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Sara Bennett, PhD

  • Professor

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615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8140
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, London School of Economics, 1997
MPhil, University of Cambridge, Kings College, 1987
BA, University of Oxford, St. Anne's College, 1986


My background is in politics and economics, and I have a broad interest in health systems having previously studied issues in health financing, the role of the private sector, health worker motivation, changing roles of government and the impact of global health initiatives on health systems.

Currently I am interested in understanding and addressing some of the institutional and capacity challenges in promoting stronger governance for health in developing countries. For example, my current work includes an analysis of alternative organizational structures for housing policy advisory functions for ministries of health, an assessment of the institutionalization of the Gates Foundation funded, Avahan project in India, and an analysis of processes through which policy on community case management has been developed in select Sub-Saharan African countries. I am particularly interested in exploring means to promote the use of evidence in the policy process, understanding how capacity development strategies can be more effective and the nature of learning in health systems. I am currently the CEO of the Future Health Systems consortium.

I am an editor of Health Policy and Planning; Vice Chair of Health Systems Global, a new society for all those interested in health systems resarch; and Chair of the Joint Health Systems Resarch Committee (Wellcome Trust/MRC/DFID/ESRC).

Follow me on Twitter: saracbennett

  • health systems
  • capacity development
  • evidence-to-policy
  • policy networks
  • governance
  • aid effectiveness and sustainability

Selected recent publications

  • Bennett S., George A., Rodriguez D. et al (2014) Policy challenges facing integrated community case management in Sub-Saharan Africa. Tropical Medicine and International health. Early view available at:

  • Bennett S., Paina L.*, Sengooba F., Waswa D. and M’Imunya J. (2013) The impact of Fogarty International Center Research Training Programs on Public Health Policy and Program Development in Kenya and Uganda BMC Public Health 13:770 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-770

  • Adam T, Hsu J., de Savigny D., Lavis J.N.,  Røttingen J-A. and Bennett S. (2012) Evaluating health systems strengthening interventions in low-income and middle-income countries: are we asking the right questions?  Health Policy Plan. 27(suppl 4): iv9-iv19 doi:10.1093/heapol/czs086

  • Stierman E.*, Sengooba F., and Bennett S. (2013) Aid alignment: A longer term lens on trends in Development Assistance for Health in Uganda, Globalization and Health

  • Bennett S., Corluka A., Doherty J., et al (2012) Influencing policy change: the experience of health think tanks in low- and middle-income countries. Health Poilcy and Planning27(3):194-203.