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Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology: People

Anuj Kapilashrami

Anuj Kapilashrami
Dr Anuj Kapilashrami
Senior Lecturer in Global Health Policy; Associate Director, Global Development Academy
Research Interests
Ethnography, Health policy, South Asia, Social movements, privatisation, commercial sector engagement / trade in health policy, global governance, gender inequalities


PhD  in International Health, Queen Margaret University, UK                                                                 

MSc. in Sexual & Reproductive health research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK                                                                                                                        

MA Sociology, Annamalai University, India


Institute for Global Health & Development, Queen Margaret University                                              

African Centre for Migration & Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesberg

Biographical statement

I have an interdisciplinary background in sociology and public health with a specialisation in policy and systems research, and sexual and reproductive health. I work at the intersections of health politics and development praxis, with particular interest in their interface with gender, human rights and social justice. Over the last seventeen years I have worked with various development actors and social movements in India, the UK and Europe in varying capacity: feminist researcher, academic, trainer and policy analyst. 

I first joined GPHU and the Centre for South Asian Studies as Lecturer in 2010 and again, following a brief period (2013-2014) where I was a Lecturer at Queen Margaret University, in January 2015.  I currently chair Gender Rights and Development (GRAND), an international network of academics and practitioners working on Gender, Rights and Development issues, which has membership in Afirca, Europe and India. I am a member of the Steering group of the UK People’s Health Movement (and convenor for the Scottish PHM).

I am Associate Director for the Global Development Academy, a University-wide institution for strengthening research, learning, and teaching on issues related to poverty, inequality, and the research-policy-practice nexus for development. 


I have wide-ranging research interest and experience that spreads over fifteen years in the academia and in the third sector. My research projects fall under three broad categories: 1) Health policy and governance; specifically, equity and health systems implications of global health initiatives/ partnerships and private sector engagement in health policy;  2) Theoretical and methodological engagement with Governance and the role of social movements in advancing human rights and social justice in health; 3) Gender and intersectional inequalities and social and structural determinants of health and violence.

Ongoing/ completed Research projects:

  1. British Academy/ Leverhulme funded reearch titled 'Examining intersectional inequalities in access to health in Scotland: Developing the participatory paradigm' (2016-2018)
  2. Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland funded Participatory Action Research to understand experiences of health inequalities and social exclusion [in the context of austerity and welfare reforms] in Scotland, UK (2013-14). 
  3. DFID/ESRC funded multi-country collaborative research on "Biomedical and Health Experimentation in South Asia: Critical perspectives on Collaboration, Governance and Competition" (2010-2013) 
  4. Implications of the discourse and practice of global Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in health, such as the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, for health systems and HIV management in India (2006-2010). 

Previous Research: In the capacity of Programme Coordinator at a Delhi-based Gender rights resource centre (1999-2006), I led and contributed to research projects examining gender and social dimensions of health policy and care in India: Ford Foundation funded study on impact of gender in experience of malaria and health care access among rural poor in Jharkhand (2004-05); Socio-economic impact of two child norm/population policy (2001-02); Medico-legal and ethical implications of assisted reproductive technologies (2006).


I am Programme Director for MSc in Global Health Policy and Course Organizer for: Health & Human Rights, Global politics of public health. I also teach on Health systems: Strengthening and reform, Social determinants of health and public policy, Globalisation and public health, .

I have previously convened and lectured on Gender, health and development course; Sexual Reproductive Health; HIV and AIDS and development; and Qualitative research methods in other universities.


Refereed Journals

Hawkes, S., Buse, K. and Kapilashrami, A. (2017) Gender blind? An analysis of global public-private partnerships for healthGlobalisation and Health. 13(26). DOI: 10.1186/s12992-017-0249-1

Dickson, C. A., McVittie, C., & Kapilashrami, A. (2017). Expertise in action: Insights into the dynamic nature of expertise in community‐based nursing. Journal of Clinical Nursing

Alsaba, K. and Kapilashrami, A. (2016) Understanding women's experience of violence and the political economy gender in conflict: the case of Syria. Reproductive Health Matters. Available online 31 May 2016.  

Kapilashrami, A., R. Bisht, and S. Ravindran (2016). “Feminist Movements and Gender Politics: Transnational Perspectives on Intersectionality”. The Delhi University Journal of the Humanities and the Social Sciences 3: 171-184.

Kapilashrami A., Hill, S., Meer, N. (2015) What can health inequalities researchers learn from an intersectionality perspective? Understanding social dynamics with an inter-categorical approach. Special Issue on Theorizing health inequalities in Jrnl of Social Theory and Health. ISSN 1477-8211. 

Kapilashrami, A., Fustukian, S. & McPake, B. (2015) Global prescriptions and neglect of the ‘local’: What lessons for global health governance has the Framework Convention on Global Health learnt? Global Health Governance. Volume IX : 1 (2015 Spring-Fall Combined) ISSN 1939-2389.    

Kapilashrami, A. et al. (2015) Social Movements and Public Health Advocacy in Action: The UK People’s Health Movement. Journal of Public Health

 Kapilashrami, A., & Hanefeld, J. (2014). Meaningful change or more of the same? The Global Fund's new funding model and the politics of HIV scale-up. Global public health9(1-2), 160-175.

Cairney, L. I., & Kapilashrami, A. (2014). Confronting ‘scale-down’: Assessing Namibia's human resource strategies in the context of decreased HIV/AIDS fundingGlobal public health9(1-2), 198-209.

Kapilashrami A. and McPake B. (2013). Editor's Choice: Transforming governance or reinforcing hierarchies and competition: examining the public and hidden transcripts of the Global Health initiatives and HIV in India. Health Policy Plan.  28 (6): 626-635.

Hanefled, J. and Kapilashrami A. (2013). The Global Fund’s new funding model–missed opportunities for human rights? Health and Human Rights International Journal.

Kapilashrami A. and O’Brien O. (2012) The Global Fund and the re-emergence of ‘civil societies’: Widening or closing the democratic deficit. Global Public Health.7(5):437-51.

Rachel Tolhurst, Beryl Leach, Janet Price, Jude Robinson, Elizabeth Ettore, Alex Scott-Samuel, Nduku Kilonzo, Louis P. SabuniSteve Robertson, Anuj Kapilashrami, Katie Bristow, Raymond Lang, Francelina Romao, Sally Theobald (2012). Intersectionality and gender mainstreaming: perspectives from the North and the South. Social Science Medicine. 74(11):1825-32.

Book chapters, Working Papers, Reports, Blogs

Southern Perspectives on Domestic Violence: Contesting universalisations and reconceptualising lived realisties of multiply marginalised migrant women. (2017) Blog in GenderPol, the Gender politics research group of Edinburgh University. Available at 

Kapilashrami A, Robertson T, & Marsden S (2016) A right to health for the people of Scotland. In: Barrow S, Small M (ed.). Scotland 2021, Edinburgh: Bella Caledonia/Ekklesia, pp. 81-86.

Private sector heterogeneity and Universal Health Coverage.  In Global Health Check. Feb 11, 2016. 

(2015). Meaningful change or more of the same? The Global Fund’s new funding model and the politics of HIV scale-up. In HIV Scale-Up and the Politics of Global Health Routledge. Taylor & Francis. London & New York. ISSN 13:978-1-13884318-9. [With Joanna Hanefeld]

Cairney, L.I. and Kapilashrami, A. (2015) Confronting ‘scale down’: Assessing Namibia’s human resource strategies in the context of decreased funding. In HIV Scale-Up and the Politics of Global Health Routledge. Taylor & Francis. London & New York. ISSN 13:978-1-13884318-9

Kapilashrami, A. (2014). A new business model for NGOs? Global Health Watch IV. 13 Nov 2014. ISBN: 9781783602544

Kapilashrami A. and Venkatachallam, D. (2012) Impact of health insurance from a right to health framework. Working paper for Ford Foundation. Sama, Delhi, India.

Information – Who produces? Who uses? (2002). In Renu Khanna, Mira Shiva and Sarla Gopalan (ed) Towards Comprehensive Women’s Health Programmes and Policies. SAHAJ for Women and Health.

Rasaily, R. and Kapilashrami, A. (2005). The interrelationship between gender and malaria among the rural poor in Jharkhand. Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies. SCTIMST, Trivandrum.

Sarojini NB, Chakraborty S, Venkatachalam D, Bhattacharya S, Kapilashrami A. (2006). Women’s Right to Health. National Human Rights Commission.

Kapilashrami, A.  (2006) Women’s health: A decade of skewed priorities. In From Shadows to Self: India Status Report on Beijing+10. India Women’s Watch. NGO Shadow report. 

Topics interested in supervising

My research expertise and supervision interests fall under following thematic areas: 1) Influence of commercial/ private sector in Health policy and governance: particularly issues of coherence and conflict between economic/ trade objectives and population health; 2) Rhetoric and reality of global health initiatives/ partnerships and critical assessment of local (equity and system-wide) implications of global regimes of governance; 3) Theoretical and methodological engagement with Governance and the role of social movements in advancing human rights and social justice in health; 4) Gender inequalities and social and structural determinants of health: especially, exploring intersections of gender with other structural inequalities.

If you are interested in being supervised by Anuj Kapilashrami, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in International Public Health Policy; PhD in South Asian Studies