Smisha Agarwal, PhD
My research is aimed at improving maternal and newborn health in low-income settings through strengthening community health systems and leveraging innovative technological solutions. Over the last decade, I have developed methods for evaluating programs that employ digital tools such as mobile phones for health service delivery. I have also led a series of systematic Cochrane reviews that have been leveraged by the WHO to develop global guidelines on the use of digital tools to strengthen health services. I continue to work with bilateral and multilateral agencies to support development and implementation of routine health information systems.
Specifically, my research is focused on- 1. The effectiveness of the use of digital devices by community health workers as decision-aids to improve delivery of primary health care services, especially for mothers and infants; 2. Using predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms based on routine monitoring data to enhance our understanding of quality of care, create safety nets to care for high-risk populations and improve effectiveness of reproductive health services; 3.Use of social media websites and data to understand health patterns and behaviors.
Currently, I am working in collaboration with the Population Council, and colleagues at Pathfinder International (Uganda) and Zanmi Lasante (Haiti) to conduct a multi-country study using discrete choice experiments to understand incentive preferences of community health workers in Kenya, Bangladesh, Uganda and Haiti.