Professor Kara Hanson

Kara's training is in development economics and health economics, and she has worked on health systems organisation and financing, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, since 1988.  Kara completed her doctorate at the Harvard School of Public Health, and joined LSHTM in 1997

Karas research has focused primarily on the economics of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. She has done research on hospital sector reforms in Uganda and Zambia, focusing on the implications of two-tier pricing for equity of access to hospital services. Kara is interested in the role of the private sector in health systems, and in identifying the opportunities and limitations of the private sector in improving the efficiency, quality and responsiveness of health systems.  Kara has worked with a DFID funded project on education systems research, contributing insights from the development of health systems research methods.  She is the co-Research Director of RESYST - Resilient and Responsive Health Systems, which is a UK-DFID funded research consortium bringing together researchers from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Vietnam and the UK ( This programme includes research on health financing, health workers and governance and leadership in the health sector.  

Kara's second area of focus is the economics of malaria control interventions. In particular, she is interested in understanding better how to expand access to interventions that have been shown to be cost-effective. Recent activities in this area include the ACTWatch Project, studying the market for antimalarial medicines ( and a linked grant from the ESRC Secondary Data Analysis Initiative to estimate the demand for antimalarials; and economic evaluations of a range of interventions addressing malaria in pregnancy (; and the Independent Evaluation of the Affordable Medicines Facility-malaria, which is an innovative financing mechanism for antimalarial drugs.