Dr Gwendolyn Wellmann is an independent sociologist who specializes in sustainable community development. She has 23 years experience in working with communities across Africa, Peru and the Philippines, either as researcher, implementer or evaluator of community development or community investment projects. Throughout her career she has worked with a variety of universities; NGOs; community-based organizations; central, regional and local governments in various African countries; and international government agencies, such as the World Bank, EU, USAID, DFID, CIDA and SIDA. During the past 15 years, Gwendolyn has also worked extensively with the corporate sector, including the mining, oil & gas and agriculture sector.

Gwendolyn has extensive experience in community level water and sanitation provision, livelihood security and community-level natural resource management, local economic development, community level capacity building and training, as well as liaison with special interest groups within communities. Her experience also includes the design, implementation and monitoring of both smaller projects and extended donor and aid-agency country programs, including conducting both mid-term and end/final evaluations of projects and programs. This experience has honed her ability to spot very quickly when a project’s implementation is not on course or well implemented, which in turn allows for corrective action to be implemented.

For corporate clients she has been part of teams who has conducted social and cultural impact assessments, whilst as an independent consultant to corporate clients she has devised strategy, conducted assessments, and oversaw implementation of corporate social investments. In the mining sector, she also has significant experience with artisanal and small-scale mining.

Gwendolyn’s aim is for her work to ensure social inclusion and social justice in every outcome; and as a sociologist who believes that sustainability will only be achieved through the inclusion of natural resources as part of the equation and through the development of capacity within communities and the client base, her approach is a holistic one.