Inclusive social protection for chronic health problems


This project seeks to deepen the knowledge of the relationship between chronic illness and poverty in low-income settings. It further aims to provide evidence on the health and economic impact of increased access to diagnosis and treatment for selected chronic health problems in the context of poorly resourced health systems with a special focus on mature adult populations who are the main sufferers of noncommunicable diseases.

About the project



Global aging is leading to a rising chronic disease burden, including in the developing world. Chronic diseases are major causes of poor health, disability and poverty as well as a major barrier to economic development in low- and middle-income countries. Understanding the full consequences of chronic diseases requires high-quality longitudinal data on chronic disease and its health and socioeconomic consequences. Healthcare interventions, in turn, may play an important role in mitigating the adverse health and socioeconomic consequences of chronic diseases and stimulating economic development in aging economies.


The key aims of our research project are (1) to assess the impact of chronic illness on (a) healthcare use and expenditures (across different settings); (b) work capacity and productivity (in informal economies); (c) socioeconomic outcomes (such as poverty, human capital investments etc.); (d) health and mortality (such as disease progression, disability and death) as well as (2) to evaluate the role of access to (existing) diagnosis and treatment programs for improving the above outcomes using  (quasi-) experimental study designs a full income approach for selected conditions in the different study sites.


Our project will (1) provide a comprehensive assessment of financial protection in health (based on longitudinal data that moves beyond just the health domain); (2) expand the existing knowledge base on the interplay between chronic diseases, the healthcare systems, socio-economic status, and economic development; (3) advance methodological innovations in terms of survey instrument design and use of survey-based diagnostics; and (4) provide innovative data infrastructures for the wider research community. In addition, our research will (5) evaluate specific intervention aimed at mitigating the adverse consequences of selected chronic diseases in low- and middle-income settings, which will allow us to (6) estimate the full return on investment for such interventions and (7) guide the design of future chronic disease programs for health policy practice in our partner countries and beyond.

Geographic scope

  • India
  • Malawi
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka

Research consortium


  • Jürgen Maurer, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Perianayagam Arokiasamy, International Institute for Population Science, India
  • Pascal Bovet, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Shannon Malloney, IFMR-LEAD, India
  • James Mkandawire, Invest in Knowledge, Malawi
  • Sanjay Kumar Mohanty, International Institute for Population Science, India
  • Ravindra P. Rannan-Eliya, Institute for Health Policy, Sri Lanka
  • Orville Solon, UPecon Foundation, Philippines


  • Fabrice Kämpfen, University of Lausanne, Switzerland


  • University of Michigan
  • University of Chicago
  • The Alliance for Health Policy and System Research
  • Harvard University
  • P4H - the Global Network for Universal Health Coverage and Social Health Protection
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • World Health Organization
  • University of Southern California
  • Erasmus University 

Project website and links to P3

Further information on this content


Prof. Jürgen Maurer University of Lausanne Department of Economics Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC) Internef Dorigny 1015 Lausanne +41 21 692 36 64