Dr Zenobia Ismail

Zenobia Ismail

International Development Department
GSDRC Manager

Contact details

Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Zenobia Ismail completed a doctorate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge. Before this she was a researcher at the Centre for Social Development in Africa at the University of Johannesburg.  She also worked with the Afrobarometer research programme for three years based at Idasa where she was responsible for managing survey data collection in southern Africa and outreach co-ordination across all the countries in the study. 

In addition she was a senior researcher at the Community Agency for Social Enquiry where she managed a number of research projects for government departments and donors.  Before moving into social research she was a market researcher working in the private sector and later a lecturer at the School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand.  


  • PhD in Politics and International Relations, University of Cambridge, 2018
  • MSc in African Studies, University of Oxford, 2012
  • MSc in Management, London School of Economics, 1997
  • B.Com (Hon) in Business Economics, University of the Witwatersrand, 1996


Research interests

Institutions, party politics and elections.  


Ismail, Z and Ulriksen, M. S. (2018).  Social Assistance and Electoral Choice:  A Citizen Perspective in Patel, L and Ulriksen, M.S. eds. Development, Social Policy and Community Action.  HSRC Press.