About Us

Health Policy Watch reports on the leading global health policy challenges & trends, linking journalists in global North and South on an independent, non-profit platform. Sign up here for daily email alerts. Follow us @HealthPolicyW.

Health Policy Watch provides open-access reporting that serves all stakeholders in the global health policymaking community by enhancing transparency and informed engagement.

Working on a “networking” paradigm for health policy coverage, Health Policy Watch is partnering with professional, accredited journalists reporting from key regional policy hubs across Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America so as to better incorporate and advance local perspectives on top global health policy issues. Health Policy Watch aims to offer:

  • Critical coverage that goes beyond fast-breaking health emergencies to reflect research, policy and governance debates and developments;
  • Ensure regional trends, challenges and debates are reflected in global processes;
  • Advance a holistic approach to breaking news in a global health community where issues are often addressed by distinct professional sub-communities working in silos;
  • Provide a virtual meeting place that links the dots and brings a disparate community into closer communication.

Editorial Team

Health Policies network of correspondents includes journalists reporting from Geneva, New York City, Nairobi, Delhi, Washington DC and elsewhere.

Elaine Ruth Fletcher, Editor-in-chief (Geneva)

Fletcher is a veteran news correspondent as well as a former editor at the World Health Organization (WHO), where she co-founded and managed the BreatheLife campaign on air pollution, climate and health (www.breathelife2030.org). Ms. Fletcher also served as a managing editor for the UNICEF/UNDP, World Bank WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), reporting on trends in diagnosis and treatment of malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other neglected diseases of poverty, as well as issues of access to essential medicines and health technologies.

Prior to that, Fletcher served as a correspondent for major newspapers such as the San Francisco Examiner and Newhouse News Service, including first-hand reporting from the Middle East on the impacts of poverty, conflict and unsustainable development on the health of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

Fletcher is a co-author or editor of over three dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and WHO reports on various aspects of health and development, including: environmental management of vector borne disease; maternal and child health; environmental risk factors for non-communicable diseases; urban health, air pollution and sustainable development; traffic injuries; climate change and health; health equity; and access to health services.

Kerry Cullinan, Deputy Editor (Cape Town)

Kerry Cullinan is a multi-award-winning South African journalist who ran Africa’s first independent non-profit health news agency, Health-e News, for 14 years. The South Africa-based agency, founded during the country’s unfolding HIV crisis, supplied health news to a range of clients across television, print, radio and multimedia platforms.

She is the previous health editor for openDemocracy, a global online platform based in the UK. 


Regional Correspondents and Contributors

Disha Shetty (India)

Disha Shetty is an award-winning science journalist based in Pune, India. She reports on climate, health, women, and development issues. Disha holds an MA in Science, Environment and Medicine Journalism from Columbia University in New York, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India.


Paul Adepoju (Ibadan, Nigeria)

Paul is a Nigeria-based scientist and freelance journalist with extensive experience covering Africa’s development, science, health and tech ecosystems for leading international media outlets.



Josephine Chinele (Malawi)

Josephine Chinele is a Malawian Multi-Award Winning international investigative Journalist. She is a passionate science journalist and has reported extensively on health, human rights and social justice.  

One of the stories she published with us on the use of drone technology in delivering Polio vaccines received an honourable mention at the 2023 Science for Africa Foundation’s inaugural Africa Science Journalism Awards. The competition aims at recognising and honouring outstanding reporting on science and development in Africa.

Jyoti Pande Lavakare (Delhi, India)

Jyoti Pande Lavakare is an independent journalist focusing on environmental health issues, and a former financial and business reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, The Business Standard and India Ink. her first book, “Breathing Here is Injurious To Your Health” is due to be published by Hachette in 2020.



Kizito Makoye Shigela  (Tanzania)

Kizito Makoye Shigela is a seasoned environmental journalist, media researcher, and fixer hailing from Tanzania, whose unwavering commitment to his craft has garnered him recognition and acclaim worldwide. With a strong passion for health and environmental issues, he has dedicated his career to shining a spotlight on pressing ecological concerns and their profound impact on human and policy implications. Throughout his extensive tenure in the field, Makoye has contributed significantly to various international news organizations, leaving an indelible mark on the realm of heath and environmental journalism.

Chetan Bhattacharji (India)

Chetan Bhattacharji writes primarily on climate, air pollution and sustainability issues, and he’s also a consultant on climate comms strategies with several organisations. He has been a journalist for 30 years, mostly at India’s NDTV network where he was senior managing editor till mid-2023 in charge of the newsdesk and editorial lead. Alongside that, for over a decade he’s worked extensively on air pollution and climate change be it for broadcast and digital coverage or policy analysis.

Jeffrey Moyo (Zimbabwe)

Jeffrey Moyo is an award-winning Zimbabwean freelance journalist, a New York Times freelancer who has also worked for other international media outlets, including The Globe and Mail.



Rahul Basharat Rajput 

Rahul Basharat Rajput is a multimedia journalist based in Pakistan. He holds Bs (Hons) degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Pakistan. In 2018 he was awarded International Center for Journalists fellowship in USA and in 2021 China International Press Communication fellowship in China. Since 2016 he is reporting on the issues of public health, climate change, human rights, education, politics and political economy.


Kate Okorie (Nigeria)

Kate Okorie has extensive experience reporting on developments within Africa’s public health and environmental sectors, including climate change. Her reports have appeared in News24, Kenya’s The Star and HumAngle, among others. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Media and Communications at the Pan-Atlantic University.


Svĕt Lustig Vijay

Svĕt holds a Masters in Public Health at the London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine. During his studies, he researched the promise of psychedelic-assisted treatment at a drug treatment centre in the Amazon rainforest. Prior to his studies, Svĕt contributed to programs addressing the social determinants of health with Partners in Health in Peru. Svĕt works with ShareAction, a UK-based charity that champions responsible investment, on the commercial determinants of health. As a contributing reporter for Health Policy Watch, Svĕt works on the commercial determinants of health, mental health, and the intersection between climate and health. Svĕt was born and bred in Geneva, with Czech and Indian heritage.


Strategic Communications

Maayan Hoffman 

Maayan Hoffman is the CEO of Hoffman Communications, a strategic communications company. She has nearly 30 years of experience as a journalist and strategic communications consultant, leading content, marketing, and strategy teams at top-tier corporations and NGOs. Her work has been featured in publications such as the Washington Post, American Spectator, Fox, The Hill, and Roll Call.


Interns and Fellows

Sophia Samantaroy (Washington, D.C)

Sophia is a graduate student in Epidemiology at the University of Rochester, where she researches the intersection of environment, infectious diseases, and social determinants of health. Her interests have led her to conduct community-engaged environmental health research to reduce chemical exposures. Sophia is passionate about addressing the health manifestations of injustice; she leads efforts to improve food security through the Food Recovery Network. A recent graduate with a BA in History and a BS in Environmental Health, Sophia interests span the global and development dimensions of environmental health, infectious disease, and policy. 

Zuzanna Stawiska (Kraków, Poland)

Zuzanna Stawiska is a recent graduate of BSc Global Responsibility and Leadership at the University of Groningen and an aspiring reporter with internship experience in local news outlets: Gazeta Wyborcza, Kraków, Poland and The Northern Times, Groningen, The Netherlands. Having pursued global health, sustainability and social justice topics as part of her degree, she uses her skills to report on the urgent and important health issues of today.



Health Policy Watch received start-up support from the Loterie Romande and the Camino Stiftung, and launched its website in early 2019.

Based in Geneva, Health Policy Watch is a project of Global Policy Reporting, a non-profit association established under Swiss law, which also houses Intellectual Property Watch.  The work of Health Policy Watch is overseen by a Board of Directors. Board members serve in a personal and voluntary capacity for 2 year, renewable terms. We are in the process of expanding our Board to include among our other noted representatives, more diverse membership from the global public health community.

Board of Directors

Dr. Carolyn Deere Birkbeck, Chair and Founder (Australia)

Carolyn is a Senior Researcher at the Graduate Institute’s Global Governance Centre in Geneva and a Senior Research Associate at the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford. She has worked and published on issues of sustainable development, trade and intellectual property for a range of non-governmental and international organizations. She was previously Assistant Director of the Rockefeller Foundation responsible for grant making in the area of global economic policy and sustainable development. Carolyn holds a DPhil (Oxon) and an M.A. (SAIS) in International Relations.

Dr. Carlos Dora (Brazil)

Carlos Dora is a health policy expert who was formerly the Coordinator, Public Health and the Environment Department at the World Health Organization (WHO), leading work on health impacts of sector policies (energy, transport, housing, extractive industry) involving health impact assessment (HIA) and systems to manage health risks and benefits. He is leading the development of a new urban health initiative to strengthen capacity in cities to obtain health co-benefits from urban policies. WHO Unit in charge of providing guidance health risks (air pollution, indoors and outdoors, radiation, occupation), as well as monitoring, evaluation, and tracking-related policies and health impacts. Dora leads WHO’s work on “Health in a Green Economy” focusing on health benefits from climate change mitigation policies, and is contributing to WHO’s work on health indicators for post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. He is engaged in the health co-benefits of sustainable energy initiatives, including SE4All, GACC, and CCAC. He previously worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, with the World Bank, and as a senior policy adviser to the WHO director general. Previously he worked in the organization of primary care systems in Brazil, where he also practiced clinical medicine. He has served on many policy committees. He earned his MSc and PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His publications cover health impacts of sector policies, health impact assessment, and health risk communication.

Dr. Bruno Lanvin (France)

Bruno is the Executive Director of INSEAD’s Global Indices, comprising the Networked Readiness Index of the Global Information Technology Report (GITR), the Global Innovation Index (GII), and the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI). Before joining INSEAD, he worked ten years for the World Bank, where he was inter alia Senior Advisor for E-strategies, Regional Coordinator (Europe and Central Asia) for ICT and e-government issues, and Chairman of the Bank’s e‐Thematic Group. Before this, he held senior positions at the United Nations in New York and Geneva. Dr Lanvin holds a BA in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Valenciennes (France), an MBA from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Paris I (La Sorbonne) in France. He is also an INSEAD alumnus (IDP-C). A frequent speaker at high‐level meetings, he advises a number of global companies and governments and has been a member of numerous boards, including those of IDA and Govtech (Singapore) and ICANN.

Dr. Susan K. Sell (US)

Susan is currently Professor at the School of Regulation and Global Governance, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. She is Professor Emerita of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University, Washington, DC, and past Director of the Institute for Global and International Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs. She has published widely on the politics and history of international policy debates on intellectual property, trade and investment.

Dr. Michaela Told (Austria)

Michaela Told is the former Executive Director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Prior to moving into academia, she worked more than 10 years with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in different positions at local, regional and international levels in all continents, managing projects at the community and district level, as well as setting up and heading large complex emergencies. She also headed the Principles and Values Department of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. As such, she advised National Societies on their projects related to her portfolio worldwide and was involved in strategic decision-making, negotiations and policy-making within the statutory bodies of the RCRC Movement. Earlier in her career, she worked with the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Division of Development Cooperation (today: Austrian Development Agency) and later served as Secretary General of an international women’s human rights NGO based in Geneva. In her current position she also co-heads the WHO Collaborating Centre on Governance for Health and Global Health Diplomacy in Geneva. She co-established the Global Health Centre and now focuses her work on training professionals in global health leadership and diplomacy, advising on global health policy making and research on complex political and intersectoral health issues. She holds three Master’s degrees in development economics, social work and women & development, as well as a PhD in Cultural Studies.


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