Govender, Eliza

Govender, Eliza

Associate Professor

Leadership Role Academic Leader: CCMS
Discipline Centre for Communication, Media and Society
Contact Number 031-260-1813
Campus Howard College Campus
Office Address Room G011
Last Updated 1 year ago

Degrees Held

  • Bachelor of Arts (University of Natal)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (University of Natal)
  • Master of Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (University of KwaZulu-Natal)


  • Eliza Govender an NRF rated researcher, is an Associate Professor and Academic Leader of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), in the School of Applied Human Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She teaches social change and health communication. Her research interests include entertainment education, communication for social and behavioural change and participatory culture-centred methodologies for health communication and implementation science research.  Her specific research centres on the use of a participatory action research approaches (PAR) and a culture-centred approach to advance HIV combination prevention. Govender was recipient of the NRF three -year Thuthuka grant that utilises a socio-ecological framework to explore a multi-layered tailored communication approach for new biomedical innovations. During her time as a social scientist at CAPRISA, Govender was co-principal investigator (PI) for the Oral PrEP Demonstration Project (CAPRISA 084). Govender has been an advisor on several communication committees and task teams on strategic social and behavior change communication for HIV prevention.  She is a member of the editorial board of the journal Communicare, a Review Editor for Frontiers in Communication: Journal of Culture and Communication and vice-chair of the Health Communication working group for the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). Govender is also part on the KZN DOH committee for developing and implementing the provincial Health Promotion Strategy for COVID-19.

Research Interests

  • Communication for development and social change
  • participatory culture-centred methodologies
  • strategic HIV communication
  • social and behavioural change communication
  • entertainment education

Teaching Interests

  • Qualitative research methodologies
  • Communication for development and social change
  • strategic HIV communication

Selected Publications

Community Engagement

Vice-chair and Editorial Board:

  • Vice-chair of Health Communication Working Group, International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
  • Member on the Editorial Board of Journal Communicare (1 August 2018 -2022)
  • Review Editor for Frontiers in Communication (Communication and Culture journal)

Peer review for international journals:

  • Frontiers in Communication: culture and communication (also Review Editor)
  • Catalan Journal for Cultural Studies and Communication (also guest editor of May 2021 special issue)
  • Critical Arts
  • Journal of Global Health
  • African Journal of AIDS Research
  • AIDS and Behaviour
  • Communicare
  • International Journal for Qualitative and Mixed Methods
  • SA Journal of Education

Teaching Expertise

2009 – to present: Lecturing and module co-ordination in The Centre for Communication, Media and Society:

  • Research Methods in Cultural and media studies
  • Social change and health communication
  • Development, Communication and Culture (DCC), and
  • Communication for Participatory Development (CFPD);

2009 – to present: Bi-annual guest lecturer for School of International (SIT) Study Abroad offering a series of seminars for the module:

  • Health Communication: Paradigms, Strategies and Participatory Processes.

Student Supervision