Research Fellow


Division: Institute for Global Health and Development

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Karin Diaconu (PhD, MSc, BA) is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Global Health and Development.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning

Karin Diaconu is a health scientist particularly interested in health service delivery and health system function in low- and middle-income countries and humanitarian settings, including evaluation of interventions and service delivery initiatives via mixed-method approaches accounting for dynamic interactions and complexity. Karin is also interested in priority-setting and the role of community-health system relationship strengthening in such conditions.

Professional Social Media:

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Visiting lecturer at the University of Birmingham (Principles of Health Technology Assessment, Introduction to Public Health in Low and Middle Income Countries)

Karin is currently one of the research fellows active in the Research Centre for Health in Situations of Fragility, focused primarily on supporting research in the Middle East, including mixed-method cross-sectional evaluations of mental health, diabetes and hypertensive care delivery and uptake among vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian populations in Lebanon.

She is additionally the lead analyst for a clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a provider-targeted performance-based financing scheme for strengthening tuberculosis management in Georgia and further involved in research focused on the development of whole systems’ interventions for improving tuberculosis infection prevention and control in South Africa, development and evaluation of innovative interventions for addressing stigmatizing skin conditions in Liberia, men’s health seeking and literacy in relation to HIV and cardiovascular disease in Mozambique, and the resilience of the UNRWA health system against the backdrop of the Syria conflict.

Active research interests

Health service delivery, humanitarian settings, community capacities during/post humanitarian crisis, low- and middle-income countries, health technology assessment, priority-setting.

Research Methods

Systems dynamics (group model building, causal loop and stock and flow model development, testing and validation), systematic and other literature reviews (scoping, quick evidence reviews), qualitative study design and implementation, statistics (multilevel generalized linear models, Cox regression modelling for survival analysis), health economic modelling for cost-effectiveness analysis in low-income countries.


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

A Household Yeast Sensor for Cholera

NIH – Grant supporting development of novel cholera biosensor:

This work supports colleagues at Columbia University in the development of an innovative product for cholera surveillance and explores the product’s adoption, impact and cost-effectiveness when used in humanitarian- and low-resource settings.

System resilience in UNRWA health provision to Palestine refugees displaced by the Syria crisis (Health Systems Resilience)

This research will focus on the key vulnerabilities of UNRWA health systems in the face of disruptions associated with the displacement of Palestine refugees registered in Syria (PRS).

This research project is funded by Elrha’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Programme which aims to improve health outcomes by strengthening the evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises. Visit  for more information.

The R2HC programme is funded equally by the Wellcome Trust and DFID, with Elrha overseeing the programme’s execution and management.

Find out more about Health Systems Resilience

Results4TB: Designing and evaluating provider results-based financing for tuberculosis care in Georgia: understanding costs, mechanisms of effect and impact

This 4-year project will help design a pilot results-based financing (RBF) scheme with Georgian policy-makers and programme managers, examine its impact and cost effectiveness and give further evidence to RBF and TB programming around the globe.

Find out more about Results4TB

Karin currently contributes to Masters level modules in Global Public Health and Research Proposal Development and Writing, as well as PhD level training modules for the Institute.