Kara Hanson SD

Professor of Health System Economics

Kara Hanson's Background

I am head of the Department of Global Health and Development, and a member of the Health Economics and Systems Analysis research group. My training is in development economics and health economics, and I have worked on health systems organisation and financing, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, since 1988.  I have been working at LSHTM since 1997, and did my doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Kara Hanson's Affiliation

Kara Hanson's Teaching

I contribute to the teaching of two health economics modules:  Introduction to Health Economics (Term 1), and Economic Analysis for Health Policy (Term 2). I tutor on the MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries.  My research degrees students are studying topics including the valuation of time in economic evaluations, the role of private financing organisations in Nigeria, and the health system consequences of user fee removal in Sierra Leone. 

Kara Hanson's Research

My research has focused primarily on the economics of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. I have done research on hospital sector reforms in Uganda and Zambia, focusing on the implications of two-tier pricing for equity of access to hospital services. I am interested in the role of the private sector in health systems, and in identifying the opportunities and limitations of the private sector in improving the efficiency, quality and responsiveness of health systems.  I am part of the project funded by Merck for Mothers which is seeking to evaluate a number of private sector interventions to improve maternal health in India, Uganda, Zambia.

I am co-Research Director of RESYST - Resilient and Responsive Health Systems, which is a UK-DFID funded research consortium bringing together researchers from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Vietnam and the UK (http://resyst.lshtm.ac.uk). Our programme includes research on health financing, health workers and governance and leadership in the health sector.  My second area of focus is the economics of malaria control interventions. In particular, I am interested in understanding better how to expand access to interventions that have been shown to be cost-effective. Recent activities in this area include the ACTWatch Project, studying the market for antimalarial medicines (www.actwatch.info) and a linked grant from the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative to estimate the demand for antimalarials; and economic evaluations of a range of interventions addressing malaria in pregnancy (http://www.mip-consortium.org); and the Independent Evaluation of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria, which is an innovative financing mechanism for antimalarial drugs (http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/amfm/). 

I am a member of the Centre for Evaluation (http://evaluation.lshtm.ac.uk/) and the Malaria Centre (http://malaria.lshtm.ac.uk). 

Research areas

  • Complex interventions
  • Economic evaluation
  • Equity
  • Evaluation
  • Health care financing
  • Health policy
  • Health sector development
  • Health services research
  • Health systems
  • Health workers
  • Private sector


  • Economics

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Malaria


  • World

Other interests

  • ACT
  • Access To Medicines
  • Health Economics
  • Hospital Reform
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