Ms Shelly Makleff


Research Degree Student

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

My focus is on sexual and reproductive health with a focus on abortion, comprehensive sexuality education, gendered social norms and stigma, gender-transformative programming, and the prevention of intimate partner violence. I have worked globally, with a particular focus on Latin America, and have a particular interest in co-produced research focusing on evidence to practice, and methodologies for evaluation of social (complex) interventions. I completed a Bachelor of Science from Stanford Univeristy (1998) and a Masters in Public Health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University (2005), and am currently a PhD candidate at LSHTM. 


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Public Health, Environments and Society


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


My research at the LSHTM explores methods and approaches suitable for the evaluation of social interventions in low- and middle-income countries. It builds on extensive fieldwork in a Mexico City school, which examines a process evaluation of a comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) programme. The project is a collaboration with Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar (Mexfam) and International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) and aims to learn whether and how the intervention may contribute to the prevention of dating violence and to more equitable relationships among 14- to 17-year-old public school students. I use this evaluation as a case study to explore the methods suitable for evaluation of social interventions carried out in complex environments.  

Outside of the LSHTM, I have conducted qualitative research examining women’s perspectives of abortion quality of care and stigma in Mexico, Colombia, Kenya, India and the UK. I worked for over a decade as an NGO-based evaluator focused on sexual and reproductive health programming in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Research Area
Health promotion
Public health
Sexual health
Adolescent health
Global Health
Mixed methods
Reproductive health
Latin America & Caribbean (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Experiences with abortion counselling in Mexico City and Colombia: addressing women's fears and concerns.
Keefe-Oates B; Makleff S; Sa E; Forero LJ; Mendoza D; Olaya MA; Avila Morales F; Friedman J; Baum SE
Culture, health & sexuality
Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Among Young People—a Qualitative Study Examining the Role of Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Makleff S; Garduño J; Zavala RI; Barindelli F; Valades J; Billowitz M; Silva Márquez VI; Marston C
Sexuality Research and Social Policy
Experience obtaining legal abortion in Uruguay: knowledge, attitudes, and stigma among abortion clients.
Makleff S; Labandera A; Chiribao F; Friedman J; Cardenas R; Sa E; Baum SE
BMC Women's Health
Exploring stigma and social norms in women's abortion experiences and their expectations of care.
Makleff S; Wilkins R; Wachsmann H; Gupta D; Wachira M; Bunde W; Radhakrishnan U; Cislaghi B; Baum SE
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters
An Intervention Delivered by App Instant Messaging to Increase Acceptability and Use of Effective Contraception Among Young Women in Bolivia: Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Trial.
McCarthy OL; Osorio Calderon V; Makleff S; Huaynoca S; Leurent B; Edwards P; Lopez Gallardo J; Free C
JMIR research protocols
See more Publications