu, S; Mokhele, T; Khalema, N.E; Weir-Smith, G; Tshitsangano, F. (2015) Future Impact Evaluation for Informal Settlements Targeted for Upgrading: A Technical Research Report. Department of Human Settlements (DHS), December, 2015.
  • Setswe,G S.Motala, M.Mabaso, S.Ngandu, S.Mti, F.Arends, L.Winnaar, Khalema, N.E., M.Makiwane, C.Ndinda, B.Moolman, T.Maluleke, L.Chola, G.Setswe, M.Mabaso, S.Karuaihe, C.Nhemachena, P.Martin (2015). Millennium Development Goals: Country Report 2015. Statistics South Africa, May 2015
  • Khalema, N. E., Ndinda, C., Moolman, B., & Makiwane, M., (2015). Gender Equality and Empower Women: MDG 3 Goal Report. Statistics South Africa, June 2015.

Chapters in Technical Research Reports (Refereed) (2015-2016)

  • Khalema, N.E. (2016) “Race, Integration, and Post Secondary Student Success in Higher Education in South Africa” in Swartz, S. Mahali, A., Arogundade, E., Khalema, N.E.,Cooper, A., & Groenewald, C. (2016). Annual Progress Report: Education and Emancipation-A five-year Longitudinal, Qualitative Study of Agency and Impasses to Success amongst Higher Education students in a Sample of South African Universities”, November 2016
  • Khalema, N.E (2016). “Class Intersections and Post Secondary Student Success in Education in South Africa” in Swartz, S. Mahali, A., Arogundade, E., Khalema, N.E., Cooper, A., & Groenewald, C. (2016). “Annual Progress Report: Education and Emancipation-A five-year Longitudinal, Qualitative Study of Agency and Impasses to Success amongst Higher Education students in a Sample of South African Universities”, November 2016
  • Khalema, N.E. (2016) “Gender (In)Equity and Student Success in Higher Education in South Africa” in Swartz, S. Mahali, A., Arogundade, E., Khalema, N.E.,Cooper, A., & Groenewald, C. (2016). Annual Progress Report: Education and Emancipation-A five-year Longitudinal, Qualitative Study of Agency and Impasses to Success amongst Higher Education students in a Sample of South African Universities”, November 2016
  • Khalema, N.E. & Ndinda, C (2015). “Attitudes towards Foreigners within Informal Settlements Contexts in South Africa”. in Ndinda, C; Hongoro, C; Labadarios, D; Ngandu, S; Mokhele, T; Khalema, N.E; Weir-Smith, G; Tshitsangano, F. (2015) Future Impact Evaluation for Informal Settlements Targeted for Upgrading: A Technical Research Report. Department of Human Settlements, December 2015
  • Khalema, N. E., Ndinda, C., Moolman. B., & Makiwane, M. (2015). “Millennium Goals Report: Goal 3- Gender Equality and Empower Women” in G.Setswe, S.Motala, M.Mabaso, S.Ngandu, S.Mti, F.Arends, L.Winnaar, E.Khalema, M.Makiwane, C.Ndinda, B.Moolman, T.Maluleke, L.Chola, G.Setswe, M.Mabaso, S.Karuaihe, C.Nhemachena, P.Martin in the Millennium Development Goals: Country Report 2015. Statistics South Africa, May 2015
  • Khalema, N.E. (2014). “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED): Upgrading Public Spaces and Community Infrastructure for Violence and Crime Prevention” in Barolsky, V., Sanchez, D., Khalema, N.E., Davis, D., Mngqibisa, N., Yu, Ke, and Roberts, B (2014). Social Cohesion: The Mission Link in Overcoming Violence and inequality. IDRC, October 2014
  • Khalema, N.E. & Makiwane, M (2015). “Population and the Environment” in Makiwane, M and Chimere-Dan, G. C. (2015). Eastern Cape: The State of the Population 2014. Department of Social Development, Bisho. South Africa, p. 149-156
  • Khalema, N.E. (2015). “Population and Poverty” in Makiwane, M and Chimere-Dan, G. C. (2015). Eastern Cape: The State of the Population 2014. Department of Social Development, Bisho. South Africa, p. 86-100
  • Makiwane, M. & Khalema, N.E. (2015). “Migration and Development” in Makiwane, M and Chimere-Dan, G. C. (2015). Eastern Cape: The State of the Population 2014. Department of Social Development, South Africa, p.76-84.

Selected Reviews and Popular Publications

Selected Conferences (Local, National, International) 2015-2017

  • Khalema, N.E. (2016). “The Ethics of Unpacking Mental Health Issues in the Research on Homelessness: Process, Methods, and Observations from a CBPAR Project in Durban, South Africa” presented at a Symposium entitled: Homelessness and Mental Health at the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology, ICC Durban, May 29, 2016
  • Khalema, N.E. (2016). “Using Community-Based Participatory Action Research to Explore Homelessness in Durban Central” presented at a Symposium entitled: Using Participatory Action Research to Explore the Plight of the Street and Shelter Living Community in Central Durban” at the 6th International Conference on Community Psychology, ICC Durban, May 29, 2016
  • Khalema, N.E. (2015). “Addressing the Diverse Mental Health issues Impacting Refugees and Immigrant Communities: Challenges and Opportunities for Collaborative Service Delivery”. Keynote address: CCIS Mental Health Symposium, Calgary, Alberta Canada. March 18, 2015, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Khalema, N.E (2015). “Translating a Qualitative Sexual Reproductive Health Research Instrument into Vernacular in South Africa: Complexities, Limitations, and Possibilities for IKS-Informed Content” Plenary paper presented at the African Society of Sexual Medicine Congress, held at Elangeni Hotel (Durban),N ovember 27, 2015
  • Gqaleni, N., Khalema, N.E., Makhoba, Z., Pakade, R., Cele, P., Nyembezi, A (2015). “African Perspectives of Sexual Health and Medicine” Roundtable Discussion: Conversations with Traditional Health Practitioners and Researchers:” presented at the African Society of Sexual Medicine Congress, held at Elangeni Hotel (Durban), November 27, 2015
  • Khalema, N.E (2015). “Knowledge Animation and Community-based Participatory Praxis: Engaging Diverse Communities in Research Practice from the Bottom Up” Presented at the ALARA 9th Action Learning Action Research and 13th Participatory Action Research World Congress held at St. George Hotel and Conference Centre (Centurion, Gauteng), South Africa: 4–7 November, 2015
  • Khalema, N.E. (2015). “Institutional Violence” paper presented in a panel entitled: “Analyzing the Obstacles - What is Structural and What is Personal? Initial findings from a Longitudinal Study on Student Success in South African UniversitiesWorld Social Science Forum, (Durban) September 16, 2015
  • Yohani, S., K. Linschoten, K., & Khalema, N.E. (2015). "Cultural Brokering in Mental Health Practice with African Refugee Families in Canada" Presented at the 8th Annual Pan-African PCAF-Psychotrauma Conference. Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi (Kenya), July 13, 2015
  • Costumado, M.G.S., Khalema, N.E., Ndinda, C., &, Hari Domingos, M (2015). “Barriers that Prevent Women from Accessing Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) Services in Mozambique and Advocacy Strategies to Address them”. Paper presented at 10th Annual Population Association of Southern Africa Conference. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban ,July 9, 2015
  • Curtin, K. D., Loitz, C. C., Spencer-Cavaliere, N., Khalema, N. E. (2015). “Challenges of being new to Canada: Considerations for Physical Activity”. Presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Edinburgh (Scotland), June 3-6, 2015.

Selected Feature Presentations and Keynote Addresses (2016-2017)

  • Khalema, N.E. (2017). “Durban Safer Cities Evaluation Report” Presented at the African Forum for Urban Safety: Actions for Safer Durban 2030. Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban (South Africa) April 4, 2017
  • Khalema, N.E (2017). “Communities, Health, and the State” Presented at the Households, Families, Health and Care Workshop, Center for Human Development, University of the Witwatersrand, March 24, 2017.
  • Khalema, N.E (2016). “Understanding Pathways and Challenges of Homelessness in the Durban CBD: A Multi-Method Participatory Action Research Study” Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE), eThekwini Municipality: Built Environment Seminar, UKZN May 12, 2016

Community Involvement

  • eThekwini Municipality (Safer Cities, MILE); SALGA, Legal Resource Centre.

Teaching Expertise

  • Quantitative & Qualitative Research Methodologies
  • Community Participatory Action Research
  • Social Epidemiology and Social Care
  • Health Status of Vulnerable Populations
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Community and Sustainable Development
  • Community Crime Prevention

Student Supervision

  • Professor Khalema has successfully supervised, mentored, and graduated a number of post-graduate students in South Africa and abroad since 2007. In 2017 he is supervising 5 honours, 4 Masters, and 8 PhD candidates in the disciplines of community development, development studies, population studies, and other cognate disciplines. Prof Khalema also serves in graduate supervisory committees for graduate students as an internal examiner, external examiner, and content expert in number disciplines including public health, development studies, political science, sociology, social work, and psychology. He has is currently available to supervise Masters and PhD candidates in his areas of research and teaching specialization.

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