School of Population Health

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Health Economics and Systems Global

. . . Making resources go further


Our aim

Policy-makers must have access to the best possible research and analysis to ensure their health investments save as many lives as possible. We are a group of health economists who work in partnership with other scientists and policy-makers to improve the way health care is delivered and financed by health systems in low and middle income countries. We work across the globe in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Cambodia, Kenya), middle-income countries (Fiji, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia) and post-conflict (Timor-Leste) to build stronger health systems.

Our approach

We undertake evaluations of interventions to change the way health care providers, patients and communities respond to a health problem. We also evaluate the introduction of new health care technologies and interventions. These are typically trial-based studies with cost-effectiveness as a key outcome. 

We also evaluate different ways of financing and paying for health care. Many people in low and middle income countries do not receive care when they need it or endure catastrophic costs and loss of income as a result of seeking care. We have studies in Fiji, Timor Leste and Cambodia designed to provide a clearer picture of the fairness and efficiency of current funding arrangements and what can be done to improve things. 

We generate high quality evidence on how developing countries can make greatest use of  their  available resources while minimising the burden on the poor. We believe that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. All health systems  have their own unique set of goals and challenges. We design and implement research studies driven by the countries themselves, a necessary pre-condition for translating research in policy change.

Research Areas

In low and middle income countries, our research focuses on:

  • Health care financing

  • Economic evaluations of behaviour change evaluations
  • Economic evaluations of new medicines and diagnostics 
  • Human resources for health
  • Understanding the role of the private health sector
  • Priority setting in health


It is our aim to support health systems in these countries to ensure that resources for health are not wasted, and that those who need the services get them - not only those who can pay for them.


Contact us

Dr Augustine Asante
Head of Health Economics
& Systems Global
School of Population Health
UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
T +61 (2) 9385 8683
F +61 (2) 9313 6185

Research Profile


Health Financing

image - Health Finance

Health financing – the process by which countries mobilise revenue, pool resources and purchase health services from providers – is critical for the performance of all health systems regardless of a country’s level of economic development. Globally health financing systems are under pressure to improve their effectiveness, especially in terms of equity, efficiency, and health outcomes. 

At UNSW School of Population Health (SPH), we conduct cutting-edge health financing and health economics research across LMICs in the Asia-Pacific region but also in high-income countries such as Australia and New Zealand. We evaluate different ways of financing health care to ensure efficiency, fairness and universal access to essential health services.

Led by Dr Augustine Asante, our team has evaluated the equity of health financing systems in the context of UHC in Asia-Pacific countries including Cambodia, Fiji and Timor-Leste, and has ongoing project in Indonesia. We also undertake evaluations of interventions to change the way health care providers, patients and communities respond to health problems.

See Project Details