The health systems of many countries in francophone West Africa are distinct from anglophone neighbors and require tailored approaches to strengthening. Through R4D’s extensive experience working in these countries, we provide a customized approach, considering the cultural context of every country, while also supporting cross-country sharing and learning.”
Cicely Thomas is a development professional with 10 years of technical and managerial experience working on health systems strengthening projects in developing countries.
As a program director at R4D, she leads the Private Sector Engagement and Health Benefits Policy Collaboratives of the Joint Learning Network’s Primary Health Care Initiative, providing technical assistance to individual country partners aiming to achieve universal health coverage. She also leads work in health system strengthening and sustainable health financing in Ghana, Guinea and Nigeria through USAID’s Maternal Child Survival Program (MSCP).
With MCSP, her work has included costing Ghana’s primary health care services; conducting a rapid health systems assessment in two states in Nigeria; and building capacity for district health managers in four regions in Guinea, in partnership with Jhpiego. Ms. Thomas also leads R4D’s work as part of the USAID Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project in Guinea supporting the ministry of health to conduct an institutional audit; and in Ghana supporting evidence-based decision-making within Ghana’s National Health Insurance Authority. At R4D, she leads technical working groups within the Sustainable Financing and Governance communities of practice on costing and mixed health systems.
Before joining R4D, Ms. Thomas was a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research where she focused on developing learning and evaluation design plans; conducting data collection and analysis; and providing technical assistance to projects including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Family Health Initiative in India and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Transforming Health Systems Initiative. At the London School of Economics, she conducted research for the Personal Social Services Research Unit on early childhood education and behavior outcomes for the U.K. Department of Health.
Ms. Thomas holds an MA in art history and geography from the University of St. Andrews and an MSc in health, population, and society from the London School of Economics. She speaks English and is proficient in French.