Dr Sarah Louise Barber 

Director of WHO Centre for Health Development

Dr Sarah Louise Barber is a health economist and policy specialist, and holds doctorate and post-doctorate qualifications from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, focusing on economic evaluation. Before becoming Director of the WHO Kobe Centre, she worked on strategic policy issues with the World Health Organization, including as Senior Health Policy Advisor in the Office of the Regional Director for Africa, WHO Representative to South Africa, Team Leader for Health Systems Development in China, and Health Policy Advisor in Indonesia and Cambodia. Prior to working with WHO in China, she was managing evaluation research at the University of California Berkeley’s Institute of Business and Economic Research, and the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico.

In South Africa, China, Indonesia, and Mexico, she developed programs of technical cooperation and research to advance reforms for the progressive realization of universal health coverage. Over the past 25 years, she has published widely on diverse topics in health economics and policy analysis, including conditional cash transfers, price setting in health services, human resources, insurance and provider payment reforms, quality of care, policies for essential medicines, monitoring and evaluation, migration, and fiscal policies.

Selected publications

Barber, Sarah L, van Gool, Kees, Wise, Sarah. et al. (‎2021)‎. Pricing long-term care for older persons. World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/344505. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

Barber S.L., Ong P., Han Z.A. Long-Term Care in Ageing Populations. In: Haring R., Kickbusch I., Ganten D., Moeti M. (eds) Handbook of Global Health. Springer, Cham. 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-05325-3_65-1 LTC chapter download

Barber, Sarah L., Lorenzoni, Luca & Roubal, Tomáš. (‎2020)‎. Price setting and regulation in health services. World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/331964. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

Barber SL, Lorenzoni L, Ong P. Price setting and price regulation in health care: lessons for advancing universal health coverage. WHO Centre for Health Development (Kobe, Japan), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 2019 https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/325547 License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

Barber SL, O'Dougherty S, Vinyals Torres L, Tsilaajav T, Ong P. Other considerations than: how much will universal health coverage cost? Bulletin of the World Health Organization 98(2):95-99: 2020. http://dx.doi.org/10.2471/BLT.19.238915

Wang X, Chen Y, Akl E, Ana Marušić A, Tokalić R, Qaseem A, Claire G, Ahmed F, Falck-Ytter Y, Soo Lee M, Siedler M, Barber S, Zhang M, Chan ESY, Yang K, Norris SL, The RIGHT working group. Development of Reporting Items for Patient/Public Version of Guidelines: RIGHT-PVG. BMJ Open 9(3): 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023147

Barber SL, Kumar A, Roubal T, Colombo F, Lorenzoni L. Harnessing the private health sector by using prices as a policy instrument: Lessons learned from South Africa. Health Policy 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29622381 https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/SA.pdf

Barber SL, Rosenberg M. Ageing and Universal Health Coverage: Implications for the Asia Pacific Region. Journal of Health Systems & Reform, August 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23288604.2017.1348320

Cardoso R, Zarin W, Nincic V, Barber SL et al. “Evaluative Reports on Medical Malpractice Policies in Obstetrics: a rapid review.” Systematic Reviews. 2017;6: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586050/pdf/13643_2017_Article_569.pdf   

Barber SL, Borowitz M, Bekedam H, Ma J. “The hospital of the future in China: China’s reform of public hospitals and trends from industrialized countries.” Health Policy and Planning 2013 https://academic.oup.com/heapol/article/29/3/367/582818

Meng Q, Xu L, Zhang Y, Ying X, Jun G, Xu K, Boerma JT, Barber SL. “Trends in access to health services and financial protection in China between 2003 and 2011: Results from the National Health Services Surveys.” Lancet (Vol 379): 2012: 805-14; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(12)6027…

Barber SL, Yao L. “The development and current status of health insurance programs in China.” International Health Policy and Management, Nov 2011; https://academic.oup.com/heapol/article/29/3/367/582818

Barber SL, Gertler PJ. “Empowering women: How Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program raised prenatal care quality and birth weight.” Journal of Development Effectiveness 2010. Vol. 2, No. 1, March 2010, 51–73; https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/DE_.barber-ger…

Barber SL, Ahsan A. “The Tobacco Excise System in Indonesia: Hindering Effective Tobacco Control for Health.” Journal of Public Health Policy 2009: 30 (2): 208–225; https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/Tulisan%2Bdi%2…

Barber SL, Gertler PJ. “Empowering Women to Obtain High Quality Care: Evidence from an evaluation of Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program.” Health Policy and Planning. 2009 Jan;24(1):18-25.; https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czn039

Barber SL, Bertozzi S, Gertler PJ. “Variations in prenatal care quality for the rural poor in Mexico.” Health Affairs 26 (2): 2007: w310-w323. https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/mexico.pdf

Barber SL, Gertler PJ, Harimurti P. “Differences in access to quality outpatient care in Indonesia: An analysis by clinic settings, regions, and household wealth.” Health Affairs 26 (2): 2007: w352-w356. https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/HRquality_indo…

Barber S, Adioetomo SM, Ahsan A, Setyonaluri D. Tobacco Economics in Indonesia. Paris: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease; 2008. https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/tobacco_Barber… based on the Tobacco Sourcebook https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/tobaccosourceb…

Achadi A, Soerojo W, Barber S. The relevance and prospects of advancing tobacco control in Indonesia. Health Policy 72 (2005) 333–349 https://extranet.who.int/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/relevance.pdf

Economic benefits of well-designed health care reforms for Universal Health Coverage. World Health Organization :/kobe_centre/sites/default/files/EconomicBenefits_UHC.pdf