IGHD promotes research embodying critical thinking, practice engagement and principles of social justice to address the health and development of vulnerable and marginalized populations globally. Our research is focused through interdisciplinary clusters that draw together academic staff , research students and external partners in addressing major issues on which we aspire towards global thought leadership.

Our team is heavily engaged with the UK Department for International Development-funded ReBUILD consortium, which focuses its work in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cambodia. Other recent and ongoing health systems work has been funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH).


Cluster Members

Professor Alastair Ager is Director of IGHD, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh; Director of the NIHR Research Unit on Health and Fragility; Professor of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University; and Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, UK Department for International Development.

Professor Sophie Witter is a health economist specialising in health financing policy, health worker incentives and health systems research in low and middle income countries. Sophie leads the Health System cluster at IGHD and is Research Co-Director for the DFID-funded ReBUILD Consortium; Deputy Director of the NIHR Research Unit on Health and Fragility; and co-PI on a number of other research projects focused on resilience, performance-based financing and participatory action research.

Dr Karina Kielmann is a medical anthropologist with training in anthropology and public health. She is currently leading health systems projects that investigate service delivery and health workforce perceptions of drug-resistant TB care, decentralization of TB, both in South Africa, and also a project reducing barriers to TB treatment in the UK.

Suzanne Fustukian is a social scientist specialising in governance and health systems development, with a particular focus in fragile and conflict-affected states. She has over 35 years’ experience in health and development issues, and has worked with state and academic institutions and NGOs in a variety of countries.

Professor Barbara McPake is a health economist specialising in health policy and systems research. She is currently Director of the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne and holds a continuing appointment with IGHD, with whom she served as Director from 2005 to 2014. She is a member of the ReBUILD team, where she also acts as research advisor.

Dr Nicole Vidal is a social anthropologist with training in global health. Current and recent research involves TB care for vulnerable populations in Latvia and demographic changes in post-conflict settings as part of the ReBUILD Consortium.

Dr Karin Diaconu is a health scientist with mixed method experience spanning quantitative and qualitative research. Karin is involved in projects focusing on health system resilience in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria; health worker incentives for TB care in Georgia; the NIHR-RUHF research programme, and an innovative biosensor for cholera detection.

Dr Maria Paola Bertone is a political scientist and health economist, with 10-years’ experience focusing on health systems research, health financing and human resources for health issues, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Her current research as part of the ReBUILD Consortium is looking at performance-based financing in fragile and conflict-affected settings, including Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zimbabwe and DR Congo.

Dr Pol de Vos is a medical doctor with more than 20 years’ experience in public health systems research in multiple Latin American countries. He has a particular interest in the importance of civil society organizations and their role in furthering active participation in health. He has recently undertaken work in El Salvador on non-communicable diseases as part of the NIHR-RUHF team.

Dr Kelly Elimian is an epidemiologist with a keen interest in communicable and non-communicable diseases. His current work is focused on estimating the burden and risk factors of non-communicable diseases and mental, neurological and substance use disorders in Sierra Leone, within the NIHR-RUHF team.

Dr Guangyang Zou is a health system researcher whose recent PhD focused on integrated TB care in China. He is working with the NIHR-RUHF team on developing and assessing a primary care strengthening intervention for non-communicable diseases in Sierra Leone.

Jennifer Falconer is a health scientist with research experience in global health, public health, and epidemiology. Her current research interests focus on health service delivery, health system resilience, and development of medical devices, in low- and middle-income settings. She is currently working on a Cochrane systematic review of performance-based financing, along with other IGHD staff.


Honorary Staff and Doctoral Students:

Dr Predrag Duric joined IGHD from a position as Long-Term International Consultant to the UNDP Regional Hub for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has published widely on needs and services for key populations with higher risk of HIV exposure (people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, sex workers) and, separately, mental health and injury prevention.

Christopher Beyere studies human resources for health with a focus on developing an appropriate workplace incentive package for health tutors in Ghana.

Vikash Kumar focuses on understanding the health system integration discourse and its underlying assumptions in the context of non communicable disease service delivery in India.

Annie Willets focuses on comparing uptake of different rapid technologies for diagnostic testing at primary care level for TB, malaria, HIV in Kenya.

Evans Danso is looking at the impact of the Global Fund tuberculosis grant for Ghana on TB treatment outcomes and the implications of the withdrawal of this funding in 2015.

Esther Azasi is examining Ghana's CHPS (Community-Based Health Planning and Services) effectiveness in the Northern region, using a fragility lens.