Karmen obtained both an Honours degree and a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Cape Town. She also holds a Masters degree in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Prior to joining the DPRU in October 2013, Karmen worked as an Analyst at Genesis Analytics. Her work focused on financial systems and development, and includes projects relating to the promotion of financial inclusion as well as improving small and medium size enterprise (SME) financing. Over this time, Karmen worked on projects in South Africa as well as in a number of other African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, Swaziland and Mauritius.
Since joining the DPRU, Karmen has worked on a range of projects. She has conducted work on assessing skills gaps and the impact of the training of firm employees in South Africa. Furthermore, she has been involved in profiling, through the use of micro-datasets, poverty, inequality and labour markets in Zambia, and to some extent Africa more broadly.