Dr Meenakshi Gautham


Research Fellow
Health Systems and Policy Analysis

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom


I joined LSHTM in April 2012 as the India Country Coordinator of the IDEAS project, a 5 year Gates Foundation funded measurement, learning and evaluation project in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), implemented by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in Ethiopia, India (Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) and North East Nigeria. Since November 2015 I have been part of the Merck for Mothers study team at the LSHTM, researching the private health sector in maternal healthcare in Uttar Pradesh. I was the Principal Investigator of a study on antibiotic use by informal private healthcare providers in the state of West Bengal in India. This study is funded by the joint MRC/ESRC/Wellcome Trust/ DFID Health Systems Research Initiative.

Prior to working with LSHTM I was a post-doctoral fellow (2008-2012) with the Institute of Health Policy and Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands, and the Micro Insurance Academy in New Delhi, working on health services research to support development of micro health insurance programs in low income communities. I completed my PhD at LSHTM (Public Health and Policy) in 2006. Before that I worked as India Programme Manager with Intrahealth International (1997-2001). 


Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Disease Control
Department of Global Health and Development


Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
Antimicrobial Resistance Centre


I have been a DL tutor on Practical Epidemiology (EPM 103), part of the M.Sc Epidemiology distance learning course, and also on Control of Infectious Diseases (IDM 104). I supervise M.Sc students’ field projects in India on health systems, maternal and child health and AMR.


My health systems research interests are broad and crosscutting. They include the private health sector, informal healthcare providers, rural health services, maternal and child health, equity and quality of healthcare, mobile health applications for low resource settings, and a growing interest in antimicrobial resistance. On the IDEAS project, I have been engaged in coordinating and participating in research on the interface between MNCH innovations, interactions between frontline health workers and rural communities, and the resulting changes in the coverage of life saving interventions. My special interest lies in the private health sector in MNCH. With the Merck team I am investigating the ‘nature of competition in the private health sector in maternal health’ in Uttar Pradesh.  

My interest in the private health sector extends to the informal private sector that includes unqualified and unlicensed biomedical healthcare providers. My work in the past has contributed to profiling informal health markets, and I am now studying the ‘social, economic and behavioural drivers of antibiotic use by informal providers’ in rural West Bengal, with the goal of developing antibiotic stewardwhip programmes in pluralistic health systems.  

Research Area
Child health
Clinical guidelines
Health care policy
Health outcomes
Health policy
Health systems
Health technology assessment
Maternal health
Primary care
Quality improvement
Sexual health
Health workers
Disease control
Health services
Impact evaluation
Mobile technologies
Neonatal health
Private sector
Reproductive health
Development studies
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Sexually transmitted infection
Zoonotic disease
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

"It's About the Idea Hitting the Bull’s Eye": How Aid Effectiveness Can Catalyse the Scale-up of Health Innovations
Wickremasinghe, D. ; Gautham, M. ; Umar, N. ; Berhanu, D. ; Schellenberg, J. ; Spicer, N. ;
International Journal of Health Policy and Management
District decision-making for health in low-income settings: a qualitative study in Uttar Pradesh, India, on engaging the private health sector in sharing health-related data.
Gautham, M. ; Spicer, N. ; Subharwal, M. ; Gupta, S. ; Srivastava, A. ; Bhattacharyya, S. ; Avan, B.I. ; Schellenberg, J. ;
Health Policy Plan
Mobile phone-based clinical guidance for rural health providers in India.
Gautham, M.; Iyengar, M.S.; Johnson, C.W.;
Health Informatics J
Adding Content to Contacts: Measurement of High Quality Contacts for Maternal and Newborn Health in Ethiopia, North East Nigeria, and Uttar Pradesh, India.
Marchant, T. ; Tilley-Gyado, R.D. ; Tessema, T. ; Singh, K. ; Gautham, M. ; Umar, N. ; Berhanu, D. ; Cousens, S. ; Armstrong Schellenberg, J.R. ;
PLoS One
Informal rural healthcare providers in North and South India.
Gautham, M. ; Shyamprasad, K.M. ; Singh, R. ; Zachariah, A. ; Singh, R. ; Bloom, G. ;
Health Policy Plan
See all Dr Meenakshi Gautham's Publications