Kara Hanson SD

Professor of Health System Economics and Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Public Health and Policy


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 did my doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health, and joined LSHTM in 1997. 




I teach Introduction to Health Economics (Term 1), and tutor on the MSc in Public Health for Development.  My research degrees students are studying topics including health system resilience, approaches to measuring progress towards Universal Health Coverage, and novel delivery systems for hypertension services.


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 work with a DFID funded project on education systems research, contributing insights from the development of health systems research methods.  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/), the Malaria Centre (http://malaria.lshtm.ac.uk), and the Centre for Global Noncommunicable Diseases (http://globalncds.lshtm.ac.uk).  

In January 2015 I was appointed Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy. 

Research areas

  • Complex interventions
  • Drug resistance
  • 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


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


  • India
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Other interests

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