Research Fellow


Division: Institute of Global Health and Development

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Maria Paola Bertone (MA, MSc, PhD) is a Lecturer in the Institute of Global Health and Development.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

Maria Paola Bertone is a political scientist and health economist, with more than 10 years of experience focusing on health system research, health financing and human resources for health issues mostly in fragile settings and sub-Saharan Africa. Maria has worked with the Ministry of Health of Burundi, through the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Fellowship and then as consultant in numerous countries including DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Chad, Benin, Comoros and Botswana.

In 2011, Maria held a research position at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium), exploring issues around knowledge management in global health. She then obtained a PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine investigating the complex remuneration of health workers in rural Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the ReBUILD project. Maria joined IGHD in 2017, initially as a Research Fellow with the ReBUILD project and since 2019 as a Lecturer in Global Health and Development.

Maria holds an MA in International Economics and Policy from the University of Pavia (Italy), an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing jointly from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Maria’s current research focuses on health financing and human resources for health issues (including purchasing arrangement, performance based financing schemes, health workers’ remuneration and incentives), with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected settings. She is particularly interested in the political economy dynamics that define the design, implementation and adaptation of health financing and HRH policies in fragile contexts.

 Active research interests

  • Health system research in low income countries
  • Human resources for health
  • Health worker remunerations and incentives
  • Health sector development in post-conflict and fragile settings
  • Health system financing
  • Performance-based financing and provider payments

 Research Methods

  • Mixed method research
  • Political economy analysis and policy analysis


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

ReBUILD – Research for building pro-poor health systems during the recovery from conflict

The ReBUILD Consortium is an international research partnership working for improved access of the poor to effective health care and reduced health costs burdens, through the production and uptake of a coherent body of high quality, policy-relevant new research on health systems financing and human resources for health in post-conflict countries. ReBUILD is led in the UK by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, working with partner research organisations in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe. ReBUILD is funded by the UK Department for International Development.

Find out more about ReBUILD

Maria currently contributes to Masters level modules in Global Public Health and Social Policy and Health Systems, Services and Communities. She is module coordinator for Research Proposal Development and Writing, and Strengthening health and health systems in fragile and conflict-affected settings.