The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) will be primarily responsible for WP 4 (impact of health outcomes and quality of care) and the health policy component of WP 4 (health policy and finance.

The LSHTM is Britain's national school of public health and a leading postgraduate institution worldwide for research and postgraduate education in global health. Part of the University of London, the London School is the largest institution of its kind in Europe with a remarkable depth and breadth of expertise encompassing many disciplines. It is one of the highest-rated research institutions in the UK.

The staff members who will be undertaking the work are based in the Maternal and Neonatal Group within the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health. The Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, with almost 300 staff and over 125 research students, conducts methodologically rigorous and innovative research to inform the understanding of diseases and to provide evidence for decision making in public health. The Maternal and Neonatal Group comprises anthropologists, health economists, statisticians, epidemiologists, and demographers.

Previous relevant experience

The Maternal and Newborn Health Group has extensive relevant experience carrying out research to contribute to, and inform, international debate on key policy issues related to the health of young children and their mothers. This includes epidemiological research of maternal and newborn health and research on specific interventions and service content to improve maternal and neonatal care and development of methods for monitoring and evaluation of maternal and neonatal health programmes. The group also has experience conducting social scientific research on health policy and health system issues. The group has established partnerships in Benin and Burkina Faso (as well as in many other countries). The group’s principal funders include the UK Department for International Development (DfID), European Union, Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Immpact.

Carine Ronsmans is professor of epidemiology with degrees in medicine, demography and epidemiology and has been working on maternal health within the LSHTM since 1993. She has relevant expertise in the methodological and conceptual aspects of the evaluation of maternal and perinatal health programmes and the measurement of maternal morbidity and mortality. She has experience working in Benin and Morocco, as well as other countries. Professor Ronsmans has received EU funding before. She was the principal investigator for a feasibility project on near-miss audits to improve the quality of obstetric care in referral hospitals in Morocco, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire financed by the INCO DC funding programme of the EU. She is also collaborating on a trial of audits funded by the EU FP6 (please see http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/ideu/mp/audobem/). Her details and publications can be found at: http://www.lshtm.acuk/people/ronsmans.carine.

Veronique Filippi is senior lecturer with degrees in demography and epidemiology and is deputy director for the DFID funded Research Programme Consortium 'Towards 4+5' on maternal and neonatal health. She has relevant experience in the measurement of reproductive and maternal morbidity and its consequences in developing countries; learning from near-miss events in health services; and improving quality of obstetric care through audit. She has extensive research experience in Burkina Faso and Benin. Her details and publications can be found at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/people/filippi.veronique

Carine Ronsmans and Veronique Filippi will lead WP4 together. Veronique will act as link person for one or two African partners.

Isabelle Lange, a Research Fellow and anthropologist, will develop the quality of care work in WP 4 and the health policy analysis in WP 2. Her details can be found at: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/people/lange.isabelle

A second part-time research fellow will be recruited with a background in statistics or epidemiology to support the analysis of secondary data and of near-miss incidence in well and poorly performing areas.