Research at the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development

Where we work

Our work is primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. We also work with vulnerable populations in the UK. Countries we work in can be seen on the map below (created from:

Grey map of Europe and Asia with some countries highlighted in green


View the full list of countries 

  • United Kingdom
  • Sierra Leone
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Africa
  • Benin
  • Morocco
  • Senegal
  • Burkina Faso
  • Turkey
  • Kazakhstan
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • China
  • Nepal
  • Bangladesh
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
  • Bahamas

We work closely with governmental and non-governmental decision-makers, programme managers and service providers, plus our long-standing research partners in these countries. We have been a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Research and Capacity Strengthening of Health Policy, Governance and Services and have a renewal process in progress.

Our research 

We address priority health and developmental challenges and focus on identifying ways of improving the health and wellbeing of poor and vulnerable populations. We use an embedded approach to research to maximise research uptake and its impact on policy and practice through collaborative partnershipsThroughout the research process we maintain strong relationships with decision-makers and local communities

Our research aims to: 

  • Enhance understanding of how population health can be improved and how health policies and systems can be better configured to improve healthcare and achieve systems goals of responsiveness, sustainability, equity and universal health coverage. 

  • Develop, implement and evaluate complex health interventions at policy, community and facility levels to improve service delivery for priority communicable and non-communicable diseases, multi-morbidities and maternal and child health. 

Our research portfolio covers five inter-related themes:

  1. Equity and Social Inclusion: Drivers of exclusion and inclusion in public service | Sustainable inclusion interventions | Research uptake | Community engagement. Theme lead: Dr Ghazala Mir 

  2. Health policy and systems research: Policy analysis | Accountability | Digital Health Technologies | Financing | Health workforce. Theme lead: Dr Bassey Ebenso.

  3. Improving healthcare: Packages of primary care | non-communicable diseases (cardio-vascular, cancer, diabetes, mental health) | communicable diseases (hepatitis, tuberculosis and COVID-19)Theme lead: Prof John Walley 

  4. One Health covering:

    • Antimicrobial resistance: Community engagement | Facility and health systems interventionsTheme lead: Dr Rebecca King 

    • Planetary health: Climate change and health | Resilience | Sustainability. Theme lead: Prof Lea Berrang Ford 

  1. Urban Health: Multi-sectoral solutions | Urban poor | Methodological innovations to urbanisation challengesTheme lead: Prof Tim Ensor 

Equity and social inclusion

Health policy and systems research  

  • Capacity Strengthening in Community Engagement: for country teams in Western Pacific Region

  • REVAMP: Realist evaluation of a maternal and child health programme in Nigeria  

  • RESPONSE: Improving health systems responsiveness in Ghana and Vietnam  

  • GHRG-ST: Global Health Research Group on surgical technologies in India and Sierra Leone  

  • AMIPS: Understanding gaps in implementation of medicines pricing policies in Ghana  

  • EXTEND: digital technology to improve access to healthcare in Nigeria   

  • HESVIC: Health systems stewardship and governance for maternal and child health in India, Vietnam and China  

  • RESPOND: Improving patient feedback systems in Bangladesh  

  • PERFORM: Improving district health management for workforce performance in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda  

  • EVAL-HEALTH: Understanding evidence-informed policy in India, Nigeria  

  • Digi-Pall: Digital technology for palliative cancer care in Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe  

  • Partnerships for Equity and Inclusion – Interventions to reduce inequalities for disadvantaged populations in LMICs 

  • CHEPSAA – Improving capacity for health policy and systems research in seven African Universities  

  • IMPACT – Global Health Research Group on research capacity building for mental & physical multi-morbidity in Asia  

  • School-based smoking prevention intervention in Egypt

  • Impact of provider payment reform on hospital efficiency in Kazakhstan

Improving healthcare

  • OnTIME Consortium – Google-funded research project estimating closer-to-reality travel time to health facilities providing emergency obstetric care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.
  • COMDIS-HSD – FCDO funded research programme consortium with portfolio of projects focused on developing and evaluating interventions for communicable and non-communicable disease control in Asia (China, Bangladesh, Nepal) and Africa (Swaziland, Uganda)   

  • Social Networks and Infant Mortality – Using participatory methods to improve maternity services in the UK  

  • ADMC – Addressing Depression in Muslim Communities in the UK, Turkey and Pakistan 

  • Implementation effectiveness of mHealth interventions for surveillance of communicable diseases in the context of sub- Saharan Africa: the case of Tanzania

  • The ‘Big Picture’: Understanding mental health research-to-policy pathways in Assam

One health:

Antimicrobial resistance  

  • CE4AMR – Community engagement for antimicrobial resistance including Community Co-produced AMR education Resources

  • Community Dialogues – Engaging with local communities for preventing and controlling antibiotic resistance in Bangladesh  

  • CARAN – Community arts against antibiotic resistance through participatory film-making in Nepal  

  • COSTAR –  Community Engagement for Anti-microbial Resistance   

Planetary health

Urban health  

Further details of these and other projects are in the School of Medicine’s projects directory. 

The wider context 

Our research anticipates and responds to global developmental issues and strategic directions, specifically: 

  • The Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 1 (poverty), 3 (health), 5, 10 (gender, equity), 13-15 (sustainability and climate change) and 16 (justice, institutions). 

  • Priority Areas for the UK and global funding bodies, particularly sustainable health and wellbeing; clean air, water and sanitation; resilience and action on environmental change, sustainable cities and communities and social justice. 

Our work spearheads collaborative and multi-disciplinary Global Health Research at the University of Leeds, in pursuit of the University Strategy for 2020-2030 ‘Universal Values, Global Change’ which supports our continued work on access and equity, climate change and planetary health. In addition we will increase our collaborations with research-intensive universities globally, focusing on combining our research with student education and adopt digital innovation within the design of our research projects. 

Who we are 

Our team comprises people with diverse methodological expertise in the areas of: 

  • health policy analysis
  • health systems strengthening
  • anthropology and social sciences
  • epidemiology
  • health economics
  • health service delivery
  • capacity building
  • urban health
  • climate change

We work closely with our long-standing partners in different Asian and African countries and have strong cross-faculty links with Sociology and Social Policy, Arts, Earth and Environment, and Psychology. We also welcome enquiries about future collaborations. 

Head of Division 
Dr Rebecca King

Research Lead
Dr Ghazala Mir

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