Joanna Busza BA MSc

Senior Lecturer in Sexual & Reproductive Health


Joanna Busza joined LSHTM in 2001 after working in Southeast Asia on evaluating HIV prevention programmes for marginalised populations. She has 20 years of international research experience on HIV, sexual and reproductive behaviour, and the social determinants of risk among vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, particularly sex workers and mobile populations.

Joanna's focus has been on applied research, including the design and evaluation of targeted, community-based sexual and reproductive health interventions. She has particicular expertise in the use of qualitative and participatory methods, both in conducting research and as a means to create enabling social environments for risk reduction.

She completed the MSc Medical Demography at LSHTM in 1997. Prior to that, she worked for reproductive health and human rights NGOs in the Middle East, and did an undergraduate degree in Political Science.

Currently, she is based at the WHO Ethiopia Country Office in Ethiopia until at least April 2016.




Joanna conducts training in research, monitoring, and evaluation skills for NGO and other institutions based in developing countries. She also develops and conducts short training packages on a range of topics including behaviour change interventions, reaching marginalised populations, and using participatory approaches. She recently helepd design Ethiopia's national training curricula for Maternal Death Surveillance and Response, and helped set up a "cascade" training programme that has now reached 1500+ health professionals.

At LSHTM, Joanna has taught on Social Epidemiology, Family Planning Programmes, Foundations in Reproductive Health, and Research Design and Analysis.


Joanna's research has focused on meeting the health needs of "hard to reach" communities, including sex workers, injecting drug users, undocumented migrants, and street children. She has also provided technical assistance to researchers in developing countries for designing, monitoring and evaluating new sexual and reproductive health interventions.

Joanna currently works in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. She serves as Community Health Advisor (Ethiopia) for Evidence for Action (E4A), a DFID-funded research and advocacy programme aiming to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in six sub-Sharan African countries. The project is providing technical support to the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health for the introduction of a Maternal Death Surveillance & Response (MDSR) system. In Zimbabwe, Joanna is involved in evaluating interventions to increase uptake of HIV treatment by two very different (but similarly neglected) populations: sex workers and children aged 6-15.

Research areas

  • Adolescent health
  • Behaviour change
  • Complex interventions
  • Migration
  • Qualitative methods
  • Risk
  • Sexual health
  • Social and structural determinants of health


  • Anthropology
  • Demography
  • Operational research

Disease and Health Conditions



  • East Asia & Pacific (developing only)
  • Europe & Central Asia (developing only)
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Other interests

  • Adherence
  • Family Planning
  • HIV
  • Injecting Drug Users
  • MSM
  • Marginalised Populations
  • Maternal And Child Health
  • Member Of MARCH
  • Monitoring And Evaluation
  • Participatory Research
  • Sex Work
  • capacity building
  • sexual behaviour
  • social determinants of health
  • young people
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