Professor Susannah Mayhew BA MA PhD

Professor in Health Policy and Reproductive Health


I did my PhD in the Health Policy Unit in the 1990s then worked at the Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds until the end of 2001 when I joined the Centre for Population Studies at LSHTM. In 2012 I moved to the Department of Global Health and Development in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy.

I lived in West Africa for a number of years (and was born in Ghana!) and have conducted research in a variety of countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia including Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland and Pakistan.




I teach a variety of sessions on the PSD MScs (Demography and Health, Reproductive and Sexual Health Research). I am also involved in the Distance Learning module on Global Health Policy and Environmental Change.

I give a range of external lectures at institutions including the Nuffield Institute for Health, Leeds, UCL, Oxford and other European universities.

I have supervised nine doctoral students who have successfully completed, and currently supervise another who is writing up, who have/are examining a range of reproductive health and policy issues (including abortion, domestic violence, maternal health policy, HIV/RH integration, NGO contracting and the framing of health financing policies) in Ghana, Kenya, Swaziland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Ecuador.


I am head of the Department of Global Health and Development, having previously been head of the Anthropology, Policy and Politics Group in that Department. My main research interests lie in analysing the health policy and systems development issues in relation to population, sexual and reproductive (including maternal) health and services - and how these relate to the SDGs and changing climate contexts for global development.  I have conducted research at policy, health systems, health service and community levels in a wide range of countries.

In sub-Saharan Africa a large body of my work has been exploring the integration of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS services to understand how policies are translated into practice and how policies and programme structures affect service delivery. I wasPI on the Integra Initiative, a Gates-funded five-year research programme (and its 18 month follow-on), to evaluate different models of delivering integrated RH/HIV services in Kenya and Swaziland.

I was also PI on an ESRC-DFID funded 3-year research project to examine the accountability of global, bi-lateral and national institutions involved in climate change policy and governance, with a focus on vulnerability, climate-change adaptation capacity and the impact of population dynamics.

Under previous DFID Research Programme Consortia (RPCs) I coordinated work under the theme of 'Integration' for the DFID RPC on 'Reproductive Health and HIV' and managed LSHTM's component of another DFID RPC on 'Reproductive Health and Rights'. At community and service delivery levels in Ghana, my early work identified community perceptions and use of STI/HIV services. I was a core partner on an EU-funded research project in Ghana on perceptions of Emergency Contraception among urban dwellers and providers, as part of a four-country study comparing acceptability and accessibility of EC in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Morocco.

In Asia, my work has been concentrated in Pakistan where I led components of two projects investigating the health needs and service provision for marginalised groups at risk of HIV (sex workers and injecting drug users) and documenting their experiences of abuse.

My systems level work has included investigation of decentralisation dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa (with the Nuffield Institute for Health, Leeds) and an analysis of attempts to contract NGOs to deliver HIV services to marginal groups in Pakistan (with a doctoral student).

Also with doctoral students I am building up a series of case studies testing, critiquing and developing theoretical approaches and techniques for health policy development and implementation analyses.

Research areas

  • Climate change
  • Fertility
  • Global Health
  • Globalisation
  • Health care policy
  • Health impact analysis
  • Health policy
  • Health sector development
  • Health services research
  • Health systems
  • Qualitative methods
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexual health


  • Operational research
  • Policy analysis
  • Social Policy
  • Social Sciences

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Sexually transmitted infection


  • South Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)
  • World


  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Pakistan
  • Swaziland

Other interests

  • 'bottom-up' perspective
  • Advocacy
  • Analysis Of Longitudinal Data
  • Behavioural And Cultural Change
  • Climate
  • Cohort Studies
  • Collaboration
  • Complex Adaptive Systems
  • Contraception
  • Demand For Health Services
  • Developing countries
  • Environmental Change
  • Ethics And Human Rights
  • Family Planning
  • Gender And Health
  • Global Health Governance
  • Governance
  • HIV
  • Health And Development
  • Health Policy Process
  • Health Related Behaviour
  • Health Research
  • Health Service Integration
  • Marginalised Populations
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Population Health Science
  • Public health
  • Reproductive decision making
  • complexity and systems thinking
  • development
  • evidence into policy
  • health systems strengthening
  • international partnerships
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