Maria Paola Bertone is a political scientist and health economist, with more than 15 years of experience focusing on health system research, health financing and human resources for health issues mostly in fragile settings and sub-Saharan Africa. Maria has worked with the Ministry of Health of Burundi, through the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Fellowship and then as consultant in numerous countries including DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Chad, Benin, Comoros and Botswana.
In 2011, Maria held a research position at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium), exploring issues around knowledge management in global health. She then obtained a PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine investigating the complex remuneration of health workers in rural Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the ReBUILD project. Maria joined IGHD in 2017, initially as a Research Fellow with the ReBUILD project and since 2019 as a Lecturer in Global Health and Development.
Maria holds an MA in International Economics and Policy from the University of Pavia (Italy), an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing jointly from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics, and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Maria is currently leading a project on the political economy of UHC reforms in francophone Africa, and contributing to research on the resilience of health systems in fragile and shock prone settings. Her research interests are on health financing and human resources for health (including purchasing arrangement, performance based financing schemes, health workers’ remuneration and incentives), with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected settings, as well as on the political economy dynamics that define the design, implementation and adaptation of policies in fragile contexts.
Active research interests
- Health system research in low income countries
- Human resources for health
- Health worker remunerations and incentives
- Health sector development in post-conflict and fragile settings
- Health system financing
- Performance-based financing and provider payments
- Mixed method research
- Political economy analysis and policy analysis
Rebuild for Resilience
ReBUILD for Resilience examines health systems in fragile settings experiencing violence, conflict, pandemics and other shocks. Our aim is to produce high-quality, practical, multidisciplinary and scalable health systems research which can be used to build health systems resilience and improve the health and lives of many millions of people.
Visit the Rebuild for Resilience website
The Political Economy of Universal Health Coverage Reforms: building capacity and engagement of francophone Africa
This project aims to develop a strong, effective and equitable research partnership between research institutions in the UK and francophone Africa and to strengthen research capacity in the area of political economy for UHC. Our goal is to contribute to progress towards UHC by building networks with stakeholders and communities.
Learn more about the PEA of UHC in francophone Africa
Maria currently contributes to Masters level modules in Global Public Health and Social Policy and Health Systems, Services and Communities. She is module coordinator for Health Systems in Fragile settings.