Dr Kathryn Church


Honorary Assistant Professor
in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

I am a social scientist conducting research on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and their clients. My primary interest is operational and social research on reproductive health (particularly family planning and abortion) services. Most recently I worked at MSI Reproductive Choices (2015-2020), as Director of Global Evidence, where I led a team of analysts and researchers supporting data-driven SRH programming across 37 countries.  I am now Honorary staff at LSHTM, undertaking some teaching, MSc and PhD advisory work. 

I worked previously at LSHTM as a researcher on SRH. I conducted HIV policy analyses for the ALPHA network, and conducted operational research on SRH-HIV integration for the Gates-funded Integra Initiative. My PhD investigated the integration of SRH and HIV services in Eswatini (then Swaziland). Previously, I worked for five years at 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. 

I also have a Masters in Population and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health
Department of Population Health


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)


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.  


In my role as Director of Evidence at MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI), I managed a team of 15 analysts, reserachers and HMIS advisors supporting evidence generation and data-driven programming across MSI's 37 country programmes. I also oversaw a portfolio of formative, operational and clinical research projects. Studies or data analytics covered a wide range of themes, including self-care/pharmacy provision, adolescent SRH, quality improvement, health financing, task-sharing, coverage and reach to marginalised or vulnerable groups, and introduction of new SRH technologies. We also focused on evidence dissemination, and among other initiatives I managed the development of MSI's SafeAccess hub for abortion evidence. I also managed our HMIS team, who implemented front-line data collection systems, and developed tools to enable data-driven decision-making. I was also MSI's Learning lead on th 22-country FCDO Women's Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme.   

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.

Research Area
Health services research
Maternal health
Organisational research
Primary care
Quality improvement
Sexual health
Health workers
Impact evaluation
Mixed methods
Implementation research
Qualitative methods
Randomised controlled trials
Reproductive health
Operational research
Policy analysis
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Sexually transmitted disease
El Salvador
South Africa

Selected Publications

Safety, Quality, and Acceptability of Contraceptive Implant Provision by Community Health Extension Workers versus Nurses and Midwives in Two States in Nigeria.
Douthwaite M; Alabi O; Odogwu K; Reiss K; Taiwo A; Ubah E; Uko-Udoh A; Afolabi K; Church K; Fenty J
Studies in Family Planning
Treading the Thin Line: Pharmacy Workers' Perspectives on Medication Abortion Provision in Lusaka, Zambia.
Footman K; Chelwa N; Douthwaite M; Mdala J; Mulenga D; Brander C; Church K
Studies in family planning
Reproductive health under COVID-19 - challenges of responding in a global crisis.
Church K; Gassner J; Elliott M
Can universal health coverage eliminate unsafe abortion?
Footman K; Dessalegn B; Hayes G; Church K
Unintended Consequences of mHealth Interactive Voice Messages Promoting Contraceptive Use After Menstrual Regulation in Bangladesh: Intimate Partner Violence Results From a Randomized Controlled Trial.
Reiss K; Andersen K; Pearson E; Biswas K; Taleb F; Ngo TD; Hossain A; Barnard S; Smith C; Carpenter J
Global health, science and practice
Medical Abortion Provision by Pharmacies and Drug Sellers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review.
Footman K; Keenan K; Reiss K; Reichwein B; Biswas P; Church K
Stud Fam Plann
Identifying gaps in HIV service delivery across the diagnosis-to-treatment cascade: findings from health facility surveys in six sub-Saharan countries.
Church K; Machiyama K; Todd J; Njamwea B; Mwangome M; Hosegood V; Michel J; Oti S; Nyamukapa C; Crampin A
Journal of the International AIDS Society
Impact of Integrated Services on HIV Testing: A Nonrandomized Trial among Kenyan Family Planning Clients.
Church K; Warren CE; Birdthistle I; Ploubidis GB; Tomlin K; Zhou W; Kimani J; Abuya T; Ndwiga C; Sweeney S
Studies in family planning
A comparative analysis of national HIV policies in six African countries with generalized epidemics.
Church K; Kiweewa F; Dasgupta A; Mwangome M; Mpandaguta E; Gómez-Olivé FX; Oti S; Todd J; Wringe A; Geubbels E
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Reliance on condoms for contraceptive protection among HIV care and treatment clients: a mixed methods study on contraceptive choice and motivation within a generalised epidemic.
Church K; Wringe A; Fakudze P; Kikuvi J; Nhlabatsi Z; Masuku R; Initiative Integra; Mayhew SH
Sexually transmitted infections
See more Publications