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Associate Professor
Krishna Rao

Departmental Affiliations

Health Systems

Center & Institute Affiliations

Krishna D. Rao, PhD '04, MSc, finds ways to improve access to quality health services and financing of health care in low and middle-income countries.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E8132

Research Interests

International Health; Health systems; human resources; health financing; quality measurement; cost-effectiveness; health economics.
Experiences & Accomplishments
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Cornell University
St. John's University
I am interested in finding ways to improve access to health services in resource poor areas and the application of research methods drawn from the social sciences and economics to seek solutions to these issues. I've primarily worked in Afghanistan. Latin America, and India. Within health systems,  I have largely worked on three areas - human resources, primary health care, and health financing. My work in human resources has primarily focused on quality of care, task shifting, and the retention of health workers in underserved areas. In the area of health financing, my recent research work has focused on the burden of out-of-pocket payments, expenditure tracking in health systems, and insurance programs in low and middle-income countries. Other health systems research includes studying the interactions between vertical programs and health systems, and universal health coverage (UHC) policies in low and middle-income countries. In terms of research methods, my interest lie in techniques related to measuring process and structural quality of care, cost-effectiveness analysis, program impact evaluation techniques, household survey methods, and the application of microeconomics to health. I serve as an Assistant Editor of the International Journal for Equity in Health.
Honors & Awards
2011/12/18/19: Excellence in teaching recognition for course “Financing Health Systems for
Universal Health Coverage’ at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public

2018/19/21: Excellence in teaching recognition for course “Globalization: Health and
Economic Development’ at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

2018: Excellence in teaching recognition for course “Health Economics-3” at Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

2016: Practitioner Resident Fellow, Bellagio Residency Program, Bellagio Center,
Rockefeller Foundation, New York.

2016: Travel Grant, Global Learning Programs, Institute of International Education
(IIE), New York.
Select Publications
Selected publications from the last five years
  • Rao KD, Sheffel A. (2018). Quality of Clinical Care and Bypassing of Primary Health Centers in India. Social Science and Medicine; DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.04.040
  • Rao, K.D., Ryan, M., Shroff, Z., Vujicic, M., Ramani, S., & Berman, P. (2013). Rural clinician scarcity and job preferences of doctors and nurses in India: a discrete choice experiment. PLoS One, 8,12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082984.
  • Rao, K.D., Sundararaman, T., Bhatnagar, A., Gupta, G., Kokho, P., & Jain, K. (2013). Which doctor for primary health care? Quality of care and non-physician clinicians in India. Social Science and Medicine, 84, 30-34. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.02.018.
  • Rao, M., Rao, K.D., Kumar, S., & others. (2011). Health for all and the human resource crisis. Lancet, 337(9765), 587-598.
  • Rao KD, Kaur J, Peters MA*, Kumar N, Nanda P. (2021). Pandemic response in pluralistic health systems: a cross-sectional study of COVID-19 knowledge and practices among informal and formal primary care providers in Bihar, India. BMJ Open. 11 (4), e047334.
To Provide Ongoing Technical Support to the Selected UHC Research Teams
Project Samuday
Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Support Project
African Health Diagnostics Platform (AHDP)
Primary Health Care Assessment