Research for Development and Justice

Global Health and Development

Health plays a crucial role in human development and social justice. Large improvements in health outcomes of poor populations are technologically and economically feasible. Yet there are enormous challenges in implementing health systems that deliver quality services, and in overcoming the economic and social factors that produce ill-health and represent barriers to care.

Current focus:

  • Health worker availability and performance
  • Utilisation of health services
  • Health and economic development
  • Health rights

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Lifetime QALY prioritarianism in priority setting: Quantification of the inherent trade-off

Ottersen, T., O. Mæstad, and O. F. Norheim (forthcoming) in Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation

Book Chapter

Judging the price of life: cost considerations in right-to-health litigation

O.L.M. Ferraz, S. Gloppen, O. Mæstad, L. Rakner (2014) in H.S. Aasen, S. Gloppen, A-M Magnussen, E. Nilssen: Juridification and Social Citizenship in the Welfare State. Edward Elgar Publishing

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Health inequalities in Ethiopia: modeling inequalities in length of life within and between population groups

Eirik Joakim Tranvåg, Merima Ali and Ole Frithjof Norheim (2013) in International Journal for Equity in Health vol. 10.1186/1475-9276-12

Book Chapter

Productivity of health workers. Tanzania

Ottar Mæstad, Aziza Mwisongo (2013) in A. Soucat, R. Scheffler, and T. A. Ghebreyesus : The labor market for health workers in Africa. A new look at the crisis.. Washington D.C.: The World Bank

CMI Report

Haydom Lutheran Hospital: Midterm review of the Block Grant Support End review of the MDG 4 and 5 project support

Siri Lange (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2013:4) 49 p.

CMI Brief

Sexual and reproductive rights - a global legal battlefield

Camila Gianella, Siri Gloppen, Rachel Sieder, Alicia Yamin (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 12 no. 1) 4 p.

U4 Issue

Good governance for medicines initiatives: Exploring lessons learned

Jillian Clare Kohler, Natalia Ovtcharenko (2013) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2013:3) 26 p.

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Informal payments and health worker effort: A quantitative study from Tanzania

Ida Lindkvist (2012) in Health Economics

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

The decision to vaccinate a child: An economic perspective from southern Malawi

Jon Helgheim Holte, Ottar Mæstad, Jagrati V Jani (2012) in Social Science and Medicine vol. 75 no. 2 pp. 384-391

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Pro-social preferences and self-selection into the public health sector: evidence from an economic experiment

Julie Riise Kolstad and Ida Lindkvist (2012) in Health Policy and Planning vol. Volume 27, Suppl 2 no. July 4

CMI Working Paper

Malnutrition in South-Asia. Poverty, diet or lack of female empowerment?

Magnus Hatlebakk (2012) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2012:4) 18 p.

Angola Brief

Angola health survey: Opportunities to reduce maternal and newborn mortality

Ingrid Hoem Sjursen (2012) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Angola Brief vol. 2 no. 3) 4 p.

CMI Brief

Litigating the right to heath in India: Can litigation fix a health system in crisis?

Namita Wahi (2012) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 11 no. 4) 4 p.

U4 Issue

Per diem policy analysis toolkit

Taryn Vian, Laura Sabin (2012) Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2012:8) 40 p.

Edited Book

Litigating health rights. Can courts bring more justice to health?

Alicia Ely Yamin and Siri Gloppen, eds. (2011) Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press (Human Rights Program Series. Harvard Law School) 435 p.

Book Chapter


Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall and Lise Rakner (2011) in Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall and Lise Rakner, eds.: Politics in the developing world. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press pp. 1-10

Book Chapter

Institutional perspectives

Lise Rakner and Vicky Randall (2011) in Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall and Lise Rakner,eds.: Politics in the developing world. 3rd. ed.. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press pp. 53-70

CMI Report

Health services in Angola. Availability, quality and utilisation

Mona Frøystad, Ottar Mæstad, Nohra Villamil (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2011:9) 62 p.

CMI Brief

Why hungry Guatemalans don't claim their food rights in court

Lene Chr. M. Brandt (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 10 no. 13) 4 p.

CMI Brief

Convincing health workers to work in rural areas

Julie Riise Kolstad (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 10 no. 12) 4 p.

CMI Brief

Is worker effort higher in church-based than in government health facilities?

Ida Lindkvist, Ottar Mæstad (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 10 no. 11) 4 p.

CMI Brief

Huge potential for improved health service quality

Ottar Mæstad, Aziza Mwisongo, Siri Lange (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 10 no. 10) 4 p.

CMI Brief

Missing the essentials? Children can be saved if they are more carefully examined

Ottar Mæstad, Aziza Mwisongo (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 10 no. 9) 4 p.

CMI Brief

Does the Colombian constitutional court undermine the health system?

Camila Gianella (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 10 no. 7) 4 p.

Angola Brief

Grandes desigualdades regionais nos serviços de saúde em Angola

Ottar Mæstad, Mona Frøystad, Nohra Villamil (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Angola Brief vol. 1 no. 4) 4 p.

Angola Brief

Strong regional inequalities in health service delivery in Angola

Ottar Mæstad, Mona Frøystad, Nohra Villamil (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (Angola Brief vol. 1 no. 3) 4 p.

U4 Issue

Addressing corruption in the health sector: Securing equitable access to health care for everyone

Karen Hussmann (2011) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2011:1) 39 p.

Master's Thesis

Determinants of child mortality in Angola: an econometric analysis

Ingrid Hoem Sjursen (2011) Master thesis in Economics. Bergen: University of Bergen 112 p.

Master's Thesis

Enough food is not enough - Litigation as a strategy to secure the right to food

Lene Chr. M. Brandt (2011) Master thesis in Comparative Politics. Bergen: University of Bergen 106 p.

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Demand for childhood vaccination - insights from behavioral economics

Alexander Cappelen, Ottar Mæstad and Bertil Tungodden (2010) in Forum for development studies vol. 37 no. 3 pp. 349-364

Journal Article (Peer-Reviewed)

Overworked? On the relationship between workload and health worker performance

Ottar Mæstad, Gaute Torsvik and Arild Aakvik (2010) in Journal of Health Economics vol.29 no.5 pp.686-698

Book Chapter

Folkteater och swahilisåpa

Siri Lange (2010) in Mai Palmberg and Carita Backstrõm: Kultur i Afrika. Uppsala and Stockholm: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet og Tranan pp. 182-185

Book Chapter

Kampen om populärkulturen i Tanzania

Siri Lange (2010) in Mai Palmberg, Carita Backstrõm: Kultur i Afrika. Uppsala and Stockholm: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet and Tranan AB pp. 170-173

Book Chapter

Informal pay and the quality of health care: Lessons from Tanzania

Ottar Mæstad and Aziza Mwisongo (2010) in Taryn Vian, William D. Savedoff, Harald Mathisen: Anticorruption in the health sector. Boston: Kumarian Press pp.45-53

Book Chapter

Closing opportunities for corruption in the health sector

Taryn Vian, William D. Savedoff and Harald Mathisen (2010) in Taryn Vian, William D. Savedoff and Harald Mathisen: Anticorruption in the Health Sector. Boston: Kumarian Press

CMI Working Paper

The impact of wealth and female autonomy on fertility decisions in Nepal: An econometric analysis

Njård Håkon Gudbrandsen (2010) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Working Paper WP 2010: 1) 64 p.

U4 Brief

The uses and abuses of social programmes: the case of conditional cash transfers

Lorena Alcázar (2010) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2010:3) 4 p.

Master's Thesis

Litigating the right to a healthy environment. Assessing the policy impact of "The Mendoza case"

Kristi Staveland-Sæter (2010) Master thesis. Bergen: University of Bergen. Department of Comparative Politics 96 p.

Newspaper Op-Ed

Fra vondt til verre for fattige kvinner

Siri Lange (2010) Bergens Tidende 28.09.2010

Newspaper Op-Ed

Åtte millioner barn dør hvert år

Ottar Mæstad (2010) Bergens Tidende 29.09.2010

Newspaper Op-Ed

Utenriksanalysen: De nye verdensmestrene

Ingrid Samset (2010) Morgenbladet 2-8 July

Book Review

Charles Beitz and Robert E. Goodin (eds.): Global basic rights

Hugo Stokke (2010) in Nordic Journal of Human Rights vol. 28 no. 2 pp. 289-292

Book Review

Eritrea: a dream deferred. By Gaim Kibread

Siegfried Pausewang (2010) in Forum for development studies vol. 37 no. 3 pp. 415-416

CMI Report

Research for improved health worker performance. International workshop Bergen, Norway, May 2009

Ottar Mæstad (2009) Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Report R 2009: 11) 10 p.

Siri Lange

Senior Researcher and Coordinator: Global Health

Anthropologist focusing on health, gender, and political processes at the local level in East Africa

Merima Ali

Senior Researcher

Economist focusing on micro- and small-scale enterprises, cluster development and taxation

Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge

Postdoctoral Researcher (25%)

Economist focusing on entrepreneurship and microfinance.

Siri Gloppen

Senior Researcher

Political scientist exploring intersections between law and politics.

Ottar Mæstad


Economist specialising in global health research.

Ingrid Hoem Sjursen

Ph.D student NHH

Economist with interests in global health and taxation.

Vincent Somville

Senior Researcher; Coordinator: Poverty Dynamics

Economist focusing on informal finance and entrepreneurship.

Gaute Torsvik

Associated Senior Researcher

Bruce M. Wilson

Associated Senior Researcher

Political scientist focusing on judicial politics and the political economy of Latin America.

Health, Poverty and Public Expenditure

Start: Jan. 2009 (Completed)
Keywords: Health, Poverty, Public Expenditure
Geography: Angola

Productivity of health workers

Start: Mar. 2008 (Completed)
Geography: Ghana, Zambia, Rwanda, Tanzania

MEDIC - Multidisciplinary approach to explaining differential immunization coverage

Start: Jan. 2008 (Completed)
Keywords: Health, Vaccine
Geography: Malawi, India

Litigating the Right to Health

Start: Jan. 2008 (Completed)
Keywords: Health rights, courts, health rights litigation, public interest litigation, social rights jurisprudence, health policy, health economics, medical ethics, priority setting
Geography: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, South Africa

Global Health and Development

Start: Jan. 2006 (Completed)
Geography: Tanzania, Nepal

Economic determinants of food intake and health outcomes in Nepal

Start: Jan. 2006 (Completed)
Geography: Asia: Nepal

Priority setting in global health

Start: Jan. 2005 (Completed)
Geography: Africa: Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda.

Understanding P4P process and pathways. A Tanzanian case study

Start: Nov. 2014 (Current)
Keywords: Health, results based financing
Geography: Tanzania

Malaria Chemoprevention for the post-discharge management of severe anaemia in children in Malawi

Start: Oct. 2014 (Current)
Keywords: Health, malaria, community health workers
Geography: Malawi, Uganda, Kenya

Abortion Rights Lawfare in Latin America ]

Start: Jul. 2014 (Current)
Keywords: Abortion, lawfare, legal mobilization, right to life, right to health, religion, transnational activist networks
Geography: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador

Sexual and Reproductive Rights Lawfare: Global battles

Start: May. 2014 (Current)
Keywords: sexual rights, reproductive rights, right to health, lawfare, legal mobilization, abortion, homosexuality, gay rights
Geography: Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay, South Africa, Uganda, India, Philippines, Nepal, Australia, USA, Germany, Poland, Norway

Improving health outcomes for the poor and vulnerable is crucial for human development and for the promotion of social justice. Knowledge and technology that may substantially improve the health conditions of poor populations are widely available. The main challenge is timely delivery of quality services to those who are in need.

On the supply side, a major challenge in many low income countries is to increase the availability of qualified health workers, in particular in rural areas. We ask how more health workers can be encouraged to take up rural posts. Another profound challenge is to motivate health workers to perform to the best of their ability. We ask how to build a motivated health workforce, trusted to provide services of high quality. As part of this work, we are involved in developing more robust measures of health worker performance.

Various constraints (economic and social) limit the effective demand for health services among the poor. We identify those barriers and ask how they can be overcome to mobilize demand and ensure higher utilization of modern health services.

We also ask questions about the broader relationships between health and socio-economic development. Improved health outcomes contribute to economic development. At the same time, economic and social development contribute to improved health outcomes through other channels than health services. We want to deepen our understanding of these relationships.

Finally, we ask questions about justice and human rights in the provision of health services. How should priorities be made between health interventions, and by whom? How can health policies, laws and the implementation of these measures ensure a more equitable provision of health services? And can the courts play a positive role in enforcing the right to health?



Going beyond impact evaluation: Performance-Based Financing of Health Care Provision in Low-Income Countries
The workshop made real progress in the dialogue between researchers, practitioners and policy makers. The priorities for research were made clearer. Read reports and summaries from the participants.

Angola: Opportunities to reduce maternal and newborn mortality
The priority for the Angolan government should be to make sure that all women are attended by a skilled health worker during delivery, also in rural areas, and increase the availability of emergency obstetric care.

Selected publications

Litigating health rights. Can courts bring more justice to health?
Alicia Ely Yamin and Siri Gloppen, eds. (2011)

CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute)
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