Kara Hanson


of Health System Economics and Dean, Faculty of Public Health and Policy, Director Centre for Health Economics in London


15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

+44 20 7927 2267

My training is in development economics and health economics, and I have worked on health systems organisation and financing, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, since 1988.  I did my doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health, and joined LSHTM in 1997. 


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Global Health and Development


Centre for Evaluation
Centre for Global Chronic Conditions
Malaria Centre


I give a lecture on Economic Analysis for Health Policy in Term 2 and tutor on the MSc in Public Health for Development.  My research degrees students are studying topics including health system resilience, costs and effects of deliverying public health services, approaches to measuring progress towards Universal Health Coverage, and service integration. 


My research has focused primarily on the economics of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. I have done research on hospital sector reforms in Uganda and Zambia, focusing on the implications of two-tier pricing for equity of access to hospital services. I am interested in the role of the private sector in health systems, and in identifying the opportunities and limitations of the private sector in improving the efficiency, quality and responsiveness of health systems. This includes a particular interest in novel approaches to regulation, particularly in relation to market disruptions such as provider consolidation and epharmacy.  I am also interested in health financing reforms, particularly the way that strategic purchasing can help to improve health system outcomes.  I work with a DFID funded project on education systems research, contributing insights from the development of health systems research methods.  

My second area of focus is the economics of malaria control interventions. In particular, I am interested in understanding better how to expand access to interventions that have been shown to be cost-effective. Recent activities in this area include the ACTWatch Project, studying the market for antimalarial medicines ( and a linked grant from the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative to estimate the demand for antimalarials; and economic evaluations of a range of interventions addressing malaria in pregnancy (; and the Independent Evaluation of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria, which is an innovative financing mechanism for antimalarial drugs. 

I have a particular interest in the evaluation of complex health system interventions and am a member of the Centre for Evaluation (, the Malaria Centre (, and the Centre for Global Noncommunicable Diseases.  

In 2018 we launched the Centre for Health Economics in London (CHIL). Please visit our web page to find out about our work and download our most recent newsletter. 

Research Area
Complex interventions
Drug resistance
Economic evaluation
Health care financing
Health policy
Health sector development
Health services research
Health systems
Health workers
Private sector
Health economics
Disease and Health Conditions
South Africa
East Asia & Pacific (developing only)
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Cost-effectiveness of two versus three or more doses of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria during pregnancy in sub-Saharan Africa: a modelling study of meta-analysis and cost data.
Fernandes, S. ; Sicuri, E. ; Kayentao, K. ; van Eijk, A.M. ; Hill, J. ; Webster, J. ; Were, V. ; Akazili, J. ; Madanitsa, M. ; Ter Kuile, F.O. ; Hanson, K. ;
Lancet Glob Health
Who benefits from free healthcare? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana
Powell-Jackson, T.; Hanson, K.; Whitty, C.J.M.; Ansah, E.K.
Journal of Development Economics
Institutional Solutions to the Asymmetric Information Problem in Health and Development Services for the Poor
Leonard, D. K.; Bloom, G.; Hanson, K.; O'Farrell, J.; Spicer, N.
World Development
Donor funding for newborn survival: an analysis of donor-reported data, 2002-2010.
Pitt, C. ; Lawn, J.E. ; Ranganathan, M. ; Mills, A. ; Hanson, K. ;
PLoS Med
Effect of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria (AMFm) on the availability, price, and market share of quality-assured artemisinin-based combination therapies in seven countries: a before-and-after analysis of outlet survey data.
Tougher, S.; ACTwatch Group (inc; Palafox, B.;) Ye, Y.; Amuasi, J.H.; Kourgueni, I.A.; Thomson, R.; Goodman, C.; Mann, A.G.; Ren, R.; Willey, B.A.; Adegoke, C.A.; Amin, A.; Ansong, D.; Bruxvoort, K.; Diallo, D.A.; Diap, G.; Festo, C.; Johanes, B.; Juma, E.; Kalolella, A.; Malam, O.; Mberu, B.; Ndiaye, S.; Nguah, S.B.; Seydou, M.; Taylor, M.; Rueda, S.T.; Wamukoya, M.; Arnold, F.; Hanson, K.;
Building the field of health policy and systems research: framing the questions.
Sheikh, K. ; Gilson, L. ; Agyepong, I.A. ; Hanson, K. ; Ssengooba, F. ; Bennett, S. ;
PLoS Med
See all Kara Hanson's Publications