Aims of PAW

In September 2017 the Punching Above their Weight research network was formed to advance thinking and research about why some countries do much better or much worse in terms of life expectancy than would be predicted by their economic status. It builds on previous research that has focused primarily on health sector performance, examining more closely the political, social, environmental and economic processes that drive good or poor performance in promoting population health and health equity.

PAW Members

Prof Fran Baum, Director, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University of South Australia, Member People’s Health Movement Global Steering Council

Prof David Sanders, Emeritus Professor, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, Member People’s Health Movement Global Steering Council

Prof Carlos Alvarez-Dardet, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Observatory of public policies and health, Center for Research in Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Alicante

Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, General Secretary of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka

Prof Kedar Baral, Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal

Dr Paulin Basinga, Deputy Director of Integrated Delivery Country Primary Health Care. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr Mary Bassett, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Prof David M Bishai, Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University

Dr Mickey Chopra, Lead Service Delivery Specialist, World Bank

Dr Toni Delany-Crowe, Research Fellow, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University of South Australia

Dr Toby Freeman, Senior Research Fellow, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University of South Australia

Prof Sharon Friel, Director School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and Professor of Health Equity, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Australian National University

Prof Elsa Giugliani, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and Child Care, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

Prof Hideki Hashimoto, Health Economics and Epidemiology Research, School of Public Health, University of Tokyo

Prof Jennie Popay, Professor of Sociology and Public Health at the Division of Health Research, Lancaster University

Prof James Macinko, Department of Community Health Sciences and Department of Health Policy and Management, University of California

Prof Martin McKee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor of European Public Health

Dr Connie Musolino, Research Officer, Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University of South Australia

A/Prof Huong Thanh Nguyen, Faculty of Social Sciences, Hanoi School of Public Health

Ms Nikki Schaay,Senior Researcher, School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape

A/Prof Orielle Solar, Doctor. Researcher at The Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO).
Assistant Professor at School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile

Dr Sundararaman (Sundar) Thiagarajan, Dean, School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai

Origins of Network

The PAW members established the network during an international research meeting in Bellagio, Italy. The meeting was titled ‘Punching above their weight: Explaining why some countries have longer life expectancies than predicted by their income level’ and it was held between the 28th August to the 1st of September 2017. The meeting was the result of a successful Rockefeller Foundation application, organised by Prof. Fran Baum from the Southgate Institute, Flinders University and Prof. David Sanders, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

The meeting brought together 21 academics, civil society actors, and policy makers from 13 countries to design research to analyse the factors that assist a country to punch above its weight in terms of life expectancy relative to national income.

A wide range of conceptual issues and research methods were explored during the meeting, and the positive case studies of Rwanda, Vietnam, Nepal, and Spain were considered. During the meeting a series of broad hypotheses were developed about how public policy action in a range of sectors may address the social, economic and political determinants of health, thereby, influencing the ability of countries to produce better than expected life expectancy relative to national income. Deeper understanding of the role of civil society in advocating for policy changes that are likely to advance health and wellbeing was also generated among the group.

The research questions and draft methodology that were developed during the meeting are now being used as a basis for multiple grant applications that will fund future work.

Youtube Channel on presentations from the network meeting

There is a YouTube Channel featuring several of the presentations from Bellagio you can view here including country analyses on Nepal, Vietnam and Sri Lanka:

 Contact Us

For more information contact the Southgate Institute at enquiries.southgateinstitute@flinders.edu.au

+61 8 7221 8410