I am a Social Scientist with more than 15 years’ experience of working within health systems as a public health advisor and researcher in the UK, Africa and Asia. My research interests are in strengthening primary health care systems for universal health coverage, particularly in relation to community participation, governance, and accountability. I am passionate about participatory action-orientated research approaches, community-based participatory research and applying these to strengthen health systems at all levels. My PhD in international public health focused on applying a health systems approach to investigate what is required to strengthen capacity at the primary health care level to achieve universal health coverage in Cambodia. The research applied a participatory action research paradigm in partnership with community health workers.
Current projects and grants
COUNTDOWN: Calling time on Neglected Tropical Diseases
In the multidisciplinary COUNTDOWN consortium, I work with a team of social scientists in Cameroon and Nigeria to deliver complex mixed-methods implementation research designed to enhance national Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) programme delivery. In Nigeria I co-lead the development of an innovative Participatory Action Research (PAR) project to strengthen health systems capacity for mass drug administration. The results from this process are currently being scaled up through working in close collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria to embed evidence within the national response to NTDs through the mass administration of medicines.
ARISE: Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity
As a research associate and researcher co-investigator for the GCRF Accountability for Informal urban Equity Hub (ARISE) (2019-2024), I support social science research in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Bangladesh, and India to address the intractable development challenge of ill-health, inequity and insecurity in informal urban settlements. The Hub brings together ten partners with a range of relevant expertise and commitment to work with disadvantaged people living in informal settlements. Our research will work in partnership with people living and working in informal settlements, through the application of community-based participatory research principles to improve civil participation, accountability, and wellbeing. I currently lead a theme of work within the ARISE hub that focuses on the capacity strengthening of people living within informal settlements to enable meaningful participation in community-based participatory research.
Directors Catalyst Fund: Developing a model for progressing and monitoring governance, leadership and accountability for Primary health care in a municipal health department: A Case study from Guatemala (PI)
This collaborative project seeks to develop a model to identify, progress and monitor mechanisms for improved governance, leadership and accountability policies and practices that support primary health care within urban municipal health departments in Guatemala. This research will use a participatory action research approach with health systems actors in Villa Nueva and Mixco Municipal Health Departments. Within urban centres, health and health care is more complex due to the plethora of health providers that are often private and unregulated. This means that municipal health departments must have strong governance, leadership and accountability structures to ensure the most disadvantaged of people living in cities have fair access to health and health care. Many countries are in the process of developing comprehensive primary health care (PHC) systems to achieve health for all. The research outcomes will serve as a case study and catalyst for using the model in other urban centres within LMICs countries.
Other relevant expertise
2019: Health Systems Global and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Capture discussions and perceptions of Primary Health Care and the private sector for the achievement of Universal Health Coverage during the Global Symposia on Health Systems Research 2019.
2019: UNDP Discussion paper on gender and neglected tropical diseases. Lead author.
2018: The ReBUILD consortium, LSTM. Development of a policy brief: Responding to humanitarian crises in ways that strengthen longer-term health systems: What do we know?
2016: Partnering Saves Lives, Cambodia. Programme evaluation and recommendations for a reproductive, maternal and new born health project. Report produced
2015: VSO. Midterm evaluation, report and recommendations for improving nutrition in children under 5’ programme at primary care level.
Public Health Advisor
Previously a public health manager within the NHS, UK, I fully managed, designed, commissioned and monitored many primary health care interventions and programmes aiming to reduce health inequalities at the sub-national level. I have also worked and lived for one year with the Wau County Health Department in South Sudan to strengthen capacity to deliver primary health care services to communities.
UK participatory research network - https://ukprn.weebly.com/
International Collaboration for Participatory Research in Health - http://www.icphr.org/
Primary health care, community health systems and participatory research approaches.