Meghan O’Connell is a public health professional working on health finance, health economics, and collaborative learning in low and middle-income countries.
As a senior program officer at Results for Development (R4D), Ms. O’Connell leads the Gavi Learning Network for Countries in Transition (LNCT). As part of the health team, she focuses on health financing systems in low-and-middle income countries, with a particular focus on policy and planning related to transition away from external assistance, such as the Global Fund supported work on Sustaining Effective Coverage for HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in the Context of Transition in Kenya.
The goal of the LNCT work is to build a community that promotes the exchange of practical experiences on Gavi transition and immunization program sustainability. Equipped with resources developed in tandem with the LNCT community, immunization managers and policymakers in the 13 LNCT member countries will be more fully prepared to engage in early and effective transition planning, make better resource allocation and programmatic decisions, and to apply new ideas gained from connections to peer mentors and online resources.
In the case of R4D’s collaboration with the Global Fund, Ms. O’Connell’s work is similarly about providing technical assistance a transitioning country government— here, Kenya — to sustain gains in health outcomes as the government transitions away from external support and continues to assume greater financial and programmatic responsibility for their health program. Ms. O’Connell and her team analyzed the scale and composition of external funding for HIV, TB, and malaria interventions that will ultimately be scaled down in the context of donor transition, and assessed vulnerabilities and sources of inefficiency, primarily from a public financial management perspective, that pose risks to the financial and programmatic sustainability of the three diseases.
At R4D, Ms. O’Connell has also worked on financing for nutrition, particularly nutrition resource tracking, co-leading an assessment of multisectoral nutrition investments in Ethiopia. Before joining R4D, O’Connell worked at the USAID-South Africa mission as part of its health systems strengthening team. In 2014, she worked with the International Vaccine Access Center in Abuja, Nigeria where she led a program evaluation of a Health Ministry program for routine immunization. She has also worked as a research coordinator and consultant for the Samueli Institute, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia and completed a one-year fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, in the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
Ms. O’Connell holds an MPH in international health systems and health economics from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BS in pre-medical and health studies from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences.
- O’Connell, Meghan; Wonodi, Chizoba. (2016). Routine Immunization Consultant Program in Nigeria: A Qualitative Review of a Country-Driven Management Approach for Health Systems Strengthening. Global Health Science and Practice. 4 (1): 29-42.
- Lynn Teo, Cindy Crawford, Danny Jaghab, Rachel Yehuda, Matthew D. Gallon, John J. Bingham, Meghan L. O’Connell, Holly K Chittum, Sonya M. Arzola, Kevin Berry. (2016). Whole Dietary Patterns as an Intervention to Optimize Cognitive Brain Function for Military Mission-Readiness: A Systematic Review and Recommendations for the Field. Nutrition Reviews. In press, November 2016
- Lynn Teo, Cindy Crawford, James Snow, Patricia Deuster, Matthew D. Gallon, John J. Bingham, Meghan L. O’Connell, Holly K. Chittum, Sonya M. Arzola, Kevin Berry. (2016). Plant-Based Foods and Beverages or their Phytochemical Constituents as an Intervention to Optimize Cognitive Brain Function for Military Mission-Readiness: A Systematic Review and Recommendations for the Field. Nutrition Reviews. In press, November 2016
- Cindy Crawford, Lynn Teo, Lynn Lafferty, Angela Drake, Matthew D. Gallon, John J. Bingham, Meghan L. O’Connell, Holly K. Chittum, Sonya M. Arzola, Kevin Berry. (2016). Caffeinated Foods and Beverages involving Military-Like Moderators as an Intervention to Optimize Cognitive Brain Function for Military Mission-Readiness: A Systematic Review and Recommendations for the Field. Nutrition Reviews. In press, November 2016
- Costello, B., Lentino, C., Boyd, C., O’Connell, M., Crawford, C., Sprengel, M., Deuster, P. (2014). The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature. Nutrition Journal, 13:106.
- Meghan L. O’Connell, Kate Birkenkamp, David E. Kleiner, Les R. Folio, Steven M. Holland, and Kenneth N. Olivier. (2012). Lung Manifestations in an Autopsy Series of Pulmonary or Disseminated Nontuberculosis Mycobacterial Disease. Chest. 141(5):1203-9
- Results for Development Institute. (2016). Landscape Study of the Cost, Impact, and Efficiency of Above Service Delivery Activities in HIV and Other Global Health Programs. Washington, DC: R4D
- The Samueli Institute. (2016). Biopsychosocial Training Programs for the Self-Management of Emotional Stress: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials. Alexandria, VA: The Samueli Institute