Barbara holds an MA degree in Economics and Sociology (University of Edinburgh) and a PhD on migration of medical personnel (University College London). She has over 15 years professional experience in designing, implementing and analysing quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods studies focusing on low- and middle-income countries and transition economies.
Before joining the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2011, she conducted research projects for commercial clients, government and public bodies, as well as academic and social studies, covering a wide range of topics in financial, automotive, FMCG and media industries to evaluating experiences of disabled children and social attitude surveys.
At the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health, Barbara oversees monitoring and evaluation of programmes in maternal and newborn health on short and long-term assignments ranging from desk-based, through small scale to multi-country programmes for funders such as DFID, Global Fund, Unicef and the World Health Organization.
To date, Barbara has worked on studies in 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, including Algeria, Bangladesh, China, India, Iraq, Kenya, Niger, Poland, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
As part of her role at the Centre, she manages a team comprising clinical research associates, senior statistician, data manager, research assistants and data clerks, as well as publications support staff. Additionally, she supervises postgraduate students and contributes to the work of the Research Ethics Committee.
Barbara’s interests in healthcare include human resources and organisation of the sector, as well as health outcomes and policy development. In particular, she specialises in developing frameworks and tools for measuring and assessing interventions in research and implementation studies.
Her current research involvement is focused on assessing healthcare facility performance, evaluation of capacity building programmes for healthcare providers in maternal and newborn health, and medical staff retention in resource-poor settings.
Barbara has extensive experience in designing, conducting and analysing quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods studies. Her current work involves supporting monitoring and evaluation activities undertaken by CMNH, and developing and managing systems for M&E organisation, data collection (including use of optical character recognition software and electronic data capturing), processing and analysis.
She actively inputs into different studies across the Centre in developing protocols and data collection tools, training, fieldwork and analysis. She also supervises studies at PhD and MSc level, as well as contributing to postgraduate Progress Advisory Panels and examining PhD theses.
Examples of completed projects:
• a comprehensive multi-level monitoring and evaluation of a capacity-building programme in 11 African and Asian countries covering assessment of knowledge and skills of healthcare providers, measuring behaviour change post training and assessment of healthcare facilities on emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmOC&NC)
• evaluation of a national maternal and child health programme in Nigeria
• development, implementation and evaluation of a training package for improving the understanding and use of data in healthcare facilities in resource-poor settings (Making it Happen with Data), which to date has been implemented in nine countries
• national assessment of quality of care in healthcare facilities in Niger
• assessing and reviewing indicators used in measuring quality of care in maternal and newborn health.
Barbara is currently supervising the following PhD candidates:
Fiona Dickinson: Developing a Patient Reported Outcome Measure for use in maternity services in low and middle-income countries (Kenya and Malawi)
Terry Kana: Scope of practice and workload of midwives in low and middle-income countries (Bangladesh and Malawi)
Hannah McCauley: Effectiveness of a new workshop package to improve availability and quality of antenatal and postnatal care in low and middle-income countries (country: TBC)
Mselenge Mdegela: Factors affecting retention of the health workforce in Malawi and Tanzania
Aduragbemi Banke-Thomas: Social Return on Investment for Emergency Obstetric Care Training in Kenya.