Francesco Checchi


of Epidemiology and International Health


Keppel Street
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7612 7861

I am an epidemiologist whose main expertise is quantitative public health measurement and disease control in crisis (armed conflict, natural disaster, epidemic) settings. I have worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres, the World Health Organization and as a consultant for a variety of other agencies. I have spent several years at the School (2004-2012, 2017-present), and in between led Save the Children's humanitarian health team.

I have mixed experience in research, policy formulation and operational programme delivery in difficult and insecure settings. By mixed I mean diverse...although come to think of it some of it is definitely mixed.

I don't have a specific disease focus, though in the past I have done work on malaria, human African trypanosomiasis, tuberculosis, cholera, Ebola, acute malnutrition and vaccines.

My views on and tentative proposals for the future of humanitarian health are in this lecture.


Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health


Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


MSc module Epidemiology and Control of Communicable Diseases (co-organiser with Elizabeth Fearon and Elizabeth Brickley)

MSc module Conflict & Health

MSc module Applying Public Health Principles in Developing Countries

MSc module Extended Epidemiology (practicals only)

I also teach on WHO courses for humanitarian health cluster coordination staff.

At the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre, we are looking to develop an MSc in Humanitarian Health.

I am on the MSc Epidemiology Exam Board.


I try to divide my time between academic research and technical support to humanitarian health actors, such as the World Health Organization, at global or field level.

My main area of activity is around improving public health information availability and use in ongoing crises worldwide (see this review). Specific projects include:

  • Work package lead for the RECAP programme, focussing on developing methods to measure the performance of humanitarian health and protection responses in real-time;
  • Supporting WHO in South Sudan to improve its public health information work (probably ending in 2018);
  • Estimating excess mortality due to crises through a mixture of secondary data collection and statistical analysis;
  • Optimisation of pneumococcal vaccination strategies for different crisis contexts (expected start in 2018).

At any time, I am usually involved in several other smaller-scale projects. As a consequence of my previous programmatic role at Save the Children, I am increasingly interested in work that substantively addresses key problems in the way humanitarian (health) work is currently done, such as governance, accountability and public health decision-making.

Research Area
Natural disasters

Selected Publications

Post-Ebola reforms: ample analysis, inadequate action.
Moon, S. ; Leigh, J. ; Woskie, L. ; Checchi, F. ; Dzau, V. ; Fallah, M. ; Fitzgerald, G. ; Garrett, L. ; Gostin, L. ; Heymann, D.L. ; Katz, R. ; Kickbusch, I. ; Morrison, J.S. ; Piot, P. ; Sands, P. ; Sridhar, D. ; Jha, A.K. ;
Public health information in crisis-affected populations: a review of methods and their use for advocacy and action.
Checchi, F. ; Warsame, A. ; Treacy-Wong, V. ; Polonsky, J. ; van Ommeren, M. ; Prudhon, C. ;
Symptom- and Laboratory-Based Ebola Risk Scores to Differentiate Likely Ebola Infections
Oza, S.; Sesay, A.A.; Russell, N.J.; Wing, K.; Boufkhed, S.; Vandi, L.; Sebba, S.C.; Cummings, R.; Checchi, F.
Emerging Infectious Diseases
World Health Organization and emergency health: if not now, when?
Checchi, F. ; Waldman, R.J. ; Roberts, L.F. ; Ager, A. ; Asgary, R. ; Benner, M.T. ; Blanchet, K. ; Burnham, G. ; d'Harcourt, E. ; Leaning, J. ; Massaquoi, M.B. ; Mills, E.J. ; Moresky, R.T. ; Patel, P. ; Roberts, B. ; Toole, M.J. ; Woodruff, B. ; Zwi, A.B. ;
See all Francesco Checchi's Publications