Research Areas

Equity/health insurance

IHCAR is focussed on the health problems of countries, communities and individuals with severe resource constraints. The issues related to financial access to essential health care, assessment of equity in health care utilisation and connected aspects of health systems research, rural health insurance systems, the impact of alternative health care financing systems, private-public provider issues, provider incentives and their impact on service provision, pharmaceutical distribution system and rational drug use, cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative care delivery systems are among the main health economics research foci of IHCAR. Health Economics is an essential aspect for much of the research at IHCAR. The research is multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral, involving study both of the medical implications of socio-economic variables and the socio-economic implications of medical interventions. 

Contact person: Vinod Diwan


Child rights, health and development

Children and adolescents constitute close to 50% of the population world wide. Their health and development is thus essential in all societies. The adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 has contributed to making children of all ages and in differnt circumstances visible. Their health needs, but also their participation in and contribution to their own and their families' health and well-being are important areas of research. HIV/AIDS and conflicts and war have affected families and societies leaving children with poor or no support during the sensitive years of development from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. Orphanhood is a reality for millions of children and many have to take on roles of adults at very early age. For many survival is dependent on hard work with often negative effects on their health and development. The Millennium Development Goals have underlined the importance of improving health and particular child health. 


Public and private health sector and policy

In many newly independent socialist countries (including India) after the second world war, healthcare was envisaged to be a good, fully financed and delivered by the state. However, with the passage of the time, a heterogenous, rapidly expanding, poorly regulated and popular private health sector has become a major player in the health sytem. This sector operates on a fee for service basis (out of pocket payments). In India, studies have shown that 80% of primary health contacts are made in this sector and 75% of health expenditure is made here (out of pocket). The share of health care provided by the public health sector is progressively diminishing.

The public health sector is riddled with budget constraints (1% of GDP is spent on health and 80% of this is on establishment costs), inflexibility, poor accountability, corruption and tradiational bureaucratic ways of functioning. The government at this juncture could reconsider it's role from being health provider to being a steward of the overall health sector (public and private).

Little empirical data is available on the private health sector and its characteristics, practices followed there, which would be vital information in framing policy and regulating this large and vibrant sector. 

Contact person: Vinod Diwan


Maternal Health Care Service

Maternal and child health care, skilled care in delivery and access to emergency obstetric care in case of complications, have an essential role in health systems policy and research in these areas must be improved. Particular emphasis is given to antenatal care, delivery, postnatal care and midwifery. 

Contact person: Ayesha De Costa


Gender, women and violence

Violence against women is serious public health problem, encountered in all countries and communities. However, in most societies it goes unrecognised and under-researched. The most common form of violence against women is perpetrated by the husband or a former partner in the home. This violence is referred to as intimate partner violence. Women are beaten, kicked, slapped, strangled, pushed, burnt (physical violence) or threatened, insulted, belittled, humiliated, scared (psychological violence) or physically forced to have sexual intercourse, or forced to degrading sexual acts (sexual violence). In most cases these different forms overlap considerably. The health effects are substantial and a number of women die every year due to this kind of violence, which also exerts influence on the childrens health. It has been reported that many children drop out of school due to violence between parents.

To understand why a male person uses violence towards a close woman is a research challenge. Several models of understanding have been proposed of which Heise ecological model is the most comprehensive one. In our studies, currently ongoing in Vietnam and Pakistan with planned projects also in Uganda and Sweden, we strive to understand mechanisms behind the violence, its prevalence and frequency as well s its health effects to be able to propose relevant preventive measures.


Gender, TB and HIV/AIDS

Contact person: Vinod Diwan

Contact person: Mattias Larsson


Global Health