Research Fellow

Division: Institute of Global Health and Development

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Maria Paola Bertone (MA, MSc, PhD) is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Global Health and Development.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects

Maria Paola Bertone is a political scientist and health economist, with 10-year experience focusing on health system research, health financing and human resources for health issues mostly in 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 from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, while continuing to work as researcher and technical advisor for international organisations (WHO, World Bank). Her PhD research focused on health worker remunerations and incentives, the political economy dynamics that contribute to set them, and their consequences in terms of workers’ performance and accountability. Fieldwork was carried out in Sierra Leone in collaboration with the ReBUILD consortium. Maria is currently a Research Fellow at IGHD, working mainly on the ReBUILD research project.

Maria’s current research focuses on the adoption, scale-up and integration of performance based financing (PBF) in fragile and conflict-affected settings, focusing in particular political economy dynamics that define the design, implementation and adaptation of PBF in fragile contexts. This research is part of the DfID-funded ReBUILD consortium work, which is co-led by IGHD/QMU.

 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

 Research Methods

  • Mixed method research
  • Political economy analysis and policy analysis


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

ReBUILD – Research for building pro-poor health systems during the recovery from conflict

The ReBUILD Consortium is an international research partnership working for improved access of the poor to effective health care and reduced health costs burdens, through the production and uptake of a coherent body of high quality, policy-relevant new research on health systems financing and human resources for health in post-conflict countries. ReBUILD is led in the UK by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, working with partner research organisations in Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe. ReBUILD is funded by the UK Department for International Development.

Find out more about ReBUILD