Paul Smithson

Paul Smithson

For a full and up to date CV, please email:

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Health sector strategy, governance and financing. Strategic programme design, review and evaluation. Linking research, policy and practice. Information and health surveillance systems. Demographic and epidemiological transition. Malaria. Maternal, newborn and child health.


Strategy facilitation and development. Design and appraisal of assistance strategies and funding modalities. Programme design and review. Sustainable health financing and universal health coverage. Cross-disciplinary approaches to health system strengthening in the broader political, economic and public administration context. Health sector performance analysis, evaluation and research. Analytical skills – the particularly combination and triangulation of multiple lines of evidence. Making sense of complex concepts and processes through clear written and inter-personal communication.

Background and relevant experience:

  • More than 30 years’ experience in global health – from community and district level to national and international health diplomacy. Career to date includes 4 years with Save the Children Fund (UK), 10 years with DFID, 10 years with Ifakara Health Institute, 2 years with MannionDaniels UK and several years of independent consultancy.
  • Extensive working experience in Africa, including: national-level embedded technical assistance; project leadership; stewardship of bilateral funding support for Health and human development; international technical support for health sector reform; research management and research communication.
  • Published research on sustainable health financing, health sector reform, governance , aid modalities for health, malaria control, health and demographic surveillance systems, child mortality trends, malaria impact evaluation methods.
  • Paul has worked as a consultant for bilateral and multilateral organisations including DFID, Danida, CIDA, NORAD, Unicef, WHO, USAID, Irish Aid, SDC as well as INGOs and implementing partners

Recent Experience

  • Scoping mission to develop strategies for better transparency and accountability in malaria control at national and state levels in Nigeria (DFID/Malaria Consortium, Feb.-March 2020)
  • Technical review and review QA for screening applications to DFID’s UK Aid Direct and UK Aid Match challenge funds. (MannionDaniels, Jan. 2020)
  • Contributory health schemes in Northern Nigeria: MNCH2 experience and lessons learned, lead consultant. (DFID/Palladium, Dec. 2019)
  • Review and analysis of health budget allocation and execution across six states in Northern Nigeria, 2013-2019, technical lead. (DFID/Palladium, 2019)
  • Organisation capacity assessment: A review of five years’ experience and lessons learned from the MNCH2 programme in Northern Nigeria. Lead consultant (DFID/Palladium, 2019)
  • Mid-term review of the multi-donor Health Services Joint Fund for Malawi. Lead consultant. (DFID/OPML, 2019).
  • DFID strategic approach to private sector engagement in the health sector of Uganda, quality-assurance. (DFID/OPML, 2019)
  • Member association survey and appraisal of progress towards the global five year strategy. (YWCA/MannionDaniels, 2019)
  • Tanzania national malaria impact evaluation. Team lead and first author. (USAID, 2013)


University of Oxford - Psychology (1986); LSHTM & LSE - Masters in Health Planning and Financing (1989); MBA – Cranfield School of Management (1998).


Paul is a British citizen, based in Bath, UK. He has spent most of the last three decades working and living in Africa, notably Tanzania, Sudan and Ghana. He has short-term work experience in a wide range of other countries in Africa and Asia. He is a fluent Kiswahili speaker and has a working knowledge of French. For a full CV, email Paul at the address provided at the top of this profile.

For a full CV and list of publications email Paul at the address provided at the top of this profile.