Dr Melisa Martinez-Alvarez


Assistant Professor

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 207 927 2531

+44 (0) 20 7927 2701

I joined The School in 2008 after working for the NGO sector. I have a BSc in Biology from Imperial College London, an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases and a PhD in Health Systems Economics from the LSHTM. I have worked on projects on the application of macro-economics to health and the economics of globalization and health (focusing on India and Europe) before undertaking a PhD exploring the effectiveness of Development Assistance for Health in Tanzania. For my PhD work I used a political economy framework and mixed methods to study the effect of development assistance for health in the health sector in Tanzania.


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


Centre for Evaluation
Health and Social Change (ECOHOST)
Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)
Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre


I am a seminar leader for the Introduction to Health Economics module. I also supervise MSc summer projects on health financing topics in low- and middle-income countries.


My research interests lie in health financing in low- and middle-income countries, including from the supply side (including government expenditure on health, public financial management and external resources for health), the demand side (social protection and access to health care) and at the global level (development assistance and fiscal space). I am particularly interested in equity, including the targeting of resources to those in need and access to health care, particularly removing financial barriers.

My current research projects explore the targeting and management of financial resources in the health sectors of Tanzania and Malawi with a specific focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and the transferability of health systems lessons in China to sub-Saharan African countries.

Research Area
Child health
Complex interventions
Health care financing
Health care policy
Health policy
Health systems
Maternal health
Primary care
Social and structural determinants of health
Disease control
Global Health
International comparisons
Mixed methods
Neonatal health
Qualitative methods
Reproductive health
Development studies
Policy analysis
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Infectious disease
Congo, Dem. Rep.
East Asia & Pacific (all income levels)
Least developed countries: UN classification
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Malawi and Millennium Development Goal 4: a Countdown to 2015 country case study.
Kanyuka, M. ; Ndawala, J. ; Mleme, T. ; Chisesa, L. ; Makwemba, M. ; Amouzou, A. ; Borghi, J. ; Daire, J. ; Ferrabee, R. ; Hazel, E. ; Heidkamp, R. ; Hill, K. ; Álvarez, M.M. ; Mgalula, L. ; Munthali, S. ; Nambiar, B. ; Nsona, H. ; Park, L. ; Walker, N. ; Daelmans, B. ; Bryce, J. ; Colbourn, T. ;
Lancet Glob Health
Is Development Assistance for Health fungible? Findings from a mixed methods case study in Tanzania.
Martínez Álvarez, M. ; Borghi, J. ; Acharya, A. ; Vassall, A. ;
Soc Sci Med
Tanzania's Countdown to 2015: an analysis of two decades of progress and gaps for reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, to inform priorities for post-2015.
Afnan-Holmes, H. ; Magoma, M. ; John, T. ; Levira, F. ; Msemo, G. ; Armstrong, C.E. ; Martínez-Álvarez, M. ; Kerber, K. ; Kihinga, C. ; Makuwani, A. ; Rusibamayila, N. ; Hussein, A. ; Lawn, J.E. ; Tanzanian Countdown Country Case Study Group, . ;
Lancet Glob Health
Countdown to 2015: changes in official development assistance to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health, and assessment of progress between 2003 and 2012.
Arregoces, L. ; Daly, F. ; Pitt, C. ; Hsu, J. ; Martinez-Alvarez, M. ; Greco, G. ; Mills, A. ; Berman, P. ; Borghi, J. ;
Lancet Glob Health
How is Telemedicine perceived? A qualitative study of perspectives from the UK and India.
Martínez Álvarez, M. ; Chanda, R. ; Smith, R.D. ;
Global Health
Medical tourism: A review of the literature and analysis of a role for bi-lateral trade.
Smith, R. ; Martinez-Alvarez, M. ; Chanda, R. ;
Health Policy
Global Change and Health: Mapping the Challenges of Global Non-healthcare Influences on Health
Smith, R.D.; Martinez-Alvarez, M.
Globalization, Trade and Health Working Paper Series
See all Dr Melisa Martinez-Alvarez's Publications