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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 established research hub at Bengaluru.
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
Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska (2011) Gender inequity in health, In Improving Equity in Health by Addressing Social Determinants Geneva, WHO, 2011
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”
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
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
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)
Sen, Gita (2009) Health inequalities: gendered m and conundrums. The 10th Annual Sol Levine lecture Social Science and Medicine, October, 69 (7): 1006-1009
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).
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
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
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
Sen, Gita, George, Asha and Ostlin, Piroska (Eds) (2002) Engendering International Health: the Challenge of Equity, Cambridge: The MIT Press
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.
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.
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.
Sen, Gita and Iyer, Aditi (2016), “The mechanisms of intersecting social inequalities in health”, BMJ Global Health 2016; 1(Suppl 1): A35-A36
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
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
Maternal safety, sexual and reproductive health and rights
Jacob, S and Chattopadhyay, S (2019) Speaking of Abuse: The Pyramid of Reporting Domestic Violence in India. Economic and Political Weekly. 54(1): 53-63. Chattopadhyay, S. (2018). The shifting axes of marginalities: the politics of identities shaping women’s experiences during childbirth in Northeast India. Reproductive Health Matters, 1–8.
[Taylor and Francis]. Chattopadhyay, S. (2018) The responses of health systems to marital sexual violence – a perspective from southern India. In Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma. Doi:
[Taylor and Francis] Chattopadhyay, S., Mishra, A., Jacob, S. (2017) Safe Yet Violent: Women’s Experiences with Obstetric Violence during Hospital Births in Rural Northeast India in Culture, Health and Sexuality.
[Taylor and Francis] 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
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.
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.
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
Langer, Anna et. al. (including Gita Sen) (2015) Women and Health: the key for sustainable development. The Lancet, 386 (9999), 1165-1210.
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.
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)
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
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
Sen, Gita (2014) Sexual and reproductive health and rights in the post-2015 development agenda Global Public Health, 9 (6): 599-606
Sen, Gita (2013) Gender equality in the post 2015 development agenda: Lessons from the MDGs IDS Bulletin 44 (5-6), September: 42-48
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
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
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.
GHE Project (2015)Yaara hone? Building collective responsibility for maternal safety, Bangalore, GHE Project
GHE Project (2015) Arivuneravu for maternal health: What communities should know and do, Bangalore, GHE Project
Universal health coverage and health 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Prof. Shreelata Rao SeshadriProfessor and Director
- Prof. Gita SenDistinguished Professor
- Dr. Aditi IyerSenior Research Scientist and Associate Professor
- Dr. Srinidhi VResearch Scientist and Assistant Professor
- Dr. Abha S RaoResearch Scientist and Assistant Professor
- Dr. Rajalakshmi Ram PrakashResearch Scientist and Assistant Professor
- Dr. Sophia ThomasResearch Associate
- Ms. Sanjana SantoshResearch Associate
- Ms. Baneen KarachiwalaConsultant
- Mr. Suraj Ankush ParabConsultant
- Ms. Madhumita BangoConsultant
- Ms. Shanthi Suraj ShettyAdministrative & Finance Officer
Public Health Foundation of India, Epidemic Diseases Hospital Compound, Opp. Sw Vivekananda Metro Station, Old Madras Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore – 560038 Phone: +080-29710403