The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) launched the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health in 2010. The Centre’s goal is to improve the health of India’s population by reducing health inequalities, focusing particularly on socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. The Centre intends to achieve this goal through high quality research, training and policy development related to social determinants of health.

  • Develop a comprehensive and dynamic evidence base on socioeconomic inequality and social determinants of health in India
  • Utilise this evidence base to incorporate locally relevant teaching on social determinants of health with public health training in India
  • Utilise this evidence to facilitate policy development aimed at reducing health inequities due to social determinants of health in India
  • Facilitate the development of a national health equity surveillance system and knowledge hub for socioeconomic inequality and social determinants of health through strategic partnerships with a range of stakeholders on the above research, training and policy activities

Viewing inequality as a core social determinant of health, research at the Centre aims to address the multiple and intersecting dimensions of inequality as they affect health and people’s access to health services. The Centre’s research has a strong focus on maternal and adolescent health, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Work will also focus on how inequality operates through such factors as migration, urbanisation and access to water, sanitation, housing, nutrition, inter alia. In the coming years, the Centre plans to deepen its focus on patterns and differentials in health-impacting behaviours. This will help establish a sustained program of work on social determinants of health and their implications for health policies in India.

The Centre builds on past work on social determinants of health at PHFI such as the project to “Synthesise evidence on the social determinants of health to inform research and policy in India,” supported by a grant from the UK-based BUPA Foundation. It integrates and advances prior research in the area of health equity and social determinants led by Prof. Gita Sen. Prof. Sen and her team conduct empirical research on disadvantaged populations in low income rural settings, develop cutting-edge analytical methodologies, support public health services to become more effective and equity-enhancing, and engage in policy advocacy at the state, national and global levels on the above themes.

The Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health was established with funding from the V. Ramalingaswami Foundation. Prof. Sen, Director, is leading the Centre from PHFI’s newly established research hub at Bengaluru.

Select References

Equity, gender and social determinants of health

Commission on Social Determinants of Health Knowledge Networks et al. (2011) Improving Equity in Health by Addressing Social Determinants, Geneva: WHO
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44793/1/9789241503037_eng.pdf

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2011) Gender inequity in health, In Improving Equity in Health by Addressing Social Determinants Geneva, WHO, 2011
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44793/1/9789241503037_eng.pdf

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2011) Priorities for research on equity and health: Towards an equity-focused health research agenda in PLoS Medicine, November, 8 (11): e1001115 (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001115) (selected for the special WHO/PLoS collection, “World Health Report 2012: No Health Without Research”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206017/pdf/pmed.1001115.pdf

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2011) Gender based inequities in global public health in Richard Parker and Marni Sommer (Eds) The Routledge International Handbook on Global Public Health, Routledge
https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-of-Global-Public-Health/Parker-Sommer/p/book/9780415818896

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (Eds) (2010) Gender Equity in Health: The Shifting Frontiers of Evidence and Action, New York: Routledge Studies in Health and Social Welfare
https://www.routledge.com/Gender-Equity-in-Health-The-Shifting-Frontiers-of-Evidence-and-Action/Sen-Ostlin/p/book/9780415654937

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2010) Gender as a Social Determinant of Health –Evidence, Policies and Innovations In Gita Sen and PiroskaOstlin (Eds) Gender Equity in Health: the Shifting Frontiers of Evidence and Action, New York, Routledge Studies in Health and Social Welfare (Abridged version published in N Visvanathan, L Duggan, N Wiegersma and L Nisonoff Eds. 2011 The Women, Gender and Development Reader, London: Zed Books, 2nd edition)
https://www.routledge.com/Gender-Equity-in-Health-The-Shifting-Frontiers-of-Evidence-and-Action/Sen-Ostlin/p/book/9780415654937

Sen, Gita (2009) Health inequalities: gendered m and conundrums. The 10th Annual Sol Levine lecture Social Science and Medicine, October, 69 (7): 1006-1009 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.07.027

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2008) Gender inequity in health: Why it exists and how we can change it, Global Public Health 3(2): Supplement 1, 1-12; reprinted in Richard Hofrichter and Rajiv Bhatia (Eds) 2010 Tackling Health Inequities through Public Health Practice –Theory to Action, New York: Oxford University Press, (Second Edition).
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441690801900795?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (Eds) (2008) Gender Inequity in Health: Why It Exists and How We Can Change It Special Supplement, Global Public Health 3 (2): Supplement 1
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441690801900795

Sen, Gita, Ostlin, Piroska and George, Asha (2007) Unequal, unfair, ineffective and inefficient: Gender inequity in health – Why it exists and how we can change it, Final report to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health by the Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network
http://www.who.int/social_determinants/resources/csdh_media/wgekn_final_report_07.pdf

Sen, Gita, Iyer, Aditi and George, Asha (2007) Systematic hierarchies and systemic failures: gender and health inequities in Koppal district Economic and Political Weekly, February 24-March 2, XLII (8): 682-690; and in  Gopal Kadekodi, Ravi Kanbur and Vijayandra Rao (Eds.) Development in Karnataka: Challenges of Governance, Equity and Empowerment, New Delhi: Academic Press, 357-382
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262698396_Systematic_hierarchies_and_systemic_failures_Gender_and_
health_inequities_in_Koppal_District

Sen, Gita, George, Asha and Ostlin, Piroska (Eds) (2002) Engendering International Health: the Challenge of Equity, Cambridge: The MIT Press
https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/engendering-international-health

Intersecting inequalities

Iyer, Aditi, Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2010) Inequalities and intersections in health: a review of the evidence In Gita Sen and PiroskaOstlin (Eds) Gender Equity in Health: the Shifting Frontiers of Evidence and Action New York: Routledge Studies in Health and Social Welfare.
https://www.routledge.com/Gender-Equity-in-Health-The-Shifting-Frontiers-of-Evidence-and-Action/Sen-Ostlin/p/book/9780415654937

Iyer, Aditi, Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2008) The intersections of gender and class in health status and health care In Gita Sen and PiroskaOslin (Eds) Gender Inequity in Health: Why It Exists and How We Can Change It, Global Public Health, 3(2): Supplement 1.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441690801892174

Iyer, Aditi, Sen, Gita and George, Asha (2007) The dynamics of gender and class in access to health care: evidence from rural Karnataka, India International Journal of Health Services, 37 (3): 537–554.
https://jhu.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/the-dynamics-of-gender-and-class-in-access-to-health-care-evidenc-4

Sen, Gita and Iyer, Aditi (2016), “The mechanisms of intersecting social inequalities in health”, BMJ Global Health 2016; 1(Suppl 1): A35-A36
http://gh.bmj.com/content/1/Suppl_1/A35

Sen, Gita and Iyer, Aditi (2012) “Who gains, who loses and how: Leveraging gender and class intersections to secure health entitlements”, Social Science and Medicine 72: 1802-1811
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953611003236

Sen, Gita, Iyer, Aditi and Mukherjee, Chandan (2009) “A methodology to analyse the intersections of social inequalities in health”Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 10 (3): 397–415
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19452820903048894?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Maternal safety, sexual and reproductive health and rights

Correa S, Germain A, Sen G. (2016) Feminist mobilizing for global commitments to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls. In: Chesler E, McGovern T editors. Women and Girls Rising: Progress and Resistance Around the World, New York, USA: Routledge; 51-68
https://www.routledge.com/Women-and-Girls-Rising-Progress-and-resistance-around-the-world/Chesler-McGovern/p/book/9781138898776

George, Asha, Iyer, Aditi and Sen, Gita (2005) Maternity in crisis: Gendered health system experiences from Koppal, Karnataka IDS Sussex Working Paper No 253, Brighton, Sussex: Institute of Development Studies, September.
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.605.2179&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Iyer, Aditi, Sen, Gita and Sreevathsa, Anuradha (2013). Deciphering Rashomon: An approach to verbal autopsies of maternal death Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice,  8 (4): 389-404.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17441692.2013.772219

Iyer, Aditi, Sen, Gita, Sreevathsa, Anuradha and Varadan, Vasini (2012) Verbal autopsies of maternal deaths in Koppal, Karnataka: lessons from the grave BMC Proceedings, 6 (Suppl 1):P2
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1753-6561/6/S1/P2

Langer, Anna et. al. (including Gita Sen) (2015) Women and Health: the key for sustainable development. The Lancet, 386 (9999), 1165-1210.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60497-4

Reddy, Bhavya, Sen, Gita (2013) Breaking Through the Development Silos. Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights, Millennium Development Goals and Gender Equity: Experiences from Mexico, India and Nigeria, Reproductive Health Matters, 21(42): 18-31.
http://www.rhm-elsevier.com/article/S0968-8080(13)42743-X/pdf

Sen, Gita, Germain, Adrienne, Garcia-Moreno, Claudia and Shankar, Mridula (Guest Eds) (2015) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for the next decades: What’s been achieved? What lies ahead? Special Issue Global Public Health, 10(2)
http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rgph20/10/2

Sen, Gita, Germain, Adrienne, Garcia-Moreno, Claudia and Shankar, Mridula (2015) Advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights in low- and middle-income countries: Implications for the post-2015 global development agenda Global Public Health, 10 (2): 137-148,
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441692.2014.986177

Sen, Gita and Govender, Veloshnee (2015) Sexual and reproductive health and rights in changing health systems Special Issue, Global Public Health, 10 (2): 228-242,
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441692.2014.986161

Sen, Gita (2014) Sexual and reproductive health and rights in the post-2015 development agenda Global Public Health, 9 (6): 599-606
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17441692.2014.917197

Sen, Gita (2013) Gender equality in the post 2015 development agenda: Lessons from the MDGs IDS Bulletin 44 (5-6), September: 42-48
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/1759-5436.12055/abstract

Sen, Gita (2010) Family Planning and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: The Past as Prologue? Studies in Family Planning, June, 41 (2): 143-146
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2010.00237.x/abstract

Sen, Gita, Govender, Veloshnee and Cottingham, Jane (2007) Maternal and neonatal health: surviving the roller-coaster of international policy, March, Occasional Paper Series Number 5, Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
http://www2.ids.ac.uk/ghen/resources/papers/MaternalMortality2006.pdf

Shankar, Mridula and Reddy, Bhavya (2012) Anaemia in pregnancy still a major cause of morbidity and mortality: Insights from Koppal district, Karnataka, India Reproductive Health Matters, 20 (40): 67-68
http://www.rhm-elsevier.com/article/S0968-8080(12)40669-3/abstract

Series on Decoding Maternal Safety

GHE (Gender and Health Equity) Project (2015) Identifying and assessing maternal risks: A handbook for healthcare providers, Bangalore, GHE Project.
https://www.phfi.org/images/pdf/identifying_and_assessing_maternal_risks.pdf

GHE Project (2015)Yaara hone? Building collective responsibility for maternal safety, Bangalore, GHE Project
https://www.phfi.org/images/pdf/yaara_hone.pdf

GHE Project (2015) Arivuneravu for maternal health: What communities should know and do, Bangalore, GHE Project
https://www.phfi.org/images/news/arivu_neravu.pdf

Universal health coverage and heath policy

Ottersen, T., Norheim, O.F. et al. (including Gita Sen) (2014) Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage, Final report of the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage, Geneva: WHO
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112671/1/9789241507158_eng.pdf

Ottersen, T., Norheim, O.F. et al. (including Gita Sen) (2014) Making fair choices on the path to universal health coverage, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92 (6), June: 389.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.14.139139

Reddy, K. Srinath et al (including Gita Sen) (2011) Report of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage, Submitted to the Planning Commission of India http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/genrep/rep_uhc0812.pdf

Sen, Gita and Iyer, Aditi (2015) Health policy in India: some critical concerns in Ellen Kuhlmann et al. (Eds) The Palgrave International Handbook of Healthcare Policy and Governance Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan, 154-170
http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137384928

Sen, Gita (2014) Health security in Ashima Goyal (Ed) The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Economy in the 21st Century, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, pp 328-51

Sen, Gita (2012) Universal health coverage in India: a long and winding road Economic and Political Weekly February 25, XLVII (8): 45-52
http://uhc-india.org/uploads/GitaSen.pdf

Knowledge-translation

Fostering Knowledge-Implementation Links Project (2012) Maternal Death Reviews:Improving the quality of evidence to support health system strengthening, Policy Brief No. 1 Bangalore: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
http://www.phfi.org/images/pdf/Knowledge-translation_policy_brief_1.pdf

Fostering Knowledge-Implementation Links Project (2012) Identification and management of obstetric risks and emergencies: How prepared are primary level providers? Policy Brief No. 2, Bangalore: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
http://www.phfi.org/images/pdf/Knowledge-translation_policy_brief_2.pdf

Fostering Knowledge-Implementation Links Project (2012) Programmatic strategies for tackling maternal anaemia: Lessons from research and experience. Policy Brief No. 3, Bangalore: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
http://www.phfi.org/images/pdf/Knowledge-translation_policy_brief_3.pdf

Fostering Knowledge-Implementation Links Project (2012) Pregnant women with moderate to Severe anaemia: Lacunae in screening and treatment efforts. Policy Brief No. 4, Bangalore: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
http://www.phfi.org/images/pdf/knowledge-translation_policy_brief_4.pdf

Srinidhi V, Iyer, Aditi, Sreevathsa, Anuradha and Shankar, Mridula (2016), “Translating research into a capacity-building tool to strengthen obstetric competence”, BMJ Global Health 2016; 1(Suppl 1): A26
http://gh.bmj.com/content/bmjgh/1/Suppl_1/A26.1.full.pdf

The Team

Director
  • Gita Sen, Distinguished Professor
    Director
Researchers
  • Aditi Iyer
    Senior Research Scientist and Associate Professor
  • Anuradha Sreevathsa
    Medical Consultant
  • Baneen Karachiwala
    Senior Research Associate
  • Bhavya Reddy
    Research Associate
  • Srinidhi V.
    Research Scientist and Assistant Professor
  • Vani Periodi
    Consultant
  • Shanthi Shetty
    Administrative and Finance Officer
  • Sophia Thomas
    Research Fellow
  • Abha S. Rao
    Research Scientist and Assistant Professor
  • Sreeparna Chattopadhyay
    Senior Research Scientist and Associate Professor

Contact us

Public Health Foundation of India,
Epidemic Diseases Hospital Compound,
Opp. Sw Vivekananda Metro Station,
Old Madras Road, Indiranagar,
Bangalore – 560038
Phone: +080-29710400 / +080-29710402