martine collumbien ir MSc

Associate Professor in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research


With a background in medical demography and social sciences, most of Martine’s research has focused on sexual health and behavior research in South Asia. She uses mixed methodologies for applied social research and evaluation of interventions, with a special focus on contextual influences. Research focusses on how structural factors create vulnerability and on how programmes can work to tackle them. 




Martine co-organises and teaches on Sexual Health and contributes to Control of RTIs/STIs. She supervises PhD students on gender relational approaches to tackle gender violence and on HIV prevention among sex workers.


Current research:

Martine works on STRIVE projects in India, on structural change to prevent HIV and reproductive ill-health. She assists partners in Karnataka and Mumbai to use qualitative methodologies in the evaluation of programmes that aim to change harmful gender practices among young women and sex workers.

Previous research:

Recently Martine worked on the impact evaluation of the large scale Avahan HIV prevention intervention in Mumbai, considering risk contexts to explain the paradoxical HIV increase. Most of her research in Reproductive and Sexual Health has been in South Asia, including work on male sexual health concerns in India which centred on understanding local cultural frameworks of sexual health and how these are at odds with the biomedical framework on which interventions are based. In Pakistan she led research on peer ethnography among male, female and transgender sex workers and injecting drug users and was a main contributor to a bio behavioural survey informed by this qualitative research. She did methodological research for the Comparative Risk Assessment analysing the contribution of 'non-use of contraception' to the burden of maternal ill-health. She has supervised several doctoral students on various topics: the effects of ARV on HIV related stigma in South Africa, emergency contraception in West Africa, masculinity and gender norms and its effects on risk behavior in Mumbai slums. Before switching to public health, Martine studied agriculture and worked in Northern Thailand for six years gaining field experience doing nutrition research in an opium poppy replacement project.

Research areas

  • Adolescent health
  • Behaviour change
  • Complex interventions
  • Evaluation
  • Gender
  • Sexual health
  • Social and structural determinants of health


  • Demography
  • Operational research
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Sexually transmitted infection


  • South Asia


  • Ghana
  • India
  • Pakistan

Other interests

  • Community Mobilisation
  • Family Planning
  • Female sex work
  • Marginalised Populations
  • Masculinities
  • sexual behaviour
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