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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

· Afya Credit Incentive for Improved Maternal and Child Health

· Analysis of the Impact of Anaemia Reduction and Control Strategies in Emergency-Affected Refugee Populations

· Ask us too!: Hearing the voices of children and young people (CYP) with disabilities living in poverty in South Asia

· Assessing malnutrition in pneumonia using bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA)

· Bangles and Bindhi's: engaging communities about child marriage in southern Nepal

· Beating Diabetes in urban Nepal

· Carers voices: experiences from a universal child development screening programme in Thailand

· Children eloping to marry in rural Nepal: exploring the causes and consequences

· Community-based intervention to improve the well-being of left behind children in China

· Community intervention to improve growth among children under two in rural India (CARING)

· Community mobilisation and health management committee strengthening to increase birth attendance by trained health workers in rural Makwanpur

· Community Mobilisation in Mumbai Slums to Improve Perinatal Care and Outcomes: A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial

· Community resource centres to improve the health of women and children in Mumbai slums: a cluster randomised trial of a complex intervention

· D Magic - Diabetes in Bangladesh

· Developing a prognostic algorithm for non-severe pneumonia treatment failure

· Development of a robust and reliable pulse oximeter for use by frontline healthcare providers caring for children with pneumonia in low-income countries

· Development of NutVal 4

· Development of Sustainable Models for Post-Graduate and Professional Training in Nutrition in Emergencies

· Diagonal Interventions to Fast-Forward Enhanced Reproductive health (DIFFER)

· Disability and Disaster

· District burden and costs of severe pneumonia before and after introduction of pneumococcal vaccine in Malawi

· Double Burden of Malnutrition in the Sahrawi Refugee Population

· Early detection and integrated management of tuberculosis in Europe: E-DETECT TB

· Evidence for Action to Reduce Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Africa (E4A)

· Exploratory study to guide the design of an emollients trial in Africa

· Exploring the effects of high sex ratio in urban and rural China

· Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of a parenting intervention to improve early childhood nutrition and stimulation in Iran's deprived provinces

· HepCare Europe

· Improving access to quality healthcare for rural and urban poor in China

· Improving maternal, newborn and child health in low-income countries

· Improving Newborn Survival in Southern Tanzania (INSIST)

· Improving Population Health through Research Exchanges

· Improving the management and reducing the transmission of drug resistant tuberculosis in the UK (DR-TB in the UK)

· Informed decisions for actions to improve maternal and newborn health (IDEAS)

· Intervention to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in children in Zhejiang Province, China

· Lancet Commission on Migration and Health

· Low Birth Weight in South Asia Trial: A study into cost-effective interventions

· Many Strong Voices bringing together the peoples of the Arctic and Small Island Developing States to meet the challenges of climate change including health 

· Maternal and newborn care practices among disabled women, and their attendance in community groups in rural Makwanpur, Nepal

· MIRA Dhanusha trial: Community-based interventions for perinatal health and nutrition

· Missed Opportunities in Maternal and Infant Health (MOMI)/ Reducing maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in the year after childbirth through combined facility and community-based intervention

· Participatory Development of an Impact Evaluation Model and Toolkit for Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) (in Uganda and Malawi)

· Population science of maternal and child survival

· REFANI - Cash transfers to reduce severe malnutrition

· Research into Women's groups activities and their potential to affect child development and child protection outcomes

· Retention of nurses in rural Nepal: how can health sector decentralisation help?

· Scaling up Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM): InScale

· Socio-economic inequalities and the MDGs: Building evidence to support equitable improvement in maternal and newborn health in Asia & Africa (Equinam)

· SPRING: Sustainable Programme Incorporating Nutrition & Games

· Supportive supervision of mid level health workers in rural Nepal for improved job satisfaction, motivation and quality of care

· Sustainability and Petroleum Extraction: Corporate and Community Perspectives in Northern Norway and the Russian Arctic

· Testing a community based intervention to reduce neonatal deaths in rural Ghana: Newborn Home Intervention Study (Newhints)

· The Design of Novel Ready-to-Use Foods for the Treatment and Prevention of Malnutrition

· The determinants of non-initiation and early cessation of breast-feeding in Haringey

· The Dharavi Biennale

· The effects of antenatal micronutrient supplementation and current air pollution on growth and lung function in 8 year old children

· VACSURV - evaluating the impact of a national pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccine roll-out on child mortality in Mchinji

· Verbal Autopsy through the use of Mobile Phones: What is the acceptability and feasibility of giving cause of death information generated by Mobile InterVA to families of the deceased in rural Nepal?

· What are the relationships between the degree of pregnancy intention and key neonatal and maternal outcomes in the Mchinji district of Malawi?


  • 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.