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Meghan O’Connell

Senior Program Officer


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.

Articles and other publications

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