Our team

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ILLANA MELZER

Engagement Manager

Illana is the engagement manager at 71point4. Illana is a lifetime consultant with over 20 years experience. Her work is focused on demand-side research and analysis, with a focus on lower income market segments. She works with corporate, public sector and not-for-profit clients across a range of sectors including banking, consumer credit, other financial services, and housing.

Illana co-founded research and analytics consultancy, Eighty20, and successfully led their strategic research team for over a decade. Prior to that Illana worked at Accenture and the Monitor Group. Illana holds a Bachelor of Business Science degree in Mathematical Economics.

CLAIRE HAYWORTH

Senior Consultant

Claire is a senior consultant at 71point4 with over 10 years’ experience. Her work focuses on issues related to the usage of digital financial services, credit market development, affordable housing, financial inclusion and MSME’s, among others. Claire is experienced working across various types of data including qualitative data, survey data and larger administrative and transactional datasets to better understand customer behaviours.

Claire has a Business Science degree, specialising in Marketing from the University of Cape Town and has completed two online courses through the Digital Frontiers Institute.

JESSICA BREIER

Senior Research Consultant

Jessica is a senior research consultant at 71point4 with 9 years’ experience. Her work typically involves mixed-method studies incorporating quantitative and qualitative data sources. Jessica has worked on a broad range of research topics relating to Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), affordable rental housing, tourism, the small vehicle delivery market, and informal credit lending practices. Jessica is also involved in the Tenure Support Centre, an action-research project that helps lower-income households resolve their title deed challenges, run by 71point4 in partnership with the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF).

Jessica has a Bachelor of Business Science degree specialising in Marketing and has completed four online courses through the Digital Frontiers Institute.

HANJO ODENDAAL

Principal Data Scientist

With over 10 years experience working throughout Africa, Hanjo leads our analytics, statistics and engineer aspects on projects. His expertise focuses on how data can be employed to answer impactful and meaningful questions that always aim to put people at the center. He has worked in banking, insurance, housing, agriculture, telecommunications and credit; focusing mostly on designing and managing the implementation of analytical solutions to deliver real-time insights for the client.

Hanjo also has a passion for research and teaching and regularly lectures on the applications of big data to drive changes in traditional economic thinking.

Hanjo holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Stellenbosch. His thesis focused on the application of natural language processing and statistical learning applied within traditional economic frameworks.

NATALIE CUZEN

Senior Consultant

Natalie is a senior consultant at 71point4. Natalie’s recent work has focused on the digitisation of the agricultural sector as well as the dissemination of data in affordable housing. She has 8 years’ experience in the asset management industry, focused on business analysis and technology. She holds a Masters degree in neuropsychology from the University of Cape Town with prior experience in psychiatric research.

JAMES SCOTT

Data Scientist

James is a data scientist at 71point4. His interests lie in using data-driven approaches to identify pragmatic solutions to developmental problems that can power inclusive growth in Africa. Particularly, he is interested in leveraging emerging open-source technologies and big data tools to exploit the insights that can be generated from increasingly available administrative and IoT datasets. He has experience working across many sectors including agriculture, transport and affordable housing. He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, holding an Honours degree in Economics.

JESSICA SMITH

Junior Research Analyst

Jessica is a research analyst at 71point4. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town. She is passionate about finding innovative solutions to challenges facing sustainable social and economic development. Jessica is interested in behavioural and development economics, public policy and using data-driven research to reshape the way people see the world. In her honour’s dissertation, using the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey, she investigated the correlation between a woman’s employment status and education level and the likelihood of her experiencing gender-based violence in South Africa.

TIVAN LEAK

Junior Research Analyst

Tivan is a research analyst at 71point4. He holds a Master of Commerce in Economics from Stellenbosch University. His dissertation explored the economic impact of corruption and why it is an important area for economic research in South Africa to focus on. Tivan is interested in harnessing technical skills to liberate insights from data that allow for the evaluation of the impact or potential impact of policy on people.

AVIVA PHILLIPS

Junior Research Analyst

Aviva is a research analyst at 71point4. She is a graduate from the University of Cape Town, holding a Bachelor of Social Science in Politics and Economics and an Honours degree in Economics. Aviva is passionate about data-driven research, education, and economic development. In her Honour’s dissertation, using the South African Quarterly Labour Force Survey, she examined the impact of a skill gap on job loss at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

CHARLOTTE BARNARD

Junior Research Analyst

Charlotte is a research analyst at 71point4. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town. She is passionate about data-driven analysis, where she sees the potential to leverage insights for impactful decision-making to drive positive change. In her Honours dissertation, she examined how using household survey data as opposed to census data impacts the estimation of impoverished households eligibility for free basic services in South Africa, specifically focusing on Free Basic Electricity within the context of national budgets and policy decisions.

AIDAN CRAKER

Junior Research Analyst

Aidan is a research analyst at 71point4. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and an Honours degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town. He is passionate about leveraging data-driven strategies to foster transformative and sustainable growth across Africa. In his Honours dissertation, using the National Income Dynamics Survey, he assessed the impact of differing degrees of financial literacy on consumer debt levels in South Africa.