Meghna Ranganathan


Assistant Professor

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

My background includes a PhD in Public Health and Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and an MSc in Public Health from the University of Edinburgh, UK. I am a member of the DFID-funded STRIVE Research Consortium and the Gender Violence Health Center at the LSHTM. I am an Associate Editor of the journal PLOS One and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

I have conducted both quantitative and qualitative research exploring the links between social protection programmes and sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on gender related issues and adolescent health in low and middle-income countries. I have both research and programmatic experience, including conducting feasibility assessments, providing input into study designs, tool development and data analysis for programme evaluations for various international development organisations, including the UN and non-governmental organisations.


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


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


I teach on the Introduction to Health Economics, Health Services, Economic Analysis for Health Policy and Basic Maths modules. I tutor on the MSc Public Health and MSc Control of Infectious Diseases modules and supervise MSc summer projects.


I have a particular interest in interventions that tackle the structural drivers of HIV/AIDS and intimate partner violence (IPV), with a focus on gender and adolescents. I am the co-principal investigator on an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) secondary analysis grant. In that role, I have been leading efforts to evaluate the scale-up of an economic intervention to examine the relationship between women’s empowerment and IPV among a cohort of women in rural South Africa. The intervention combines a poverty-focused microfinance programme with gender training and HIV education. I co-lead a couple of studies investigating pathways between cash transfers and IPV, and transactional sex and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. I am also the co-principal investigator of a study funded by the British Academy to develop a measure for sexual harassment in Tanzania. For my doctoral research, my research was embedded in a conditional cash transfer trial and I employed quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the socio-economic factors associated with adolescent women’s engagement in transactional sex and its association with HIV infection.

Research Area
Health inequalities
Sexual health
Social and structural determinants of health
Adolescent health
Behaviour change
Impact evaluation
Mixed methods
Implementation research
Qualitative methods
Reproductive health
Development studies
Operational research
Social Sciences
Disease and Health Conditions
Sexually transmitted infection
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Improving the measurement of transactional sex in sub-Saharan Africa: A critical review
Wamoyi J; Ranganathan M; Kyegombe N; Stoebenau K
JAIDS-Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Associations between women’s economic and social empowerment and intimate partner violence: findings from a microfinance plus programme in rural North-West province, South Africa
Ranganathan M; Knight L; Abramsky T; Muvhango L; Polzer Ngwato T; Mbobelatsi M; Ferrari G; Watts C; Stöckl H
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Women’s income and risk of intimate partner violence: secondary findings from the MAISHA cluster randomised trial in North-Western Tanzania
Abramsky T; Lees S; Harvey S; Stoeckl H; Kapinga I; Ranganathan M; Mshana G; Kapiga S
BMC Public Health
A Mixed-Method Review of Cash Transfers and Intimate Partner Violence in low- and Middle-Income Countries
Buller AM; Peterman A; Ranganathan M; Bleile A; Hidrobo M; Heise L
The World Bank research observer
A mixed-method review of cash transfers and intimate partner violence in low and middle-income countries
Buller A; Peterman A; Ranganathan M; Bleile A; Hidrobo M; Heise L
'It's because I like things… it's a status and he buys me airtime': exploring the role of transactional sex in young women's consumption patterns in rural South Africa (secondary findings from HPTN 068).
Ranganathan M; Heise L; MacPhail C; Stöckl H; Silverwood RJ; Kahn K; Selin A; Xavier Gómez-Olivé F; Watts C; Pettifor A
Reproductive health
Transactional sex and incident HIV infection in a cohort of young women from rural South Africa enrolled in HPTN 068.
Kilburn K; Ranganathan M; Stoner MCD; Hughes JP; Macphail C; Agyei Y; Gomez-Olive FX; Kahn K; Pettifor A
AIDS (London, England)
Young women's perceptions of transactional sex and sexual agency: a qualitative study in the context of rural South Africa.
Ranganathan M; MacPhail C; Pettifor A; Kahn K; Khoza N; Twine R; Watts C; Heise L
BMC public health
Process guidelines for establishing Intercoder Reliability in qualitative studies
MacPhail C; Khoza N; Abler L; Ranganathan M
Qualitative research
Transactional sex among young women in rural South Africa: prevalence, mediators and association with HIV infection.
Ranganathan M; Heise L; Pettifor A; Silverwood RJ; Selin A; MacPhail C; Delany-Moretlwe S; Kahn K; Gómez-Olivé FX; Hughes JP
Journal of the International AIDS Society
Cash transfers for HIV prevention: considering their potential.
Heise L; Lutz B; Ranganathan M; Watts C
Journal of the International AIDS Society
Donor funding for newborn survival: an analysis of donor-reported data, 2002-2010.
Pitt C; Lawn JE; Ranganathan M; Mills A; Hanson K
PLoS medicine
Motivating public use of physician-level performance data: an experiment on the effects of message and mode.
Ranganathan M; Hibbard J; Rodday AM; de Brantes F; Conroy K; Rogers WH; Gelb Safran D
Medical care research and review
See more Publications