Our research programmes and partnerships span clinical research, health services research, economics, history, anthropology epidemiology, and policy research, drawing on disciplinary strengths and diversity of methods. Often, several disciplines work together within large multi-partner research programmes, maximising expertise to support rigorous study designs. This also provides opportunities for taking a systems perspective and approach to understanding complex real life problems, for example in mental health, maternal and child health, chronic conditions, and neglected tropical diseases.

The range of health policy and systems research at the School encompasses work on the public sector, private sector, and from the community to the national level. This diversity enhances learning across programmes and enables conceptual and methodological innovation. It also means that we are able to respond to demands at local, national and international levels.

Our model of policy engagement seeks to answer policy-relevant questions and promote change in health systems operation and governance. Engagement occurs through close institutional and country partnerships and through the various School Centres which help to synthesise health system research findings in relation to specific diseases, topics, or geographical areas. Building relationships among researchers, practitioners, managers and service users promotes sustainable long term engagement, sharing of ideas and knowledge, and policy influence.

Research and policy engagement both contribute to the goal of building the field of health systems and policy research at national level, in our partner countries, and also regionally and globally. The strategies At the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine we conduct research across a range of high, middle and low income settings, in partnership with country level research institutions and international agencies. We also work in areas affected by conflict and undergoing socio-political and epidemiological transitions. There is an emphasis on working across common health systems themes in multiple settings, maximising the potential for identifying patterns and learning. In practice this is achieved through multi-country research programmes and multidisciplinary Centres providing a focus for work in thematic areas.

The School is unique in the richness of the disciplinary expertise it is able to apply to health policy and systems research. Many studies involve interdisciplinary working, others retain a single disciplinary focus to analyse health policy and systems issues, including disciplines perhaps more unusual in their application, including history. Most of the School’s flagship research units, Centres and projects are multi-disciplinary, drawing together expertise to offer complementary and more holistic perspectives on a particular issue. to achieve this include training and capacity development, stimulating the communication of high-quality findings through journals and other outlets, especially social media and building communities of practice such as Health Systems Global.

A unique feature of health policy and systems research at the School is the strong link between research, policy engagement and capacity building. Our staff are encouraged to make significant contributions to each of these aspects, ensuring that research is practice- oriented and pragmatic – focused on what works to promote change and improve health.

Global Health Development (GHD)
Kara Hanson
Professor of Health System Economics and Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Dina Balabanova
Associate Professor in Health Systems/PolicyEconomic Analysis for Health Policy

Department of Social and Environmental Health Research (SEHR)
Martin Gorsky
Associate Professor in the History of Public Health

Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP)
Martin McKee
Professor of European Public Health
Pauline Allen
Reader in Health Services Organisation


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