Dr Dina Balabanova


Associate Professor
in Health Systems/Policy

TP 308

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7927 2104

I am an Associate Professor in Health Systems & Policy in the Department of Global Health and Development, with over 20 years of experience in health systems and policy research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). My main expertise is in health systems governance, institution building and effective delivery models.

I am an elected Board member of Health Systems Global, a professional society for health policy and systems research (2012-), and co-chair of its Thematic Working Group on Teaching and Learning Health Policy and Systems research, as well as a Member of various WHO Expert Groups, and BMC Health Services Research Editorial Board and Section Editor for Health Systems and Services in Low and Middle Income Settings.



Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Global Chronic Conditions


I have developed, and as a Module Lead, oversee the LSHTM Health Systems modules (face-to-face and distance learning). I am a Research Degree Coordinator for GHD.


I have been principal investigator on complex interdisciplinary multi-method projects involving comparative work on health systems and governance, such as the ‘Good Health at Low Cost 25 years on’ project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation examining ways in which good governance and accountability has promoted major advances in health and access to services in some LMICs compared to others at a similar level of wealth.  

I am increasingly involved in assessment of health systems responses to the growing burden of conditions requiring complex inputs in terms of treatment, follow-up and care processes, using probe conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Currently I am a Co-PI on a project funded by Wellcome Trust/ Newton Fund-MRC Humanities & Social Science Collaborative Award exploring barriers to effective and continuous hypertension treatment among poor and vulnerable households in Malaysia and the Philippines, and building technical and political capacity to respond to the needs of these groups.

I also leads work on developing effective and equitable primary care models for underserved populations involving community volunteers (Ethiopia, PI/HSRI grant), building resilient health systems (Sierra Leone, Co-I/HSRI) and integrating vertical, health system-wide and cross-sectoral interventions in responding to neglected tropical diseases in the context of decentralisation (Kenya, Co-I/MRC Global Health Trials). I have had a long-standing interest in understanding corruption in health systems (e.g. informal payments for care), and I am currently initiating work exploring provider incentives to engage in rent-seeking and the role of social accountability approaches to counter corruption in Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Tanzania. 

Research Area
Complex interventions
Health care financing
Health care policy
Health inequalities
Health policy
Health sector development
Health services research
Health systems
Maternal health
Primary care
Health workers
Capacity strengthening
Global Health
Mixed methods
Implementation research
Qualitative methods
Policy analysis
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Chronic disease
Cervical cancer
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
Non-communicable diseases
Sierra Leone
Europe & Central Asia (all income levels)
Least developed countries: UN classification
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Wealth and cardiovascular health: a cross-sectional study of wealth-related inequalities in the awareness, treatment and control of hypertension in high-, middle- and low-income countries.
Palafox, B. ; McKee, M. ; Balabanova, D. ; AlHabib, K.F. ; Avezum, A.J. ; Bahonar, A. ; Ismail, N. ; Chifamba, J. ; Chow, C.K. ; Corsi, D.J. ; Dagenais, G.R. ; Diaz, R. ; Gupta, R. ; Iqbal, R. ; Kaur, M. ; Khatib, R. ; Kruger, A. ; Kruger, I.M. ; Lanas, F. ; Lopez-Jaramillo, P. ; Minfan, F. ; Mohan, V. ; Mony, P.K. ; Oguz, A. ; Palileo-Villanueva, L.M. ; Perel, P. ; Poirier, P. ; Rangarajan, S. ; Rensheng, L. ; Rosengren, A. ; Soman, B. ; Stuckler, D. ; Subramanian, S.V. ; Teo, K. ; Tsolekile, L.P. ; Wielgosz, A. ; Yaguang, P. ; Yeates, K. ; Yongzhen, M. ; Yusoff, K. ; Yusuf, R. ; Yusufali, A. ; Zatońska, K. ; Yusuf, S. ;
Int J Equity Health
Application of systems thinking: 12-month postintervention evaluation of a complex health system intervention in Zambia: the case of the BHOMA.
Mutale, W.; Ayles, H.; Bond, V.; Chintu, N.; Chilengi, R.; Mwanamwenge, M.T.; Taylor, A.; Spicer, N.; Balabanova, D.;
J Eval Clin Pract
Understanding the modifiable health systems barriers to hypertension management in Malaysia: a multi-method health systems appraisal approach.
Risso-Gill, I. ; Balabanova, D. ; Majid, F. ; Ng, K.K. ; Yusoff, K. ; Mustapha, F. ; Kuhlbrandt, C. ; Nieuwlaat, R. ; Schwalm, J.D. ; McCready, T. ; Teo, K.K. ; Yusuf, S. ; McKee, M. ;
BMC Health Serv Res
In search of patient-centred care in middle income countries: The experience of diabetes care in the former Soviet Union.
Kühlbrandt, C. ; Balabanova, D. ; Chikovani, I. ; Petrosyan, V. ; Kizilova, K. ; Ivaniuto, O. ; Danii, O. ; Makarova, N. ; McKee, M. ;
Health Policy
Good Health at Low Cost 25 years on: lessons for the future of health systems strengthening.
Balabanova, D.; Mills, A.; Conteh, L.; Akkazieva, B.; Banteyerga, H.; Dash, U.; Gilson, L.; Harmer, A.; Ibraimova, A.; Islam, Z.; Kidanu, A.; Koehlmoos, T.P.; Limwattananon, S.; Muraleedharan, V.R.; Murzalieva, G.; Palafox, B.; Panichkriangkrai, W.; Patcharanarumol, W.; Penn-Kekana, L.; Powell-Jackson, T.; Tangcharoensathien, V.; McKee, M.;
Health Care Reform in the Former Soviet Union: Beyond the Transition.
Balabanova, D.; Roberts, B.; Richardson, E.; Haerpfer, C.; McKee, M.;
Health Serv Res
What can global health institutions do to help strengthen health systems in low income countries?
Balabanova, D.; McKee, M.; Mills, A.; Walt, G.; Haines, A.;
Health Res Policy Syst
Navigating the health system: diabetes care in Georgia.
Balabanova, D.; McKee, M.; Koroleva, N.; Chikovani, I.; Goguadze, K.; Kobaladze, T.; Adeyi, O.; Robles, S.;
Health Policy Plan
See all Dr Dina Balabanova's Publications