Contact Details

Phone: 9971552583
Priya Balasubramaniam
Senior Public Health Specialist

Dr. Priya Balasubramaniam is a seasoned public health professional with over two decades of experience in large scale implementation research, education and program planning in academic, non-profit and government settings. Her interests and expertise are in urban health,health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, public policy and health technology innovation directed at strengthening health systems in low and middle-income countries. She has a multi-disciplinary background and has assisted in shaping health policy and research in India, Southeast Asia, Mexico, the United States and Canada with demonstrated success with field-based mandates as well as in strategic program development roles in developed and developing world environments.

In her current position as Senior Public Health Scientist at the Public Health Foundation of India, she directs the Universal Health Coverage Initiative (, one of India’s seminal health policy exercises on health system reform and co-authored the Government of India’s High Level Expert Group recommendations on universal health coverage as part of the country’s 12th Five Year Plan. She is co-founder of the tripartite- Innovation for Universal Health Collaborative with PHFI, Amref Africa and IDS, Sussex. The aim of the Innovation for UHC Collaboration is to initiate south-south dialogues around leveraging the transformational potential of low-cost technological innovations and new models of healthcare in progressing UHC in low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa.

Dr. Balasubramaniam’s other projects at include developing a research agenda for Urban Health in India and the role of the private sector in mixed heath systems. She is the editor and co-author of PHFI’s Urban Health Landscape report series. . She also spearheads projects around health services delivery that includes a partnership with the Consortia of Affordable Technologies (CamTech) which mentors and seed-funds early stage social impact health innovations in Asia and Africa and the Grand Challenges Grant winner, the Biodiaspora Partnership that tracks and models infectious and vector borne disease through human movement patterns.

She has also been a frequent advisor on health systems and policy to numerous multi-bi lateral organisations including WHO, IDRC Canada, the European Commission, the World Bank, the Wellcome Trust, USAID, DfID, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Balasubramaniam holds visiting faculty positions at the National University of Singapore and the Keenan Research Centre, St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She is also a Fellow at the Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy, at the Questrom School of Business, Boston University. She has authored several reports, policy briefs as well as peer-reviewed publications over her career as both a clinician and researcher. She serves on a taskforce on Primary Healthcare constituted Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and is member of the Technical Review Group on Urban Health Planning formed the Ministry of Urban Development in addition.

Dr. Balasubramaniam’s academic background includes degrees in Public Policy and Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, International Health from the University of Texas Health Science Centre, Houston and training in Dental Public Health and Dentistry from the University of Toronto and University of Madras, India.

Center Affiliations
  • PHFI
Research Summary and Interests

Dr. Balasubramaniam’s research interests span Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems Strengthening, Private sector in Pluralistic Health Systems, Urban Health, Health governance, Primary Health and Innovation, Health Technology and New Healthcare Models
Her approach to public health field-building has been both entrepreneurial and contrarian in linking research evidence with the challenges of practice. I have led multi-country and multi-state research projects that have investigated social, political, economic and organisational bottlenecks that impede effective operation of health systems and services in various contexts and settings. These include: adapting and scaling innovations to improve health services, determining causal relationships between a policy and its impact, and tracking health outcomes (access, equity, quality of care) in ‘mixed’ health systems. She is currently working on a collaborative book, ‘Governance, Globalization & Health- Perspectives from the Global South’.

Areas of Expertise
  • Water, Hygiene and Sanitation
  • Oral Health
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Health Financing
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Urbanisation/Urban Health
  • Global Health
  • Community Health
  • Implementation Research
  • Monitoring + Evaluation
  • Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research
  • Statistical Modelling
  • Behaviour Change
  • Impact Evaluation
  • Economic Evaluation
  • Geographic Information System(GIS)
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Complex interventions
  • Health Impact Assessment
  • Health System
Other Areas of Expertise
  • Research/Grants Administration
  • General Management
  • Technical Advisor
  • Special Advisor
  • Project/Programme Management/Implementation