Dr Melisa Martinez-Alvarez BSc MSc PhD

Assistant Professor


I joined The School in 2008 after working for the NGO sector. I have a BSc in Biology from Imperial College London, an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases and a PhD in Health Systems Economics from the LSHTM. I have worked on projects on the application of macro-economics to health and the economics of globalization and health (focusing on India and Europe) before undertaking a PhD exploring the effectiveness of Development Assistance for Health in Tanzania. For my PhD work I used a political economy framework and mixed methods to study the effect of development assistance for health in the health sector in Tanzania.




I am a seminar leader for the Introduction to Health Economics module. I also supervise MSc summer projects on health financing topics in low- and middle-income countries.


My research interests lie in health financing in low- and middle-income countries, including from the supply side (including government expenditure on health, public financial management and external resources for health), the demand side (social protection and access to health care) and at the global level (development assistance and fiscal space). I am particularly interested in equity, including the targeting of resources to those in need and access to health care, particularly removing financial barriers.

My current research projects explore the targeting and management of financial resources in the health sectors of Tanzania and Malawi with a specific focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and the transferability of health systems lessons in China to sub-Saharan African countries.

Research areas

  • Child health
  • Complex interventions
  • Disease control
  • Equity
  • Evaluation
  • Global Health
  • Globalisation
  • Health care financing
  • Health care policy
  • Health policy
  • Health systems
  • International comparisons
  • Maternal health
  • Mixed methods
  • Neonatal health
  • Primary care
  • Qualitative methods
  • Reproductive health
  • Social and structural determinants of health


  • Development studies
  • Economics
  • Policy analysis
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Infectious disease


  • East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
  • Least developed countries: UN classification
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)


  • China
  • Congo, Dem. Rep.
  • India
  • Malawi
  • Tanzania
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