About Alan

Welcome to my site. This site is designed to keep you up to date on what I am publishing and doing; new ideas I want to disseminate; and causes I think are important.

I will begin by introducing myself. My key words are ‘applied academic’ and ‘explorer of ideas’! There are some photographs on the site if you are interested.

I was born in Kenya, grew up in Swaziland where I was fortunate to attend an amazing school, Waterford-Kamhlaba. I went to the University of East Anglia in England, where I did a BA in Development Studies and an MA in Development Economics. From there I was appointed as an ODI Fellow to work in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in Botswana. I was the Planning Officer for Education in that Ministry from 1980 to 1983.

In 1983 I applied for a position as a Research Fellow at the Economic Research Unit at the University of Natal and moved to Durban with my partner, Ailsa.

In 1987 I began to work on the issue of HIV and AIDS. I got into this because I had been working on labour migration and became concerned by the risks faced by migrants. It struck me that if the epidemic was going to hit one group it was the migrants. I later came to realise that the risk extended to the families and the communities. I presented my first paper on AIDS and Migration at a conference in the Barbican in London in 1987 and since then AIDS has come to dominate my work.

By 1990 I was working extensively on AIDS, and began publishing a Newsletter, AIDS Analysis Africa, doing consultancy work. My work on HIV/AIDS is described elsewhere on this blog.

In 1990 our daughter, Rowan, was born. In the following year we went on sabbatical to the UK and I began running training at the University of East Anglia with Professor Tony Barnett and we extended these across the world. It has been my privilege to train over 1000 people over the years in various locations. In 1994 our son, Douglas, was born, however our peripatetic lifestyle, moving backwards and forwards between Durban and England continued.

In 1997 the head of the Economic Research Unit retired and I was asked by the University if I would like to start a Unit which I agreed to do. Thus the Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division was born. I also began writing extensively in HIV and AIDS. My various publications can be found either through my CV or on the publications page. Our University merged with the University of Durban Westville to create the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

HEARD grew into a substantial organisation, receiving core funding from a group of ‘like-minded’ donors. It continues to flourish and contribute.

In 2013 working on the principle that: ‘The only way to have a legacy is to leave’, I took the position of CIGI Chair in Global Health Policy at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario. This was an interesting, exciting and fun position. In December 2021 I retired from the BSIA and am planing the next phase!

If you are interested in me then there is a page about myself and my family and friends; for my work please go and look at the BSIA website or the HEARD pages. For my causes go to the links to Waterford School; the International AIDS Society and Young Heroes.

My new address is best address is awhiteside1956@gmail.com but awhiteside@balsillieschool.ca should still work!

All the best

View my resume