CHESS - Centre for Health Systems Strengthening

CHESS - Centre for Health Systems Strengthening

CHESS is a multi-disciplinary group using research and teaching to strengthen health systems and to improve health and well-being amongst the poorest and marginalised in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). The Ebola and Zika epidemics have highlighted the importance of strong, resilient health systems for public health and the need for fresh, context-specific research on the subject.

Health systems research at LSTM has long played a leading role in generating knowledge that has improved the way LMICs strengthen health systems and achieve health goals. CHESS aims to better share skills, synthesise learning, reduce duplication, influence policy and provide the best in research-led teaching.

Our health systems research takes both a systems- and a people-centred approach, concerned with the complex interactions within health systems in order to provide evidence for improving the functioning, equity and effectiveness of the system as a whole.

Our Impact

Outputs and resources

Over the last 30 years we have been involved in research that has directly informed policy and improved health systems in LMICs. Recent high impact work and REF returnable papers include:

Martineau T, McPake B, Theobald S, Raven J, Ensor T, Fustukian S, Ssengooba F, Chirwa Y, Vong S, Wurie H, Hooton N & Witter S (2017) 'Leaving no one behind: lessons on rebuilding health systems in conflict- and crisis-affected states.' BMJ Global Health, Vol 2, Issue 2, e000327.

 Martineau T, Raven J, Aikins M, Alonso-Garbayo, A, Baine S, Huss R, Maluka, S & Wyss K. Strengthening health district management competencies in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda: lessons from using action research to improve health workforce performance.; BMJ Glob Health, 2018;3:e000619. 


A complete and up to date list of resources can be found here

CHESS doctoral students

All of our success is reliant upon our established and trusting working relationships with strategic southern partners who have been critical to winning grants, delivering research and maximising impact. Allied to this is the input of our growing staff body of researchers, programme managers and PhD students. 

A list of current doctoral students can be found here

HSR 2018

The team’s reputation and reach was further enhanced by the HSR2018 conference which we hosted, enabling LSTM to raise its global profile and consolidate its position as an internationally-recognised centre for HSR.

Collaborative projects

Members have worked collaboratively on many projects including the following. 

Contact us

The group is keen to hear from potential collaborators.

Dr Joanna Raven – Coordinator [] +44 (0)151 705 3235

Jan Randles - Administrator [] +44 (0)151 705 3269