About Institute for Global Health and Development

The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) is a multidisciplinary centre for postgraduate education and research, addressing health and development challenges in low and middle-income countries and their connection to global systems and trends. Their work is characterised by:

• a multidisciplinary approach rooted within the social sciences

• a commitment to research which provides a critical perspective on issues and points towards tangible actions to address them and

• a concern to address the health and well-being of those in greatest need


IGHD co-led ReBUILD, leading projects on health financing, health worker incentives, performance-based financing, and demography and health needs.


More on the Institute for Global Health and Development on its website

Institute for Global Health and Development and ReBUILD for Resilience

IGHD brings a wide range of expertise to ReBUILD for Resilience, including on health financing and economics, health system dynamic modelling, evaluation of complex interventions, participatory action research, impact evaluation, political economy and health policy analysis, and systematic reviewing.

IGHD-supported projects

Understanding health system resilience to respond to COVID-19 in a federalised context: a case study of health workforce management at sub-national level in Nepal

Understanding and developing a resilient health system in Bar Elias/Majdal Anjar, Lebanon

Health system resilience amid outbreaks: understanding the politics of sexual and reproductive health service adaptation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Cross-country learning on health system resilience: synthesis of OPM findings on the role of community health workers in COVID-19 and on governance for health system responses to emergencies

Understanding and strengthening local health governance and planning to build resilient local health systems that leave no one behind: Nepal

Strategies to support community health workers working in fragile urban contexts: a case study of the anglophone regions in Cameroon

Implementation of the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health policy in Sierra Leone: dynamics, challenges, and opportunities faced by policy implementers at the national and sub-national levels

Exploring approaches for complementary private sector engagement in the health sector in Northern Syria

Working with community leaders to address shocks, increase inclusivity, accountability and trust, and support health system resilience in Sierra Leone

Community and health system stressors and coping mechanisms during COVID 19: case study from Myanmar

Professor Sophie Witter

Research co-director


Sophie is a health economist and health system researcher, whose work has spanned more than 30 years and countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Europe and the Middle East. She has successfully led multi-disciplinary, multi-country research teams to timely and effective completion, with a strong focus on evidence into practice.


Sophie’s health system and policy research networks are extensive (she is an active and highly sought-after technical advisor) and she works closely with FCDO, other funders, academics and global health networks, as well as developing capacity through collaborations, teaching and mentoring.


Sophie is Professor of International Health Financing and Systems and Deputy Director of the Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility at IGHD. Her recent research work focused on fragile and conflict-affected states, understanding resilience in shock-affected health systems, health system strengthening, fostering learning in health systems, evaluation of complex health system interventions, embedded development and research, alongside health financing and human resources for health.


Contact Sophie on via the IGHD website

Dr Maria Bertone


Maria’s research looks at health financing and human resources for health issues (including purchasing arrangement, performance-based financing schemes, health workers’ remuneration and incentives), with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected settings. She is particularly interested in the political economy dynamics that define the design, implementation and adaptation of health financing and HRH policies in fragile contexts. She is currently leading NIHR-funded research focusing on the political economy of universal health coverage in francophone Africa.


Prior to working in academia, Maria provided technical advice to the Ministry of Health of Burundi, through the Overseas Development Institute Fellowship and then as consultant in numerous countries including DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Chad, Benin, Laos, Comoros and Botswana.


Maria is the vice-chair of HSG’s Thematic Working Group on Fragile and Conflict-affected States.


Contact Maria on via the IGHD website.

Giulia Loffreda


Giulia is a pharmacist with a background in public health research (MSc) and experience in health system strengthening and health policy and system research in low- and middle-income countries. At the Institute for Global Health and Development Giulia worked as a researcher on several projects within the NIHR Research Unit on health in situations of fragility. Other projects she has been involved with include research on the political economy of UHC in francophone Africa, the resilience of the health systems in Gaza, Lebanon and Scotland during COVID-19, and the mapping of system dynamics between climate change and health in fragile settings. She is currently doing a PhD (by publication) on population-level policies and strategies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Giulia’s research interests include NCDs and mental health policy and service delivery, political economy and governance, evidence review, systems thinking and fragility.



Contact Giulia on via the IGHD website.

Dr Vladimir Cvetkovic

Research project officer

Vladimir’s professional experience spans work with the OSCE, UNDP, a number of international NGOs, civil society and academia. In addition to work in Serbia, Kosovo and the wider Balkan region, it also includes posts in Afghanistan and Georgia. Combining research and Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning skills with practical experience of hands-on capacity development and project management, he has worked on issues affecting minorities and marginalised groups, implementation of human rights standards in government and public services, arms control and security sector reform, with a cross-cutting focus on institutional change and transformation.


With a PhD in sociology and interest in institutional contexts for project and policy implementation, Vladimir is responsible for financial administration, communication, and research uptake.

The ReBUILD for Resilience partners are:

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The team is supported by research associates

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"Supporting health systems to absorb, adapt and transform in the face of shocks and stressors is more relevant than ever."

Sophie Witter, IGHD, Queen Margaret University