Dr Manuela Colombini PhD

Assistant Professor Gender-based violence


I am a social scientist with a background in health policy analysis. I conduct research in gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health services in sub-saharan Africa and South-East Asia. I hold an MSc in gender and development from the London School of Economics. After having previously worked for nearly 5 years on gender and reproductive health and rights issues (focussing on development and running of capacity bulding modules) at the World Health Organization, I joined the School end September 2005. My PhD was on the barriers and enabling factors affecting the integration of health sector response to intimate partner violence in Malaysia.




I co-organised the Family Planning Programmes module in 2013-2015. I currently teach on distant learning courses (MSc Public Health in developing countries), and teached on the Family Planning Programmes; Health Policy, Process and Power (seminar leader); Research, Design and Analysis (Ethics);  Diploma in Tropical Nursing; Short course on Researching gender-based violence.


My main research interests include gender-based violence and health sector responses, and integration of SRH  and HIV services.

I currently work on two research projects: 1) assessing the systems readiness of primary health clinics in Brazil and Palestine to integrate intimate partner violence into their services (MRC Global Challenges study); 2) assessing the feasibility and acceptability of a combination of gender-based violence and HIV prevention package for young girls in South Africa and Tanzania (EMPOWER study).

I conducted one of the first health policy and systems evaluations of the One Stop Crisis Centres in Malaysia (as part of my PhD). In particular, I analysed challenges and enabling factors of a specific health model where services to abused women have been integrated into available services at secondary and tertiary care hospitals.  Following on from this, I was a researcher on a larger study (INTEGRA) in Kenya and Swaziland. As part of Integra, I conducted research on providers’ and clients’ experiences with integrated care, and also on women’s views and experiences of partner violence following disclosure of their HIV status. Since 2013 to date, I have led two projects as Principal Investigator to evaluate: 1) the integration of IPV into antenatal care settings and health policies (in Nepal and Sri Lanka), and 2) the implementation of a brief counselling intervention for pregnant women who experienced IPV (South Africa).  


Research areas

  • Evaluation
  • Gender
  • Health care policy
  • Health policy
  • Health services research
  • Health systems
  • Health workers
  • Implementation research
  • Qualitative methods
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexual health
  • Violence


  • Policy analysis
  • Political science
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions



  • East Asia & Pacific (developing only)
  • South Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)


  • Brazil
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania

Other interests

  • Gender Analysis
  • Gender And Health
  • Gender Based Violence
  • Gender Violence
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Policy Process
  • Health Service Integration
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • health systems strengthening
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