Dr Amiya Bhatia
ScD MPH BA
in Social Epidemiology and Child Protection
Amiya's background is in social epidemiology and social anthropology. Her work examines health inequalities in the context of child health and child protection outcomes with a focus on how global health institutions produce and use data to understand these inequalities, particularly in South Asia.
Amiya completed her MPH and ScD in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health and her BA in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. She has ten years of professional and research experience working on a range of child health and protection issues including: pediatric HIV, immunization, polio, infant mortality reduction, undernutrition, birth registration, child labor, child marriage, and violence against children. She has also worked or conducted research for a range of organizations including the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the GAVI Alliance, the International Center for Equity in Health, UNICEF, UNFPA and the UN Special Rapporteur for the Sale of Children.
Amiya has worked in the United States, Brazil, Switzerland, India, Nepal and Ethiopia and has conversational proficiency in Nepali, Hindi and French.
Amiya is on teaching teams for two MSc courses: Issues in Public Health and Social Epidemiology.
In 2019 Amiya developed a free online course Child Protection: Children's Rights in Theory and Practice for HarvardX.
Prior to LSHTM, Amiya was on the teaching team for graduate and undergraduate classes on global health, child rights and protection, theory and epidemiology, infectious diseases and history, and approaches to monitor health inequalities in Harvard College and at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health.
Amiya's research examines how child health and child protection outcomes are unevenly and unfairly distributed in low- and middle-income countries and the data used to measure these outcomes. Her current research takes a mixed methods approach to examine the links between social inequalities and violence against women and children. Amiya’s current projects examine:
- The effects of honor-violence on children
- Patterns and inequities in help-seeking for domestic violence in India
- Birth registration and access to identification for children both globally and in the context of India’s Aadhaar program
Amiya's doctoral work examined which places and populations are missing from government health statistics in low- and middle-income countries, and the implications of this invisibility on policy and practice. She combined analyses of large scale datasets like the Demographic Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys with fieldwork and qualitative interviews with institutions that produce and use health data. This mixed methods approach allowed for an examination of the social and political context and epidemiology of three public health data systems – birth registries in 67 countries, cancer registries in India, and child protection data systems (for child labor, child marriage and violence) in Nepal. Her work examined how these systems can be used to measure population health inequalities by understanding both existing uses of data to monitor health inequalities and current efforts to include marginalized populations in these systems.