Ms Joanna Busza

Associate Professor

United Kingdom

I am based at the MRC Unit in The Gambia.

My academic focus is applied, field-based research, primarily the design and evaluation of targeted, community-based sexual and reproductive health interventions. I have particular expertise in using qualitative and participatory methods, both in conducting research and also as a means to create enabling social environments for risk reduction with directly affected populations.

I have over 25 years' international research experience in the fields of HIV, sexual and reproductive behaviour, and the social determinants of risk among vulnerable and hard-to-reach groups, particularly sex workers and mobile populations. I was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 2013-2018, as part of a collaboration with the WHO Ethiopia Country Office and Ethiopian Public Health Institute to establish Ethiopia's Maternal Death Surveillance & Response system. Following that, I returned to London and served as Director of the Centre for Evaluation at LSHTM from 2018-2021.


Department of Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Centre for Evaluation
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


I conduct training in research, monitoring, and evaluation skills for NGO, UN agencies and government institutions. I also develop and deliver short training packages on a range of topics including behaviour change interventions, reaching marginalised populations, and using participatory approaches. I helped design Ethiopia's national training curricula for Maternal Death Surveillance and Response, setting up a "cascade" training programme that has now reached 1500+ health professionals.

I also developed a Process Evaluation workshop package that the Centre for Evaluation can deliver to collaborating partners and tailor to their specific interests, which has been conducted in 6 countries to date.

At LSHTM, I have taught on Evaluation of Public Health Interventions, Health Promotion, Sexual Health, Social Epidemiology, Family Planning Programmes, Foundations in Reproductive Health, and Research Design and Analysis. I also teach on short courses at the London International Development Centre and Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp.


I currently work on mixed-method process and impact evaluations of several HIV prevention and treatment programmes for female sex workers and high risk adolescents in Zimbabwe. In Ethiopia, I recently completed several studies on migration and health, with a focus on women's entry into domestic labour in the Middle East. As part of that work, I co-led the Migration and Health Research Action Group in Ethiopia (MiHRAGE), an interdiciplinary collaboration funded through the Medical Academy of Sciences.
Research Area
Reproductive health
Sexual health
Sexual behaviour
Adolescent health
Sex work
Disease and Health Conditions
Sexually transmitted infections

Selected Publications

Migrant Women's Health and Safety: Why Do Ethiopian Women Choose Irregular Migration to the Middle East for Domestic Work?
Shewamene, Z; ZIMMERMAN, C; Hailu, E; Negeri, L; Erulkar, A; Anderson, E; Lo, Y; Jackson, O; BUSZA, J;
International journal of environmental research and public health
Potential reduction in female sex workers' risk of contracting HIV during coronavirus disease 2019.
Machingura, F; Chabata, ST; BUSZA, J; Jamali, G; Makamba, M; Dirawo, J; Yekeye, R; Mugurungi, O; Matambanadzo, P; Cowan, FM;
AIDS (London, England)
Strengthening routine health data analysis in Ethiopia: the Operational Research and Coaching for Analysts (ORCA) experience.
BUSZA, J; Lemma, S; JANSON, A; Adem, SO; BERHANU, D; Defar, A; PERSSON, L-Å; Källestål, C;
Global health action
What's in a Name? A Mixed Method Study on How Young Women Who Sell Sex Characterize Male Partners and Their Use of Condoms.
BUSZA, J; HENSEN, B; BIRDTHISTLE, I; Chabata, ST; HARGREAVES, JR; FLOYD, S; Chiyaka, T; Mushati, P; Cowan, FM;
Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)
Understanding early uptake of PrEP by female sex workers in Zimbabwe.
BUSZA, J; Phillips, AN; Mushati, P; Chiyaka, T; Magutshwa, S; Musemburi, S; Cowan, FM;
AIDS care
Enhancing national prevention and treatment services for sex workers in Zimbabwe: a process evaluation of the SAPPH-IRe trial.
BUSZA, J; Chiyaka, T; Musemburi, S; FEARON, E; DAVEY, C; Chabata, S; Mushati, P; Dirawo, J; Napierala, S; Phillips, AN; Cowan, FM; HARGREAVES, JR;
Health policy and planning
Community health worker support to improve HIV treatment outcomes for older children and adolescents in Zimbabwe: a process evaluation of the ZENITH trial.
DZIVA CHIKWARI, C; SIMMS, V; BUSZA, J; Dauya, E; Bandason, T; Chonzi, P; Munyati, S; Mujuru, H; FERRAND, RA;
Implementation science
"It is not possible to go inside and have a discussion": how fear of stigma affects delivery of community-based support for children's HIV care.
BUSZA, J; SIMMS, V; DZIVA CHIKWARI, C; Dauya, E; Bandason, T; Makamba, M; McHugh, G; FERRAND, RA;
AIDS care
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