Amy Barnes

Amy Barnes

Section of Public Health
School of Health and Related Research
University of Sheffield
Regent Court
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

Office: Room 2037, 2nd Floor, Regent Court

Tel: +44(0)114 222 0875
Fax: +44(0)114 222 0749

ORCiD: 0000-0002-8122-9792


With a background in geography, environment, international development and politics, I work at the interface between these disciplines and public health.

I trained in geography, environment and international development (1997-2001) and subsequently worked at Imperial College London (2002-2006) and the Natural Environment Research Council (2006-2007), before completing a PhD in Politics at the University of Sheffield on aid funding, partnership policy and health system governance in Zambia. I joined ScHARR in December 2010 as a Lecturer in Public Health (Policy).

Research Interests

My research interests include issues of power/politics, participation and partnership in policy processes; the linkages between space/place, community development and the wider determinants of health and wellbeing; collective action for health; and also complex/systems approaches to understanding policy. I am interested in both local and global health topics, and the inter-sections between the two. I am increasingly interested in participatory / community-based action research and closer working with community partners in and around Sheffield.

Teaching Interests

I teach on ScHARR's MPH on topics relating to health policy, politics and public health systems. I actively seek to integrate the learning from my research into my teaching practice; for example, developing a role play 'simulation' to help students explore the way in which different people, evidence bases, and political dynamics can shape policy relating to health and wellbeing.

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising research students in the following areas:

  • community development and public health
  • space/place, healthy communities/cities and sustainable development
  • policy action on wider determinants of health
  • systems approaches/complex policy evaluation

Professional Activities

  • External examiner, Queen Marys University (Global Health)

Research Projects

I am currently involved in projects exploring how citizens are involved in place-centred public health policy, touching on issues of community development, voice and inclusion. I am also involved in a theory-driven, co-produced implementation study of scaling up the 24/7 Basic Health Unit (BHU) strategy to provide round-the-clock maternity care in Punjab, Pakistan and am completing work in Ghana and Kenya on healthy food environment policy.

I recently completed the ‘Four Nations Study’ - a comparative systems review and policy analysis of public health across the four countries of the UK. I have also been involved in an evaluation of the Big Lottery's Big Local initiative in England, as part of team within the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research, to understand how collective community control might be generated within more disadvantaged communities in order to improve health and wellbeing.

I have also completed a project with partners in the UK, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa, exploring how African actors are involved in World Bank and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria performance-based financing initiatives for health.


Michelle Black, Amy Barnes, Susan Baxter, Claire Beynon, Mark Clowes, Mary Dallat, Alisha R Davies, Andrew Furber, Elizabeth Goyder, Catherine Jeffrey, Evangelos I Kritsotakis, Mark Strong. (2019) Learning across the UK: a review of public health systems and policy approaches to early child development since political devolution, Journal of Public Health.

Lewis S, Bambra C, Barnes A, Collins M, Egan M, Halliday E, Orton L, Powell K, Salway S, Townsend A (2018) Reframing 'participation' and 'inclusion' in public health policy and practice to address health inequalities: Evidence from a major resident-led neighbourhood improvement initiative, Health and Social Care in the Community

Barnes A et al. (2018) Four Nations Study - A comparative systems review and thematic policy analysis of public health across the four constituent countries of the UK. Research Report – FINAL Published version June 2018. Completed on behalf of the Association of the Directors of Public Health (ADPH). SEE ALSO:1)    Visual summary - Public Health Across the UK Nations - Policy and systems since national devolution; and 2) Public Health Sytems Framework.

Clark J, Barnes A, Gardiner C (2018) Reframing Global Palliative Care Advocacy for the Sustainable Development Goal Era: A Qualitative Study of the Views of International Palliative Care Experts. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.06.009.

Barnes A, Brown G and Harman S (2016) Understanding global health and development partnerships: Perspectives from African and global health system professionals, Social Science and Medicine, 159, pp. 22-29. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.04.033.

Clark J, Gardiner C and Barnes A (2016) International palliative care research in the context of global development: a systematic mapping review, BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2015-001008.

Barnes A, Brown G and Harman S (2015) Locating health diplomacy through African negotiations on performance-based funding in global health. Journal of Health Diplomacy 1(3).

Barnes A, Brown GW, Harman S. (2015) Global Politics of Health Reform in Africa: Performance, Participation and Policy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Barnes A, Parkhurst J. (2014) Can global health policy be depoliticised? A critique of global calls for evidence-based policy. In: (eds) Brown GW, Yamey G and Wamala S. The Handbook of Global Health Policy, Cambridge: Wiley-Blackwell.

Barnes A (with others) (2014) Global social policy digest - contributions on food and health. Global Social Policy, 14(1), 14(2) and 14(3). or

Brown GW, Barnes A, Harman S, Gruia M, Papamichail A. (2013) Annotated literature review: African actors, global health governance and performance-based funding Regional Network for Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa. EQUINET DISCUSSION PAPER 98. June 2013.

Barnes A and Brown GW (2011) The Idea of Partnership within the Millennium Development Goals: Context, Instrumentality and the Normative Demands of Partnership. Third World Quarterly. 31(2). 165-180. DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2011.543821.

Barnes A and Brown GW. (2011) The Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Tuberculosis and Malaria: Expertise, Accountability and the Depoliticisation of Global Health Governance. In O Williams & S Rushton (eds) Global Health Partnerships and Private Foundations: New Frontiers in Health and Health Governance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Barnes A. (2011) The managerial logic and governance effects of performance-based funding: A critique of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in Zambia. Paper presented at the International Conference on Global Health Governance & African Health Systems. Centre for African Studies. University of Edinburgh. 31 May 2011.

Research Grants

MRC Health Systems Research Initiative (UK); Scaling up the 24/7 Basic Health Unit (BHU) strategy to provide round-the-clock maternity care in Punjab, Pakistan: A theory-driven, co-produced implementation study; PI: S Salway; £781, 477; 2018-2022; Role: Co-I.

Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group - BeCancerSafe programme (UK) Evaluating Social Movement in Cancer Prevention, Awareness and Support for South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire; PI: J Harris; £49,000; 2018-2019. Role: Co-PI

Health Foundation (UK); Comparative systems review and thematic policy analysis of public health across the four constituent countries of the UK; £79,986; 2017. Role: PI

MRC/GCRF NCD Foundation Award (UK); Dietary transitions in African cities: leveraging evidence for interventions and policy to prevent diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs); PI: M Holdsworth; £597,850; 2017-2019; Role: Co-I.

South Yorkshire Housing Association (UK); Evaluating Co:Create – empowering service users through co-production; PI: J Harris Co-PI: A Barnes; University of Sheffield; £19,000; 2016-2019. Role: Co-PI/Res.

World University Network Research Development Fund; Health promoting solutions to climate change; PI R. Maddison, A. Woodward (Auckland); £69,061; 2014-2016. Role: Res.

NIHR School for Public Health Research (UK); Communities in Control Study (long-term evaluation of a community empowerment initiative); Main PI: J Popay, LiLAC ScHARR-PI: S Salway, University of Sheffield; £268,136 (to the School of Health & Related Research); 2013-2017. Role: Co-I/Res.

EQUINET/IDRC (Canada) Global Health Diplomacy Grant (role and participation of African actors in global health policy); PI: G Brown Co-PI: A Barnes, University of Sheffield. $60,000; 2012-2013. Role: Co-PI/Res.