Soraya Natalie Lester

Research Officer, Safety and Violence Initiative

Research Project(s)

  • Satellite Study on Violence: "Behind the Scenes: Taking the National School Safety Framework to Scale"

Research Interests

  • Violence Prevention
  • Implementation Science
  • Monitoring and Evaluation


Soraya Lester is a Research Officer for the Safety and Violence Initiative at the Centre for Social Science Research. She is currently a Doctoral student at the University of Cape Town Department of Psychology. Her PhD research is a satellite study based at SaVI evaluating the South African National School Safety Framework, with the aim to prevent violence in schools. She also holds a part-time role at the UCT Centre for Innovation in Learning on Teaching, where she works as part of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Takers Research project team, exploring the value of MOOCs for people living in Africa. Additionally, she works with the UCT Assessment Project, an initiative of the Assessment Framework Working Group, which seeks to explore ways to enable student success through transformed programmes of assessment. Soraya Lester holds an MPhil in Monitoring and Programmed Evaluation, a B.Sco.Sci (Honours) in Psychology and a B.Sco.Sci in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Cape Town. 

 Soraya Lester CV

Recent Publications 

  • Lester, S., Lawrence, C., & Ward, C. L. (2017). What do we know about preventing school violence? A systematic review of systematic reviews. Psychology, health & medicine22(sup1), 187–223.

  • Marquard, S., Walji, S., Lester, S., Kefale, K., & Deacon, A. (2020). UCT ERT Student Experience Survey 2020 Cape Town: University of Cape Town. Retrieved from

  • Heekes, S. L., Kruger, C. B., Lester, S. N., & Ward, C. L. (2022). A Systematic Review of Corporal Punishment in Schools: Global Prevalence and Correlates. Trauma, violence & abuse23(1), 52–72.