Comparative health systems performance assessment for children and young people

Lead Supervisor
Dr Ingrid Wolfe
Reader in Paediatrics and Child Health
Women and Children’s Health, SoLCPHS
King’s College London

Dr Dheepa Rajan, Dr Ann Hagell

Project Details

The impacts of health system disruptions from the CoVID-19 pandemic highlight the urgent need for reliable and valid indicators for assessing and comparing health system performance within and across European countries. The indirect impact of health system disruptions on children and young people is profound.

A health system performance framework is therefore essential to understanding and improving performance, and to learn from the current crisis. It can provide a useful and rich source of evidence for policy makers in decision making and in tracking progress in meeting key strategic national health goals. Health system performance assessment and comparative studies have been increasing since the World Health Report in 2000, and methods have evolved and developed to suit the complexities of health systems research. However, there has been less focus on children in health systems, particularly among high income countries where the scale of problems is less than among low and middle income countries, but there remain important unanswered questions about disparities in outcomes such as child survival, health, and wellbeing.

Several health system performance frameworks for the general population have been proposed, discussed and adapted at international and national level, focused on adult health needs. However, these may miss significant child health challenges, and therefore miss a potentially key contributing factor to under-performance of the overall system that affects children.

This project will adapt the WHO framework for health systems performance assessment to produce a child and young person’s health system performance assessment framework.

The work is intended to contribute to ongoing international research on comparative health systems performance for children and young people, and the successful candidate will join a team of researchers at KCL and WHO.


Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, World Development Indicators, OECD – all publicly available datasets


Child, adolescent, health systems, quality, performance, indicators