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Institute for Global Health

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  • Politics, Economics & Cultures

Politics, Economics and Cultures (PECs) group is a multi-disciplinary group of anthropologists, political scientists, economists and epidemiologists who are interested in the roles that socio-economic and socio-political factors play in disease risk and progression. We work with colleagues from a number of different faculties and institutes across UCL to find global health solutions that are feasible, acceptable, effective and cost-effective. PECs staff work in a number of countries across the global south undertaking research ranging from primary data collection on the economics of different health interventions, to strengthening our understanding of political level decision-making around health agenda-setting. PECs staff carry out a range of capacity-building activities to increase understanding and engagement with the principles and practice of our various disciplines. We teach across a range of global health and development modules, and several of our staff are directors of teaching courses. In addition, we are involved in running short courses, and in collaboration with partner institutes we provide learning modules to a range of health decision-makers and health-influencers. 


  • Population Health & Health Systems

Population health is concerned with understanding and improving the health and wellbeing of groups of people and the distribution of health outcomes and the factors influencing health within and between groups.  Our multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, anthropologists, economists, clinicians and social scientists (to name a few) employ a range of methodological approaches to characterise health in populations and evaluate interventions to improve health outcomes. Our research covers topics of global relevance, ranging from urban health, domestic violence, vaccines, non-communicable diseases, maternal and neonatal health, disability, nutrition, reproductive health, and the development of new methods to measure population health. All of our work has a strong focus on equity and the wider determinants of health, such as literacy, poverty, the environment and gender. Much of our research takes place at the community level, with community engagement and participatory methods being a common feature.  At the same time, a focus on the quality of healthcare delivery, equitable access to services and the timely provision of care when and where it is needed constitutes our work in Health Systems. All of our research goes hand-in-hand with our mission to teach, train and build capacity of others with an interest or responsibility for global health. Together, this research, teaching and public engagement addresses the supply and demand side of functioning health systems and population wellbeing.

Research studies


  • Sustainability & Climate Change

The world is experiencing extensive social and environmental changes, with climate change being one of the most prominent. These changes are already having major impacts on human, community, animal, and ecosystem health. Consequences are seen in areas including food and water security, disaster risk reduction, resource management, and energy - all of which were already struggling for sustainability even without climate change.

The IGH theme 'Sustainability and Climate Change​' explores global health from the perspective of us being one species which is devastating the only habitable planet we know of. That covers the day-to-day struggles of people with little power and few livelihood opportunities through to the millennium-to-millennium challenges posed by human consumption. Our research, teaching, and public engagement focus on health demonstrating how human values and behaviour are reflected by climate change, but climate change is merely a symptom of wider unsustainable and unhealthy development processes.

Placing climate change within wider and deeper sustainability contexts reveals not only the global health challenges manifesting, but also the opportunities available to use global health to achieve sustainability.