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Sara Bennett, PhD

Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliation(s):

International Health
Division: Health Systems

Center & Institute Affiliation(s):


PhD , London School of Economics , 1997
MPhil , Kings College


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 board member of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO; a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Health Research and Chair of the Wellcome Trust, African Institutions Initiative, Advisory Committee.

Follow me on Twitter: saracbennett

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

  • Bennett S,. Corluka A., Doherty J. Et al (2011) Influencing policy change: the experience of health think tanks in low- and middle-income countries. Health Policy and Planning

  • Bennett S., Agyepong I., Sheikh K. Et al (2011) Building the Field of Health Policy and Systems Research: An Agenda for Action PLOS Med.

  • Gilson L., Hanson K., Sheikh K., Agyepong I., Ssengooba F. and Bennett S. (2011) Building the Field of Health Policy and Systems Research: Social Science Matters PLOS Med.

  • Sheikh K. Gilson L., Agyepong I., Hanson K., Ssengooba F. and Bennett S (2011) Building the Field of Health Policy and Systems Research: Framing the Questions PLOS Med.

  • Bennett S, Ozawa S, Rao K. (2010) Which Path to Universal Coverage?: Perspectives on the World Health Report 2010 PloS Med doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001001