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Cicely Thomas

Program Director

Many countries recognize that to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) they must better steward their mixed health systems, but often don’t know where to start or how to strengthen their stewardship function. At the same time, local private providers and innovators are interested in growing and contributing to improvements in their country’s health outcomes but are unaware of what the public sector wants and how to engage. R4D works across both sides of the aisle to support well-functioning mixed health systems in service of UHC.”

Cicely Thomas is a health systems and financing specialist with over 10 years of technical, research and managerial experience working in lower- and middle- income countries. She is a practitioner and advocate for collaborative and peer learning methodologies and has applied these in many contexts. She has worked extensively with country change agents in and across West Africa as well as in countries in East Africa and South East Asia.

As a program director at Results for Development, she leads a portfolio of work focused on the integration of private sector and innovations in government-stewarded mixed health systems in support of universal health coverage. This Includes the Merck for Mothers-funded Strengthening Mixed Health Systems project and the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage‘s Private Sector Engagement Collaborative. She also provides process facilitation and technical assistance in health financing and health service delivery organization in countries undertaking challenging health reforms. This work includes supporting national health insurance agencies in becoming more strategic purchasers, building capacity of district health managers and supporting health benefit package design and costing.

Before joining R4D, Ms. Thomas was a health researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, where she focused on developing learning and evaluation design plans for projects including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Family Health Initiative in India and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Transforming Health Systems Initiative; analyzing and providing technical assistance to innovative models for health care delivery; and developing and testing quality of care indicators. At the London School of Economics, she conducted research for the Personal Social Services Research Unit on early childhood education and behavior outcomes for the U.K. Department of Health.

Ms. Thomas holds an MA in art history and geography from the University of St. Andrews and an MSc in health, population and society from the London School of Economics. She speaks English and French.

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