Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team


Susan Wilkinson-Maposa

Senior Associate

Susan is an SDDirect Senior Associate with over 25 years of experience in programme design and management, grant-making, training and facilitation as well as applied research and learning. To this she brings sector and technical expertise in civil society promotion, community development, community philanthropy, gender equality promotion and orphans and vulnerable children in the context of HIV&AIDS. She has a BA Honours in Political Studies, a MA in Development and Gender Studies and a PhD in Sociology. She currently holds a senior research fellow appointment at the Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment at the Witwatersrand, Business School, South Africa.

Susan brings extensive firsthand experience in gender equality promotion as a regional programme officer with UNWOMEN in the Southern African Development Cooperation Region (SADC) and as the Gender Equality Specialist for Cowater International, an international consultancy. As a sector expert she has developed gender equality promotion strategies and provided technical assistance to multi-million dollar bilateral projects that were focused on service delivery and advocacy. 

She has delivered training in gender sensitization, analysis and planning to senior policy makers and planners within the SADC regional and national structures in 10 countries and furthermore managed a small project fund for government and civil society gender mainstreaming pilot projects. In addition, she has over 10 years’ experience in issues of social inclusion and active citizenship in respect to marginalized groups, specifically the poor, district level women and orphans and vulnerable children in Africa. For 6 years, Susan directed two multi country research inquires for the Ford Foundation at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town. Here she worked collaboratively at the grassroots level with NGOs and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) developing and pilot testing new instruments and tools designed to engage communities more effectively in development practice that starts with and builds from their world view, leadership, priorities and assets. 

In her role at SDDirect Susan has managed and provided senior advisory and learning inputs into two bilateral projects. They include the development and pilot testing of training materials for district health officials and nurses for improved community and demand side engagement, for the DFID Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality in South Africa through Strengthening Primary Health Care”  (RMCH) programme. Here she also supported 10 NGOs to implement learning grants and package finding into case studies, policy briefs and concept notes. She is currently the senior advisor developing gender and social inclusion strategy, audits, toolkits and guidance notes for the DFID Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness programme, Ghana.