Andy Dawes

Emeritus Professors

Background and research interests

Andy joined the Department in 1975. He was trained as a clinical psychologist and has spent most of his career working in applied developmental psychology. He has a particular interest in assisting early child development and violence prevention NGOs to develop M&E capacity and to undertake evidence-based programming.

Andy was co-founder of the University of Cape Town Children’s Institute, and until 2008, was Research Director in Child Youth and Family Development programme of the Human Sciences Research Council. He has been an Associate Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. He is currently an Associate in the Department for International Development where he works with the Young Lives cohort study of children growing up in poverty.

His expertise includes the development of indicators for measuring children’s well being and their access to rights, prevention of child maltreatment and violence to young children, and evaluations of early childhood interventions.

Andy has extensive experience in translating research to policy. He has consulted to the South African government and to a number of international agencies including UNICEF (Innocenti Research Centre), the WHO, the ILO and Save the Children.  

His most recent contribution (together with a team of researchers), is the development and age validation of the Early Childhood Outcomes Measure (ELOM), a culture fair tool suitable for measuring the development of children against the early learning standards that they are expected to reach prior to Grade R. The ELOM is used to provide evidence for the performance of early learning programmes.

Selected publications

Biersteker, L., Dawes, A., Hendricks, L. & Tredoux, C. (2016). Center-Based Early Childhood Care and Education Program Quality: A South African Study. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36, 334-344. Doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2016.01.004.

Ward, C.L., Sanders, M., Gardener, F., Mikton, C., & Dawes, A. (2016). Preventing child maltreatment in low- and middle-income countries: Parent support programs have the potential to buffer the effects of poverty. Child Abuse and Neglect. 54, 97-107.

Dawes, A. (2015). Violence prevention through reduction of risks to child health and development in the years prior to school. In C. Ward and P. Donnelly (eds.). Oxford Textbooks in Public Health - Violence: A global health priority (pp. 141-146). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dawes, A. and van der Merwe, A. (2014). Structural violence and early child development. In Leckman, J.F., Panter-Brick, C. & Salah, R. (Eds.) Pathways to Peace. The Transformative Power of Children and Families (pp. 233-250). Cambridge Mass: The MIT Press.

Christie, D, Panter-Brick, C., Behrman, L.R., Cochrane, J. R., Dawes, A., Goth, K., Hayden, J., Masten, A., Nasser, I., Punamaki, R. & Tomlinson, M. (2014).  Healthy human development as a path to peace. In Leckman, J.F., Panter-Brick, C. & Salah, R. (Eds.) Pathways to Peace. The Transformative Power of Children and Families (pp. 273-304). Cambridge Mass: The MIT Press.

Bower, C. & Dawes, A. (2014). Prevention of physical abuse and physical punishment of young children. In Mathews, S., Jamieson, L., Lake, L. & Smith, A. (eds.). South African Child Gauge 2014 (pp. 58-64). Cape Town: Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.

Berry L, Biersteker L, Dawes A, Lake L & Smith C (eds.) (2013). South African Child Gauge 2013. Cape Town: Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.

Dawes, A., Biersteker, L. & Hendricks, L. (2012) Towards Integrated Early Childhood Development. An evaluation of the Sobambisana Initiative. Cape Town: Ilifa Labantwana.

Ward, C., van der Merwe, A, & Dawes, A. (Eds.). (2012). Youth violence in South Africa. Sources and Solutions. Cape Town: UCT Press.

Aber, L., Biersteker, L., Dawes, A., and Rawlings, L. (2012). Social Protection and Welfare Systems: Implications for Early Childhood Development. In P. Rebello, P. Engle, and C. Super (Eds.), Handbook of Early Childhood Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Flisher, A.J., Dawes, A., Kafaar, Z, Lund, C, Sorsdahl, C., Myers, B., Thom, R. & Seedat, S. (2012). Child and adolescent mental health in South Africa. Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health 2012, 24 (2): 149–161.

Tomlinson, M, Dawes, A. & Flisher, A. (2012). Preventing the development of youth violence in the early years: The state of the evidence and implications for South African practice. In C. Ward, A. van der Merwe, & A. Dawes (Eds.), Youth violence: Sources and solutions in South Africa (pp. 141-174). UCT Press.

Dawes, A. & Biersteker, L. (2011). Challenges and opportunities: Improving early childhood development in South Africa. In H. E, Fitzgerald, K. Puura, M. Tomlinson & C. Paul (Eds.): International Perspectives on Children and Metal Health Volume 1 (pp. 35-64). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Van der Merwe, A. & Dawes, A. (2009). Toward good practice for diversion: the development of minimum standards in the South African child justice system. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 48 (7), 571-588.

Lund, C., Boyce, G., Flisher, A., Kafaar, Z. & Dawes, A. (2009). Scaling up child and adolescent mental health services in South Africa: Human resource requirements and costs. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50 (9), 1121-1130.

Barnes, H., Noble, M., Wright, G. and Dawes, A. (2009) A Geographical Profile of Child Deprivation in South Africa. Child Indicators Research, 2, 121-199.

Dawes, A. & Ward, C. (2008). Levels, trends, and determinants of child maltreatment in the Western Cape Province. In R. Marindo, C. Groenewald & S. Gaisie (Eds.) The State of Population in the Western Cape Province (pp. 97-125). Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Richter, L. & and Dawes, A. (2008). A history of South African psychological research on child development. In D. Painter & C. van Ommen (Eds.) A history of psychology in South Africa (pp. 286-323). Pretoria: University of South Africa Press.

Richter, L. & Dawes, A. (2008). Child abuse in South Africa: Rights and wrongs. Child Abuse Review, 17(2), 79-93.

Dawes, A. Bray, R. & van der Merwe, A. (Eds.) (2007). Monitoring child wellbeing. A South African rights-based approach. Cape Town. HSRC Press.

Richter, L., Dawes, A. & Higson-Smith, C. (Eds.). (2004). Sexual abuse of young children in Southern Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Dawes, A & Finchilescu, G. (2002). What’s changed? South African adolescents’ racial attitudes between 1992 and 1996. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 9(2), 147-165.

Finchilescu, G. & Dawes, A. (2001). Adolescent’s perceptions of the future of South Africa: a 40 year perspective. In C. Stones (Ed.). Socio-political and psychological perspectives on South Africa (pp. 131-155). New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Dawes, A. (2001). Psychologies for Liberation: Views from elsewhere. In D. Christie, R. Wagner & D. Winter (Eds.), Peace conflict and violence. Peace psychology for the 21st century.  Engelwood Cliffs N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Christie, D. & Dawes, A. (2001). Tolerance and solidarity. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 7(2), 131-142.

Donald, D., Dawes, A. & Louw, J. (Eds.) (2000). Addressing childhood adversity. Cape Town: David Philip.

Finchilescu, G. & Dawes, A. (1999). Adolescent’s future ideologies through four decades of South African history. Social Dynamics, 25(2), 98-118.

Nsamenang, A. B. & Dawes, A. (1998).  Developmental psychology as political psychology in sub-Saharan Africa: The challenge of Africanisation.  Applied Psychology: An International Review, 47(1), 74 - 87.

Finchilescu, G. & Dawes, A. (1998). Catapulted into democracy. South African adolescents’ socio-political orientations following rapid social change. Journal of Social Issues, 54(3), 563-583.

Dawes, A. & Honwana, A. (1998). Children, culture and mental health. Interventions in conditions of war.  In Rebuilding Hope: Children, War and Persecution, Maputo, Mozambique, December 1996. (pp. 74-81).

Dawes, A., (1998). Africanisation of Psychology: identities and continents. Psychology in Society, 23, 4-16.

Eyber, C., Dyer, D., Versfeld, R., Dawes, A., Finchilescu, G. & Soudien, C. (1997). Resisting racism: A teacher’s guide to equality in education. Cape Town: IDASA

Dawes, A. and Donald, D. (Eds.). (1994). Childhood and Adversity: Psychological perspectives from South African research. Cape Town: David Philip.