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Maria-Elena Figueroa, PhD

  • Director, Center for Communication Programs, Research and Evaluation
  • Director, Center for Communication Programs, Water and Hygiene
  • Associate Scientist

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

111 Market Place
Suite 310
Baltimore, Maryland 21202


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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1996
BS, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 1978


Dr. Figueroa’s research has focused on the understanding of health behavior in developing country settings. She is interested in the use of interdisciplinary research and the use of different theoretical approaches and methodologies for a more comprehensive study of cultural, household and individual factors that account for health behavior differentials. Dr. Figueroa’s current research interests include: developing a better understanding of the social and cultural factors that explain safe water, sanitation and hygiene behaviors, including the role of the household and community traits in such practices. In addition, Dr. Figueroa is testing and using innovative methodologies to better understand gender and sexual norms underlying  HIV prevalence in Mozambique.

Dr. Figueroa is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Johns Hopkins University Global Water Program.

  • Communication research, program evaluation, health care seeking, safe water, sanitation, hygiene, 
  • social change, behavior change, gender norms, community capacity, development communication, formative research, econometric methods.
  • Figueroa ME & Kincaid DL. (2010). The Influence of Social, Cultural and Behavioural Factors on Uptake of Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage. Center Publication No. (1). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health , Center for Communication Programs.

  • Figueroa, M.E. and Hulme, J. (2010). Water Treatment Promotion in Three Contexts: Lessons for Future Programs. USAID Safe Water Drinking Alliance, Haiti, Pakistan and Ethiopia.  USAID, CARE, PSI, P&G and Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Ainslie, R., Ati, A., Figueroa, M.E. (2010). Institutionalizing Household Water Treatment: the Aman Tirta experience in Indonesia. USAID Safe Water Systems Project. Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • Kincaid, D. L., & Figueroa, M.E. (2009). Communication for participatory development: Dialogue, collective action, and change. In L. Frey and K. Cissna (Eds.) Handbook of Applied Communication Research. Routledge.

  • Said, R., Figueroa, M.E, (2009). New Gender Dynamics for HIV Prevention: Windows of Opportunity in Mozambique. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center For Communication Programs.