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Krishna Dipankar Rao, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8132
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2004
MSc, Cornell University, 1997
BA, St. John's University, 1994


My research work broadly focuses on health systems in low and middle-income countries. I'm interested in finding ways to improve access to health services in resource poor areas and the application of research methods drawn from the social sciences and economics to seek solutions to these issues. I've primarily worked in Afghanistan and India. I serve as an Assistant Editor of the International Journal for Equity in Health. Within the area of health systems,  I have largely worked on three areas - human resources, health services, and health financing. My work in human resources has primarily focused on quality of care, task shifting, and the retention of health workers in underserved areas. In the area of health financing, my recent research work has focused on the burden of out-of-pocket payments, expenditure tracking in health systems, and insurance programs in low and middle-income countries. Other health systems research includes studying the interactions between vertical programs and health systems, and universal health coverage (UHC) policies in low and middle-income countries. In terms of research methods, my interest lie in techniques related to measuring process and structural quality of care, cost-effectiveness analysis, program impact evaluation techniques, household survey methods, and the application of microeconomics to health.

Honors and Awards

Outstanding teacher recognition for course ‘Financing Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries’ at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2011. 2012, 2018)

  • International Health
  • Health systems
  • human resources
  • health financing
  • quality measurement
  • cost-effectiveness
  • health economics.

Selected publications from the last five years

  • Rao KD, Sheffel A. (2018). Quality of Clinical Care and Bypassing of Primary Health Centers in India. Social Science and Medicine; DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.04.040
  • Rao, K.D., Ryan, M., Shroff, Z., Vujicic, M., Ramani, S., & Berman, P. (2013). Rural clinician scarcity and job preferences of doctors and nurses in India: a discrete choice experiment. PLoS One, 8,12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082984.
  • Rao, K.D., Sundararaman, T., Bhatnagar, A., Gupta, G., Kokho, P., & Jain, K. (2013). Which doctor for primary health care? Quality of care and non-physician clinicians in India. Social Science and Medicine, 84, 30-34. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.02.018.
  • Rao, M., Rao, K.D., Kumar, S., & others. (2011). Health for all and the human resource crisis. Lancet, 337(9765), 587-598.
  • Rao, K.D., Petrosyan, V., Aarujo, E.C., & McIntyre, D. (2014). Progress towards universal health coverage in BRICS: translating healthy economic growth into better health. Bulletin of the WHO, 92(6), 429-433. doi: 10.2471/BLT.13.127951