Sustainability, ESG & impact advisory


Our Services

We offer our corporate as well as public sector clients a range of services aimed at improving performance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of their development programmes and social investments. Some of our research and advisory services include:

  • Feasibility studies, baseline assessments, socio-economic analysis
  • Independent evaluations and impact assessments
  • Strategy development and programme design
  • Alignment to SDGs, A2063, NDP and sub-national planning frameworks
  • Compliance to international & national standards (ESG, IFC, SLP, B-BBEE, SRI, MK, etc.)
  • Monitoring, information and reporting systems
  • Data analytics, econometrics, forecasts and modelling
  • Capacity-building in areas of monitoring and evaluation and results-based management
  • Social/sustainability strategy and development planning
  • Impact investing / joint trust funds – development and oversight
  • Innovation, digital solutions, toolkits & technologies, 4IR adaptation.

Our clients

  • Corporate social investors and impact investors
  • National and sub-national government and parastatals
  • International aid agencies and development finance institutions
  • Non-profit organisations and philanthropic foundations


Who we are

Pan African Investment & Research Services (PAIRS) is a leading African economic research and advisory firm headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. PAIRS provides innovative and evidence-based solutions to development challenges, by maximising both investor and public value. Its trans-disciplinary approach combines rigorous analysis of data from the field with seasoned political economy insights when tackling socio-economic complexities of the continent.

PAIRS consultants have experience working in the financial sector, extractive industries, logistics, energy and environment. With regard to public policy and community development, PAIRS expertise ranges from health, education, youth employment, entrepreneurship, gender and women empowerment.

Our technical team combines passion for sustainable development, with sound investment and monitoring and evaluation skills. PAIRS experts include seasoned and young economists, statisticians, social scientists, data analysts, management consultants and specialists in areas of finance and investment, public-private partnerships, results-based management, strategic planning, impact measurement, economic modelling, participatory research methodologies, capacity-building and organisational transformation.

Our Technical Experts

The core ESG technical team of PAIRS comprises of:

Dr. Neissan A. Besharati, Director for Sustainability, ESG & Impact Advisory

Neissan holds a Masters in International Social Development (UNSW, Australia) and a PhD in Public Policy & Development Management (Wits, South Africa) with specialisation in impact measures and monitoring and evaluation systems. He is as a senior research associate at several prominent development think-tanks an international universities, including the UN Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development and the Centres for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR). With over 20 years of experience as a seasoned consultant, Dr. Besharati has worked with multinational firms (EY, Deloitte, PWC, Anglo American) and served as a senior advisor to governments, philanthropies (Gates & Rockefeller Foundation), non-profit organisations, development finance institutions, international and regional organisations. He is a renown evaluator having conducted some of the most sophisticated impact assessments for large private investors in Africa. He currently sits on various United Nations, World Bank, African Union and OECD expert groups and committees. He is a globally respected thought leader and has published extensively in areas of sustainable development, ESG, innovative development finance, public-private partnerships, impact/social investing, emerging markets, monitoring and evaluation, illicit financial flows, and international development cooperation.

Mashadi Monaledi, Sustainability Specialist

Mashadi holds an Honours in Social Sciences (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Masters in Development and Management (North-West University, South Africa). She has been a practicing sustainability practitioner for 13 years and currently runs her own consultancy. Ms Monaledi has worked with mining corporations (Aquila Steel, Glencore, Kudumane Manganese Resources). She’s also worked with consulting companies, including; Metago Environmental Engineers, Synergistics Environmental Services, EXM Advisory Services as well as non-profit organisations, most notably, Afrika Tikkun and Infinite Family. She has expertise in Socio-Economic Development, Corporate Social Investment, Social and Labour Planning & Implementation, Social Impact Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement, Public Participation, and Transformation. She currently sits on the Board of Association of Private Providers of Education, Training and Development (APPETD).

Dr. Edward T. Jackson, Senior Associate (Impact Finance)

Ted Jackson is a university professor and management consultant specializing in impact management and measurement and ecosystem-building in impact investing, blended finance and gender lens investing in emerging markets in Africa, Asia and the Americas. He has advised the development cooperation programs of Australia, Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom, the Mastercard and Rockefeller foundations, the Caribbean Development Bank, Emerging Markets Impact Investment Fund, German Institute for Development Evaluation, International Development Research Centre, Investing in Women, World Bank, United Nations Environment Program, and UN Women.  A former tenured public-policy professor and associate dean at Carleton University, Dr. Jackson currently serves as Senior Fellow at the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, Honorary Associate with the Institute of Development Studies, and President of E. T. Jackson and Associates Ltd.  He also serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment and member of the Council of the International Evaluation Academy.  His recent publications include Evaluating Blended Finance Instruments and Mechanisms, an OECD working paper, and Measuring Women’s Job Quality, for the Overseas Development Institute. Originally trained in adult education and community development at the University of Toronto, Dr. Jackson earned certification as a responsible investment professional (RIPC) from UNPRI and Canada’s Responsible Investment Association.

Nthabiseng Tsoanamatsie, Senior Economist

Nthabiseng has worked in the field of economic research for 10 years, and she has been a senior economist at PAIRS for the past 6 year. Prior to this she worked for both the University of Pretoria and the Human Sciences Research Council.  She received her masters degree in economics from the University of Pretoria and has completed her PhD course work with the same university. She has been involved in research work for both the public and private sector. Her work has largely been focused on macro-economics, development economics, economic modelling as well as time series and panel data econometrics. She has presented papers on financial development and economy-wide modelling for policy analysis.  She has undertaken research projects in a wide range of sectors including telecoms, manufacturing, government, tourism, mining and consumer products. She has also worked on a number of ESG related projects including work on South Africa’s energy transition and issues concerning governance of South African state owned entities (SOEs), education and health.

Alicia Paramanund, Renewable Energy and Environmental Specialist

Alicia has attained a master’s degree in Environmental Law (LLM) through the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a BSc Hons. in Environmental Management through UNISA. Having worked mainly in the renewable energy sector for over 13 years, she specialises in environmental management with a key focus on renewable energy projects and sustainable development. Alicia has worked as an environmental assessment practitioner (EAP) for over 7 years, having led and been involved in an extensive list of environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes for various projects. She also worked as environmental; business development; and bid led for several Independent Power Producers (IPPs). Her areas of expertise include business development; environmental regulations and compliance (Renewable Energy, Power, Infrastructure, Mining, Waste); environmental due diligence; project management; design, execution and management of project permitting processes; bid compliance and management; team management; stakeholder interfaces; policy and legislation advisory. 

Raesetje Sefala, AI and Data Scientist

Raesetje is an AI Research Fellow who uses Computer Vision, Data Analytics and general Machine Learning techniques to explore research questions with a societal impact. Her current research focuses on creating ground truth datasets and using machine learning and other computational social science techniques to study spatial segregation in post-Apartheid South Africa. She is a qualified Data Engineer and holds a Computer Science Masters degree from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) with a special focus on Machine Learning. She has been technically involved in different complex Data Science projects from around the world that involve building innovative solutions while working with world renowned researchers in the field (Prof. Yoshua Bengio, Prof. Rayid Ghani and Dr. Timnit Gebru to name a few). Her focus is in the use of artificial intelligence to solve problems experienced by developing countries; creating and analysing datasets for machine learning use; designing and developing efficient machine learning pipelines for different types of datasets, and contributing to making better data and technologies that serve disadvantaged communities.

Sankari Reddy, ESG Legal Specialist

Sankari holds a Masters degree in Comparative Law, Economics and Finance (Italy), has completed governance and chartered secretary board exams with the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa and is currently completing an Advanced Certificate in International Taxation from IBFD (Netherlands). She is an admitted attorney in both South Africa and Botswana, with a focus on commercial law. She has been lead counsel to both public and private entities including a SETA approaching the AG’s audit, where she worked with forensic experts, employees and other third parties to assess and resolve ESG issues and formulating effective policies for good governance practices. She has acted for large contractors in the Independent Renewable Energy Producers Procurement Programme, large property and advertising and marketing companies, involving a broad spectrum of governance issues, as well as government, tax authorities, shareholders, employee and DFI disputes. Her areas of expertise include all aspects of commercial law, King IV, JSE regulatory framework, labour law, public finance management and procurement legislation. Sankari conducts impact and evaluation research work with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) as well as PLAAS (University of Pretoria) on the effects of COVID-19 on food systems and is a legal associate at PAIRS working on illicit financial flows and ESG projects. She is a member of the Institute of New Economic Thinking: Young Scholar Initiative and has published on the impacts of COVID-19 on surveillance and compliance South Africa.

Khwezi Fudu-Cenenda, Investment & Entrepreneurship Specialist

Khwezi Fudu-Cenenda has 6 years’ experience as an enterprise development professional, developing incubation programmes, providing Business Development Services, and Monitoring and Evaluation services. She sits on investment committees at Wits Commercial Enterprise, making decisions on funding needs for inventions from the university, including tech innovations. She has vast experience as an investment consultant to pension funds and an international human rights advocate. In addition to a Women in 4IR programme, she currently runs career highlights including impact analysis on women’s entrepreneurship programme in Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia as well as coaching women entrepreneurs in South Africa on behalf of the Small Business Development Agency. She holds a B Econ (honours) from Rhodes University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Management Sciences with the Durban University of Technology, where she is undertaking research on “gender balancing strategies for the workplace”. She also holds an Impact Investing certificate from UCT Graduate School of Business and is an accredited Practitioner-Led Learning Exchange facilitator in Impact evaluation with the Social Enterprise Academy (UK).

Salma Seedat, Impact Specialist

Salma holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Finance and an MBA specialising in Managing International Organisations and from the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa). She has worked in the ESG and impact investment advisory space for 12 years and is currently the Director of Risk, Compliance and Special Initiatives for a technology company working on large-scale public health projects. She previously managed a development consultancy group (Greater Capital and Greater Impact) and has consulted for local and international development agencies, including: AMSCO BV, ATMS Foundation, UNDP, Impact@Africa, Stellenbosch University and SAB-ABInBev Foundation. In addition, Salma is a lecturer on Strategy Management and Leadership Development for MBA and postgraduate students at Stellenbosch University Business School. She has expertise in sustainable development, corporate social investment, impact investing, ESG integration, social impact assessments, and policy development. She currently sits on the Boards of Impact@Africa and the Stellenbosch University Business School Executive Committee of their Alumni Association. She serves on the Steering Committee Member of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).