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Health Systems Program

Global Health Policy

Global Health Policy in the Health Systems Program

Our work on global health policy seeks to analyze the processes involved in policy development, both at the global level and within low- and middle-income countries. We apply theories and frameworks from political science, public administration and political economy to understand how power, in its many different forms, influences agenda setting, policy formulation and implementation—with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the interests of the poor and marginalized are represented in critical policy dialogues.

Our faculty conduct research on issues at the intersection of political science and global health, including the prioritization of different health issues on the political agenda, the role of the private sector, strengthening multi-sectoral collaboration towards positive health outcomes, policy advocacy in low-resource settings, donor-government relationships and donor transition, and the politics surrounding the adoption and implementation of controversial health policies.

Examples of Latest Projects

Generating National Political Priority for Addressing Sexual Violence against Children: With funding from the Oak Foundation, faculty are leading a research project examining the generation of political priority for preventing and addressing child sexual abuse across six countries. 

Strengthening the Effectiveness of National Children’s Care Systems: Political Analysis of Cambodia, Uganda and Zambia: With funding from the GHR Foundation, faculty are leading a set of studies examining the political, bureaucratic and economic forces shaping national children’s care systems in Cambodia, Uganda and Zambia—systems designed to protect children at risk. 

Political Economy Analysis: Faculty in the Department of International Health and their partners conducted a problem-driven political economy analysis to understand how the local decision-making environment affects management and governance processes for health at the sub-national level in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda. 

Opioid Abatement Politics: Analyzing the Subnational Scramble for Settlement Funds: Recent legal settlements with opioid manufacturers, distributors, and retailers offer an unprecedented opportunity to relieve a public health crisis. Faculty are conducting research on the role of politics in allocating these new funds in the state of Colorado.

Latest News

Johns Hopkins Researchers Receive Grant to Investigate Political Priority for Addressing Sexual Violence against Children
BSPH News | December 2022
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health received a $770,000 grant from the Oak Foundation to investigate the generation of national political priority for addressing sexual violence against children. 

New Study Examines the Processes Behind the Prioritization of Global Health Issues
BSPH News | August 2022
What determines whether a global health issue is neglected or given attention and resources? Researchers in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health analyzed how framing contributes to the level of priority certain health issues receive.

What Can We Learn from Internal Company Documents?
Principles for the Use of Funds from the Opioid Litigation | August 2022
The Opioids Archive is the newest collection of industry records within the UCSF Industry Documents Library. For two decades, researchers have extensively analyzed this collection, producing more than 1000 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, blogs, newspaper articles and other publications.

Meet our global health policy faculty

Adam Koon
Assistant Scientist
International Health

Adam Koon, PhD, MPH, explores how policy can transform the messy exchange of ideas, words, and values into agreeable plans for a healthier and fairer world.

Daniela Rodriguez
Associate Scientist
International Health

Daniela C. Rodríguez, DrPH, MPH, studies how politics, public health, and evidence intersect in policies that impact vulnerable communities around the world.

Yusra Shawar
Assistant Scientist
International Health

Yusra Shawar, PhD, MPH, studies the global governance of health and the politics of health policy processes in low- and middle-income countries.

Jeremy Shiffman
International Health

Jeremy Shiffman, PhD, MA, a political scientist, researches the politics of health policy-making in low-income countries and in global health governance.