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Evaluating the effect of child and maternal care policies on health care use and health in Low income settings

Project Description

Improving child and maternal care and health has been a priority in low and middle countries for decades. Interventions have encompassed reorganization and financing of healthcare provision to increase service availability and have been evaluated in isolation to understand the impact on care use. However, there is less evidence on how different initiatives may act together, whether they compete or complement each other and on how these ultimately affect child and maternal health.

This PhD will focus on Mozambique, where improving child and maternal care is still a government top priority and where a variety of projects have been supported by international agencies and recently mapped. Linkable secondary data are available and still underexploited.

The aim of the PhD is to develop method applications to evaluate the effectiveness of multiple interventions, implemented to different degrees and times across the country, in increasing health care use and improving child and maternal health.
The specific objectives includes:
- develop, from an existing mapping, a typology of policies and measure their implementation in the country over time;
- evaluate policy effects when implemented alone or in conjunction;
- evaluate the effects on the most disadvantaged groups.
The analysis will be carried out on linked data from household survey, health facility, expenditure and other administrative data.

The supervisory team combines extensive research experience in policy evaluation and analysis of institutions and health care in low and middle income settings, with a track record of successful supervision of doctoral students and collaboration with country-institutions.

The PhD will involve close collaboration with the Mozambique National Institute of Health Research and National Institute of Statistics. Results will contribute to inform the strategic development of health care policies in the country.

Training/techniques to be provided:
The candidate will receive relevant training in: data cleaning, management, linkage and analysis; measurement of health and health care, in particular child and maternal health and health care use in low income settings; policy evaluation and econometrics and statistics methods for impact evaluation and causal inference; health inequality and equity measurement and analysis.

Entry Requirements:
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a Masters degree (or equivalent) in Economics, Health Economics, Development Economics or a related area. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.

For international students we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences. For more information please visit

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 1 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website). For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website (View Website).

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.


Anselmi, L., M. Lagarde, K. Hanson (2015), Health service availability and health seeking behaviour in resource poor settings: evidence from Mozambique, Health Economics Review, 5, 26.

E Van de Poel, G Flores, P Ir, O O'Donnell (2016), Impact of performance‐based financing in a low‐resource setting: a decade of experience in Cambodia, Health Economics 25 (6), 688-705

Anselmi, L., M. Lagarde, K. Hanson (2015), Going beyond horizontal equity: An analysis of health expenditure allocation across geographic areas in Mozambique, Social Science and Medicine, 130, 216-224.

Fernandes, Q.F., B.H. Wagenaar, L. Anselmi, J. Pfeiffer, S. Gloyd, K. Sherr (2014), Provincial-level time-series analyses of under-5 mortality in Mozambique from 2000 to 2011: Effects of Health System Strengthening, Lancet Global Health, 2: e468–77.

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