Health systems in low-income countries often face challenges in the delivery of essential health services due to limited resources, lack of trained providers and other factors.

At IGHS, we study the performance of health systems and the potential for new models of care delivery to improve the quality, equity and cost-effectiveness of healthcare at all levels. We also provide training and technical assistance to improve the quality of care and to grow the capacity for local healthcare education, research and clinical care. 


African Health Markets for Equity (AHME)

African Health Markets for Equity (AHME) uses National Health Insurance to link quality private providers with low-income clients in order to shift health markets toward providing higher quality healthcare to poor populations in Kenya and Ghana. IGHS runs the qualitative evaluation of the AHME program.

Data Quality Improvement

Through our Informatics Hub and other projects, we work with in-country partners to improve data collection, design and develop health information systems, and design and implement electronic medical records. These activities provide important information to district and national health ministries to improve health systems.

Global Action in Nursing

The Global Action in Nursing (GAIN) project aims to reduce preventable maternal and infant death during childbirth by providing clinical and leadership training to nurse-midwives in high-risk communities. The GAIN project partners with communities to equip nurses with the expertise and skills they need to save lives.

Global Strategies for Primary Health Care and the Private Sector

Many countries lack the institutions and skills to provide effective stewardship over mixed health systems, which include both the public and non-state sectors (including private practices, faith-based organizations, non-profits, social enterprises and for-profit commercial entities). IGHS researchers and their partners are helping to define a model of mixed health system stewardship for low-income countries and prioritizing investments that international development agencies could make to bolster national capabilities and achieve universal health coverage.


In partnership with national Ministries of Health and implementing partners, HEALTHQUAL designs and implements large-scale improvement activities, such as improvement collaboratives, and facilitates the establishment of sustainable and institutionalized facility-level and national health quality management (QM) programs.

Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

We serve as a policy advisor and technical resource for moving this PEPFAR-funded project to its next level. MEPI aims to advance PEPFAR's goal of increasing the number of new health care workers by 140,000; strengthen in-country medical education systems; and build clinical and research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa as part of a strategy to retain faculty of medical schools and clinical professors.

Strengthening People-centered Accessibility, Respect, and Quality

The Strengthening People-centered Accessibility, Respect, and Quality (SPARQ) project is designed to improve the quality of maternal and reproductive health care for women in India and Kenya by identifying strategies that can be replicated and scaled up in local contexts and then generalized to larger locales.

Strengthening Health Program Leadership and Management

HEALTHQUAL and the Malaria Elimination Initiative, in partnership with a local Zimbabwean organization, staff in the Ministry of Health and Child Care in Zimbabwe, and the University of West of England, have developed an integrated approach called the LEAD Framework to strengthen leadership and management of health programs in low and middle income countries. The framework uses organization development and quality improvement methods to support national health programs in approaching problem-solving in a systematic, participatory manner. LEAD places particular emphasis on working in a ‘bottom up’ way that attends closely to the voices of front-line staff, exposing granular-level challenges, empowering those responsible for service delivery and ensuring that they are adequately supported by other parts of the system. The framework has been used successfully by malaria programs in Eswatini, Namibia, and Zimbabwe to resolve operational challenges. LEAD has also been used by the OPTIMISE project to integrate and sustain a vertical HIV prevention program into the health system in Zimbabwe.