The Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group (CDPRG) is a multidisciplinary team within the Department of Global Health & Development in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.The Group is based in Bangkok, Thailand, and conducts research across the SE Asia region, and beyond. It provides a focus of expertise on the diverse public health problems associated with communicable disease control internationally and carries out research that is in support of and for policy reform.

Prof Richard Coker with Prof Vonthanak Saphonn, Rector of UHS, Cambodia. He is accepting a Memorandum of Understanding between UHS and LSHTM on behalf of Prof Peter Piot, Director of LSHTM. May 2015. 

Congratulations to Richard Coker who has received a confirmed letter from the Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, for his Adjunct Professor position. 

Prof Richard Coker's talk session "Challenges to TB Control: Lessons from the field"at Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University,  on 24 September 2014

Jointly organised by:

1. Communicable Diseases Policy Research Group (CDPRG), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

2. Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University 

Video on "Research in Cambodia and Indonesia protects the world from disease threats"

Interview with Dr. James Rudge about his team's research in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Video on "Influenza: Preparing for the next pandemic"

Tom Drake and Prof Richard Coker discuss pandemic influenza mitigation measures as they affect Southeast Asia, a region considered by many to be the front line of any future battle against the disease.



8 July 2016

Paper entitled "Economic interventions to improve population health: a scoping study of systematic reviews" has been published in BMC Public Health.

Mishal S. Khan, Bernie Y. Guan, Jananie Audimulam, Francisco Cervero Liceras, Richard J. Coker and Joanne Yoong authored the paper entitled "Economic interventions to improve population health: a scoping study of systematic reviews" which has been published in BMC Public Health. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3119-5.



Recognizing the close relationship between poverty and health, national program managers, policy-makers and donors are increasingly including economic interventions as part of their core strategies to improve population health. However, there is often confusion among stakeholders about the definitions and operational differences between distinct types of economic interventions and financial instruments, which can lead to important differences in interpretation and expectations.


We conducted a scoping study to define and clarify concepts underlying key economic interventions - price interventions (taxes and subsidies), income transfer programs, incentive programs, livelihood support programs and health-related financial services – and map the evidence currently available from systematic reviews.


We identified 195 systematic reviews on economic interventions published between 2005 and July 2015. Overall, there was an increase in the number of reviews published after 2010. The majority of reviews focused on price interventions, income transfer programs and incentive programs, with much less evidence available from systematic reviews on livelihood support programs and health-related financial services. We also identified a lack of evidence on: health outcomes in low income countries; unintended or perverse outcomes; implementation challenges; scalability and cost-effectiveness of economic interventions.


We conclude that while more research is clearly needed to assess suitability and effectiveness of economic interventions in different contexts, before interventions are tested and further systematic reviews conducted, a consistent and accurate understanding of the fundamental differences in terminology and approaches is essential among researchers, public health policy makers and program planners.

The paper is available online here.