The UCL Centre for Global Health Economics

Prof Jolene Skordis

Prof Jolene Skordis is an Economist specialising in the economics of health and development.  Prof Skordis works within randomised trials of complex public health interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.  Her work has expanded evidence for cost-effectiveness, affordability and sustainability of complex public health interventions.  Together with colleagues and communities, she has developed new survey tools to measure poverty, capability and gender empowerment, health worker satisfaction and health worker motivation.  This work has led to a new understanding of how money is shared within households and how younger women are disadvantaged; a new theory linking social networks to health behaviour and outcomes in South East Asia; a new measure of human capabilities which could be used to measure the broader impact of public health interventions, and expanded our understanding of the way in which health workers respond to financial and non-financial incentives.

She is Deputy Director of UCL’s Institute for Global Health and Director of UCL’s Centre for Global Health Economics.  Prof Skordis has published in high impact journals and her work has directly influenced government policy. She works with a wide range of organisations including the World Bank, WHO, national governments and international NGOs.

For publications click here


2016 – 2018: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Afya Credit Incentive for Improved Maternal and Child Health

The goal of this study is to test whether well-designed and targeted financial incentives can succeed in changing hard-to-change behaviours; in this case using maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services.

Role: Academic Lead (Joint Principle Investigator)


2015 – 2016: World Bank

OPTIMA: Assessing the Technical Efficiency of HIV Responses in Eastern Europe and West Central Africa

The goal of this study is to help national decision-makers, program managers, and funding partners achieve maximum impact with the funding available for the country’s HIV response and plan for sustainability in four countries.

Role: Academic lead for four country analyses in Georgia, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Togo. (Principle Investigator)


2015 – 2016: The British Academy

Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of a parenting intervention to improve early childhood nutrition and stimulation in Iran’s deprived provinces

The goal of this study is to develop a parenting intervention to improve early childhood nutrition and stimulation in the deprived provinces in Iran, and to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the designed intervention. 

Role: Academic lead (Principle Investigator)


2014 – 2016: Department for International Development (DFID)

Reducing Severe Acute Malnutrition through Unconditional Cash or Food Transfers (REFANI)

The goal of this study is to examine the nutritional impact and cost-effectiveness of cash and/or voucher-based food assistance interventions. The aim is to create new evidence to inform decisions on the prevention of acute under nutrition in emergencies.

Role:  Senior Advisor (co-Investigator)

2013 – 2016: Wellcome Trust Joint Global Health Trial Scheme

Cluster randomized controlled trial of a Community intervention to improve growth among children under two in rural India (CARING)

The goal of this study is to to assess the impact, cost-effectiveness and scalability of a community intervention to improve child growth in two rural districts of Jharkhand and Orissa, India, where over 60% of children are stunted.

Role: Economics Lead  (co-Investigator)


2011 – 2016: Wellcome Trust

SPRING (for MDGs): Sustainable Program Incorporating Nutrition & Games

The goal of this study is to develop an innovative, feasible, affordable and sustainable community-based approach that can achieve delivery at scale of known effective interventions that will maximise child development, growth and survival. 

Role: Economics Lead  (co-Investigator)


2011 – 2016: European Union

Diagonal Interventions for Improved Reproductive Health (DIFFER)

The goal of this study is to improve sexual and reproductive health for all women by expanding and strengthening sexual and reproductive health services, and providing and testing targeted interventions for female sex workers (FSW) in the context of existing health systems. 

Role: Economic Lead (Joint Principle Investigator)


Completed Research Support (Last 5 years)

2014 – 2016: Department for International Development (DFID)

Conditional cash transfers and food supplements to improve nutrition in pregnancy in Nepal (LBWSAT)

The goal of this study is to assess the relative impacts on birth weight of an nutrition behaviour change strategy (BCS), with and without an unconditional cash transfer or a food supplement, compared with current programmes, in two districts in southern Nepal. 

Role: Economic Lead (co-Investigator)


2011 – 2014: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

District burden and costs of severe pneumonia before and after introduction of pneumococcal vaccine in Malawi

The goal of this study is to study the pattern and severity of childhood pneumonias before and after the introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine, evaluate the vaccine status of children with severe illnesses to estimate vaccine effectiveness, and analyse the cost effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine in two districts of Malawi

Role: Economic Lead (co-Investigator)


2011 – 2014: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Exploratory study to guide the design of an emollients trial in Africa

The goal of this study is collect data to inform the design of a community based trial to evaluate whether massaging babies with emollients can reduce neonatal deaths. 

Role: Economic Lead (co-Investigator)