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. For details, please the map (created from: https://mapchart.net/).

Nuffield Centre - Leeds - International Development Map

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 with a renewal process in progress.


Our research

We address key health and developmental challenges and focus on 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. To do this we collaborate with our local research partners who maintain strong relationships with decision-makers and local communities throughout the research process. This also ensures that our collaborative research addresses the local priority problems in the study countries. Our research we aims to:

  • Enhance understanding of how health policies and systems can be better configured to improve healthcare and achieve systems goals of responsiveness, sustainability, equity, and universal health coverage (UHC).
  • Develop, implement and evaluate complex health interventions at community and facility levels to improve service delivery on priority communicable and non-communicable diseases, multi-morbidities and maternal and child health.

Our research portfolio covers six inter-related research research themes (Note: theme leads are the main contacts and multiple staff are involved in each theme; studies cut across themes):

Health policy and systems research

Policy analysis | Accountability, Responsiveness | Equity, Social inclusion | Governance, health planning | Financing | Health workforce

Theme lead:

Dr Tolib Mirzoev

  • 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 in Bangladesh
  • PERFORM: improving district health management for workforce performance in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda
  • EVAL-HEALTH: evidence-informed policy in India, Nigeria
  • Digi-Pall: digital technology for palliative cancer care in Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe
  • Big Picture – improving evidence-informed mental health policymaking in India
  • Partnerships for Equity and Justice – interventions to reduce inequalities for disadvantaged populations in LMICs

Antimicrobial resistance

Community engagement | Facility and health systems interventions

Theme lead:

Dr Rebecca King

  • CE4AMR – community engagement for antimicrobial resistance
  • 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

Urban Health

Multi-sectoral solutions | Urban poor | Methodological innovations to urbanisation challenges

Theme lead:

Prof Tim Ensor

  • ChoRUS – DFID funded research programme consortium focused on improving urban health systems in West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria) and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal)
  • SINC-Urban – understanding social inclusion within sustainable urban developments in Nigeria and Vietnam
  • SUE – improving quality and use of data to inform urban health decisions in Bangladesh, Nepal and Vietnam
  • Social Networks and Infant Mortality – using participatory methods to improve maternity services in the UK
  • Socially Inclusive Cities – review of key drivers and strategies for social inclusion in Asia, Africa and UK

Planetary health

Climate change and health | Resilience | Sustainability

Theme lead:

Prof Lea Berrang Ford

  • Effectiveness of interventions responding to the health impacts of climate change in LMIC

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

  • COMDIS-HSD – DFID 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
  • EndHep – improving hepatitis care in rural health centres in Pakistan
  • NCDs in primary care Nigeria through guidelines and mHealth training
  • ADMC – Addressing Depression in Muslim Communities in the UK, Turkey and Pakistan

Capacity building

Assessments of capacity needs and assets | Sustainable capacity building | Research uptake | Community engagement | Social inclusion

Theme lead:

Dr Ghazala Mir

  • 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
  • Ethnicity Training Network – knowledge transfer to support cultural competence in health and social services
  • ADMC – Addressing Depression in Muslim Communities in the UK, Turkey and Pakistan
  • K4D – Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development to assist DFID and others to be innovative and responsive, to rapidly changing and complex development challenges
  • EEiC – Improving the use of evidence in commissioning and delivery of health services for multi-ethnic populations
  • Partnerships for Social Justice – capacity building for leadership and addressing inequities in health and other public services
  • Inequalities Research Network – multidisciplinary collaboration to reduce health and social inequities

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’s Global Challenges Research Fund, 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:


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 and climate change.

Further details of specific projects also can be found in the School of Medicine projects directory.

View our team members

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 Tolib Mirzoev

Follow us on: Facebook @ncihdleeds and Twitter @NCIHD_Leeds