Dr Amir Hassan

Reader in International Health and Director of the Centre for Health in the Eastern Mediterranean (CHEM)

Amir has extensive experience in designing and implementing overseas training courses. He has conducted several projects on institutional capacity building in learning for health for both the health sector and for academic institutions.


My major role within LSTM over the last 5 years has been to establish a significant, stable external postgraduate teaching programme within institutions in the Arabic speaking world. Once initiated these programmes in the mid to long term are intended to expand from the teaching base into research and teaching.

In teaching and learning support, I design, develop and deliver educational initiatives ranging from programmes of study, at various levels, to full schemes of institutional development and capacity building. My work in this area is internationally known and well recognised in the eastern Mediterranean countries where it contributes to producing highly qualified health professionals in health systems management, in public health and in epidemiology who are providing leadership in reform and modernisation of the health sector and to evidence-based policy and decision-making and to knowledge-informed practice. Furthermore, my work, in institutional capacity building, is contributing to, and in some cases pioneering, establishment and assurance of provision of education of international academic standard and quality at the level of our partner institutions.

I have already made a significant contribution to establishing and expanding the LSTM external teaching programme. I am currently Director of seven MSc / Diploma / Postgraduate Certificate Programmes of External Teaching (these two years MSc degrees are offered by external partner institution in collaboration with LSTM; while LSTM accredit Diplomas and authenticates courses). My role involves directing needs assessment, scoping, curricula design and development, QA, approval and governance to the highest international academic standards; to oversee management of implementation, review, feedback and updates as well as contribute to teaching of courses. In addition, I serve as Director of Studies and contribute to teaching on LSTM and University of Liverpool postgraduate and undergraduate courses.

I also co-ordinate, design, run and contribute to numerous short courses, in healthcare management, epidemiology and research methods and in Health Impact Assessment (HIA). These have been offered on-site and/or externally overseas, using conventional as well as innovative task-based approaches.

I act as a consultant for WHO and the British Council and as educational adviser and reviewer for several universities and academic institutions in the Middle East.

My interest in sustainable, up-to-date and quality teaching and learning support focused my interest in institutional development and capacity building. I currently lead two large programmes overseas in the Centre of Strategic Health Studies (CSHS) in Syria; and the College of Public Health & Health Informatics, University of Health Sciences in Saudi Arabia.

My leading role, in these two programmes, involves designing, commissioning, supervising, finalising, approving products and outcomes for dissemination; additionally I advise on curriculum development and reviews, study skills and PDS.

Between 1999 and 2005, I designed and ran the British Council sponsored, Higher Education Link Programme with the Faculties of Medicine of the Universities of Sanaa and Aden in Yemen. The programme titled, 'Capacity building in l earning for health', covered a wide range of activities including staff development in teaching, research and personal development skills; coordinating  a joint PhD programme for ten members of staff of the two universities; coordinating a high profile mission to review and advise on medical education in Yemeni universities; supporting the Ministry of Health by providing training, applied research and advisory services in three key priority areas of communicable disease control, reproductive health and health services strengthening. Our partners, and the British Council, have invited me to prepare a second phase for 2009 to 2015 that will include collaborating institutions from Sudan and Syria.

In Yemen, I also advised and supported the Ministry of Public Health & Population (MOPH&P) to establish and resource a training facility in health care administration and management. I have recently been invited, by the MOPH&P and WHO, to lead efforts to strengthen and expand the training programme and capability of the health administration and management training facility to become a full fledged centre of training with appropriate resources, programmes and staff.

In Syria, I designed and provided academic and technical support to WHO in establishing and running the health systems management training project, at the Ministry of Health. As lead consultant, I continuously supported and helped the project to develop to a specialist programme and eventually School and then Centre of health Systems Management Studies that has now been integrated as the main Department of the Centre of Strategic Health Studies.

Currently, I am in negotiation with WHO, to help establish an Institute of Public Health for the Sudan Ministry of Health aiming to train to postgraduate level high quality public health workforce.

In addition to my overseas commitments, I am a member of LSTM Learning & Teaching Committee; Member of QA Committee of Learning & Teaching; Member of Programmes Board of Learning & Teaching; member of LSTM staff forum.

Externally, I served as Coordinator Higher Education Link programme with Sanaa and Aden universities, sponsored by the British Council; I am the only external member of Faculty Board, consisting of Dean and Heads of Departments, of the College of Public Health of the University of Health Sciences, Saudi Arabia; I am member of Management Board, including Director and Heads of Departments, of the Centre of Strategic Health Studies, Syria; I manage regular collaborative links with staff of other UK universities, such as LJMU and LSH&TM, as well as with European academic institutions, such as the Swiss Tropical Institute, Karolinska Institute and Centre of International Health of Bologna University.

I serve as line manager to the following Staff: 14 long term academic staff; and 7 non academic staff (based on-site i.e. at LSTM and off-site i.e. overseas); 22 short term staff recruited and managed throughout the year to mainly carry out academic work. The following briefly outline the place and nature of work of the Long term staff:

  • On-site: 4 academic and academic related staff (3 F-T and 1 P-T); P-T secretary.

  • On-site & off-site: 6 academic staff (P-T).

  • Off-site: 4 academic staff (F-T); 6 admin., finance, logistics and technical staff (F-T).

I provide academic leadership to those working within my programmes, and co-ordinate their work to ensure that programmes are delivered effectively and organise the work of my team by agreeing objectives and work plans. I contributing to the development of my team through the appraisal system and provide advice on personal development.

Technical Assistance & Impact on Policy

I develop research objectives, projects and proposals. I conduct individual or collaborative research projects. I identify sources of funding and contribute to the process of securing funds. I carry out independent research and act as principal investigator and project leader. I extend, transform and apply knowledge acquired from scholarship to teaching, research and appropriate guidance for action. I write and contribute to dissemination of research findings. I make presentations at national and international conferences and other similar events.

My work in Health Impact Assessment of development in selected representative countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region led to the WHO inviting me to organise the first regional conference in HIA; as well as commissioning me to write the WHO Regional Guidelines for HIA. In recognition of my HIA expertise, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, I won funding from DfID, for regional work, and from World Bank, for work in Syria, and from UNDP to work in Bahrain to produce evidence for informed policy, planning and practice.

My work in health systems research has led to informing policy and practice. I currently lead or collaborate in a number of research projects mainly focusing on quality of care. I have secured funds for my current research and I am negotiating significant grants for new research projects. I am now in a position where I am prioritising research and producing publications in the immediate future. While previously I concentrated on applied research for action on policy, decision-making and informed practice to help health care development. In addition to disseminating my research outcomes, future prioritising of peer-reviewed publication, should also help me to bring my academic profile, in publishing and disseminating research, up to my standing in education, consultancy and technical assistance as well as management and organisation.

As an international consultant, I carried out numerous consultancies and technical assistance missions for many international organisations, donor agencies and governments and country institutions. My work covered wide range of health systems issues in many countries in the Middles East, Asia and Africa. My CV provides detailed demonstration of my work in this area.

I have an established track record in securing grants and contracts as my CV demonstrate. I identify sources of funding, contribute to student recruitment, secure student placements, market the institution, facilitate out reach work, generate income, obtain consultancy projects and research funds, and build relationships for future activities. I currently have grants and contracts, of several millions sterling pounds, many competitively won and others granted on the basis of recognition of achievement and delivery of high quality products over sustained period of collaboration.

I am motivated and continue to be excited by the prospects for advancing knowledge and learning while making sustainable gains for health. Transferring knowledge and skills through teaching, and channelling this energy into new research projects is both ongoing challenge and reward.