Professor Susannah Mayhew


in Health Policy, Systems and Reproductive Health

Room 314

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

+ 44 (0)20 7299 4672

+ 44 (0)20 7299 4637

I joined LSHTM in 2001 after three years at the Nuffield Institute for Health, University of Leeds, for whom I continued in a joint appointment until 2003. Until 2012 I was in the Centre for Population Studies (EPH), then moved to the Department of Global Health and Development in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy.

I lived in West Africa for a number of years (and was born in Ghana) and have conducted research in a variety of countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia including Ghana, Eswatini (then Swaziland), Kenya, Sierra Leone and Pakistan.

From 2015-2018 I was head of the Department of Global Health and Development, having previously been head of the Anthropology, Policy and Politics Group in that Department. 

My current work is primarily in West and East Africa where I am developing research on cross-sectoral responses to climate and health challenges, including zoonotic outbreaks, with a focus on community engagement.


Department of Global Health and Development


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


I have taught widely across the school in EPH and PHP (both face to face and DL) including on reproductive health, gender, rights and health policies and systems. 

I currently teach a variety of sessions on the Population Studies Group's MScs (Demography and Health; Reproductive and Sexual Health Research) and I am involved in a variety of modules for Global Health Policy (by Distance Learning).

I give a range of external lectures at institutions including the Nuffield Institute for Health, Leeds; UCL; Oxford and other European universities.

I have supervised eleven doctoral students to successful completion and currently supervise another ten, who have/are examining a range of reproductive health and policy issues (including abortion, domestic violence, maternal health policy, HIV/RH integration, NGO contracting and the framing of health financing policies, Ebola-epidemic responses) in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Swaziland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Ecuador.

I have little space to accept new students, but I welcome expressions of interest from doctoral students wanting to work on issues of climate, population and health, outbreak-response or cross-sector systems/services integration.

I am adjunct Professor at Njala University, Sierra Leone.


My main research areas are in policy analysis, policy implementation, governance and accountability research – including community engagement; health systems and systems integration research (including in epidemic-response); and reproductive health and rights. 

My current interests lie in analysing implemention of health policy and development of health systems resilience in relation to cross-sectoral responses to climate and health challenges, including zoonotic outbreaks, with a focus on community engagement.  

I have held in excess of £17mil in research funding over the past 20 years and conducted research at policy, health systems, health service and community levels in a wide range of countries.

In sub-Saharan Africa a large body of my work has been exploring the integration of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS services to understand how policies are translated into practice and how policies and programme structures affect service delivery. I was PI on the Integra Initiative, a Gates-funded five-year research programme (and its 18 month follow-on), to evaluate different models of delivering integrated RH/HIV services in Kenya and Swaziland. Integra is a globally influential study with its highly-cited papers forming a significant part of the international evidence base for RH-HIV integration research. See: 

Recent and current work includes MRC funded study of the Ebola-responses in Sierra Leone examining how international, national and local responses, tensions and contexts played out and what lessons can be learned for health systems strengthening. See:

Other work includes an ESRC-DFID funded 3-year research project that I led, to examine the accountability of global, bi-lateral and national institutions involved in climate change policy and governance, with a focus on vulnerability, climate-change adaptation capacity and the impact of population dynamics. See: 

Under previous DFID Research Programme Consortia (RPCs) I coordinated work under the theme of 'Integration' for the DFID RPC on 'Reproductive Health and HIV' and managed LSHTM's component of another DFID RPC on 'Reproductive Health and Rights'. At community and service delivery levels in Ghana, my early work identified community perceptions and use of STI/HIV services. I was a core partner on an EU-funded research project in Ghana on perceptions of Emergency Contraception among urban dwellers and providers, as part of a four-country study comparing acceptability and accessibility of EC in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Morocco.

In Asia, much of my work has been concentrated in Pakistan where I led components of two projects investigating the health needs and service provision for marginalised groups at risk of HIV (sex workers and injecting drug users) and documenting their experiences of abuse from a human rights perspective.

Also with doctoral students I have (and continue to) built up a series of case studies testing, critiquing and developing theoretical approaches and techniques for health policy development and implementation analyses.

Research Area
Climate change
Complex interventions
Health care policy
Health impact analysis
Health policy
Health sector development
Health services research
Health systems
Sexual health
Global Health
Implementation research
Qualitative methods
Reproductive health
Operational research
Policy analysis
Social Sciences
Social Policy
Disease and Health Conditions
Emerging Infectious Disease
Sexually transmitted infection
Zoonotic disease
Sierra Leone
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Towards an understanding of resilience: responding to health systems shocks.
Hanefeld J; Mayhew S; Legido-Quigley H; Martineau F; Karanikolos M; Blanchet K; Liverani M; Yei Mokuwa E; McKay G; Balabanova D
Health policy and planning
Numbers, systems, people: how interactions influence integration. Insights from case studies of HIV and reproductive health services delivery in Kenya.
Mayhew SH; Sweeney S; Warren CE; Collumbien M; Ndwiga C; Mutemwa R; Lut I; Integra Initiative; Colombini M; Vassall A
Health policy and planning
Framing and the health policy process: a scoping review.
Koon AD; Hawkins B; Mayhew SH
Health policy and planning
Innovation in Evaluating the Impact of Integrated Service-Delivery: The Integra Indexes of HIV and Reproductive Health Integration.
Mayhew SH; Ploubidis GB; Sloggett A; Church K; Obure CD; Birdthistle I; Sweeney S; Warren CE; Watts C; Vassall A
PloS one
See more Publications