Dr Kathryn Church
in Sexual and Reproductive Health
I work at Marie Stopes International as the Director of the global Evidence to Action team. I am also an Honoroary Assistant Professor at LSHTM in the Department of Population Health. I am a social scientist conducting research on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and their clients in developing countries. My primary interest is in the area of reproductive health (particularly family planning and abortion) services.
I worked previously at LSHTM as a researcher on SRH, where I also conducted my PhD on the integration of SRH and HIV services in Swaziland. Previously, I worked for the World Health Organization in their family planning unit in the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, supporting the development and dissemination of evidence-based tools and guidelines on contraceptive use. I have also worked as a consultant on various SRH projects, including work on a community-based maternal and newborn health project in El Salvador, on the Iraq Family Health Survey, and on a research toolkit for maternal health. My first degree was in Geography from the University of St Andrews, followed by a Masters in Population and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
I teach on the Family Planning Programmes (FPP) and Foundations in Reproductive Health modules. I help supervise summer projects for the MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research. I currently have one PhD student investigating the impact of an m-health intervention on post-abortion family planning use in Bangladesh, and a DrPH student investigating integrated health services in Malawi.
In my role as Director of Evidence at MSI, I manage a team of 12 analysts, reserachers and HMIS leads supporting evidence generation across MSI's 37 country programmes. I also oversee our portfolio of formative, operational and clinical research projects. MSI conducts studies to understand how to increase the scale of its family planning and abortion programmes, to improve their quality, and to ensure their sustainability. Our team supports studies on post-abortion family planning, task-sharing for contraceptive and/or abortion provision (including to community health workers and pharmacists), quality of care, reaching marginalised or vulnerable groups, and promoting the high quality provision of long-acting and permanent methods of contraception. I help assure the quality of quantitative and qualitative research conducted across MSI's country programmes in Africa and Asia, and support dissemination and reporting of findings.
In my previous roles at LSHTM, I conducted research for the ALPHA network, analysing HIV policies and their implementation in services access across 6 sub-Saharan countries; and for the Integra Initiative, a multi-country study investigating the integration of SRH and HIV services, and a partnership between LSHTM, Population Council and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. My PhD, which formed one sub-study within Integra, was an in-depth case study comparing four different models of HIV care and treatment (stand-alone and integrated SRH-HIV services) in Swaziland. Areas of focus were contraceptive needs and practices among people living with HIV, use of integrated services, satisfaction with care, and perceptions of HIV-related stigma. The study utilised mixed quantitative and qualitative methodologies.