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 an academic background in geography, environment and development, and politics I work at the interface between these disciplines and public health.

Having completed my undergraduate and masters degrees in Manchester, I subsequently worked in university and research management roles (at Imperial College London and the Natural Environment Research Council), before completing a PhD in Politics at the University of Sheffield on aid policy and health system governance in Zambia.

I joined ScHARR in December 2010 as a Lecturer in Public Health.

Research Interests

My UK and international research interests span the following topics: community-based participatory research for health; political literacy, power and participation in healthy public policy to address wider determinants of health; community action and wider determinants of health; international aid and the equitable governance of public health systems; and also systems approaches to evaluating complex policy action.

Teaching Interests

I teach on ScHARR's MPH on health policy, politics and public health systems. I try to ensure that my teaching supports engaged learning: students actively participating in the learning process and with me taking the role of 'facilitator', guiding students towards desired goals. Where possible, I try to help students participate in 'real-life' activities, through collaborative working.

PhD Supervision

I have successfully supervised 3 research students to completion; another of my students has a viva pending. I am currently supervising 2 other students whose projects focus on asset-based approaches to health promotion and lived experiences of welfare reform/universal credit.

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

  • community action, health and sustainable development
  • healthy public policy/health-in-all policies (HiAP)
  • systems approaches/complex policy evaluation

Professional Activities

I have been an external examiner at Queen Mary University of London (Global Health) and the University of Liverpool.

Research Projects

My work in the UK focuses on how different people participate in the development of healthy public policy to address wider determinants of health, focusing on issues of community development, voice and inclusion.

My international work focuses on aid and policy processes for equitable governance of public health systems. I am currently working on 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. I am also completing work with partners in Ghana and Kenya on healthy food environment policy, supporting the use of the INFORMAS Food EPI index to assess government policy action.

I recently completed the ‘Four Nations Study’ - as part of a team working with the Association of the Directors of Public Health: a comparative systems review and policy analysis of public health across the four countries of the UK. I have also completed work on a long-term evaluation of a community empowerment initiative in England Big Lottery's Big Local initiative as part of team within the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research, to understand how communities develop collective capabilities to exert control and influence in ways that could improve health and wellbeing.

I have also completed a project on performance-based financing initiatives for health, working with partners in the UK, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa.


Cassetti, V, Powell, K, Barnes, Amy and Sanders, T (2019) A systematic scoping review of asset-based approaches to promote health in communities: development of a framework.  Global Health Promotion.

Black, M, Barnes, Amy, et al (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. Journal of Public Health.

Lewis, S, Bambra, C, Barnes, Amy, et al (2018) Reframing 'participation' and 'inclusion' in public health policy and practice to address health inequalities: Evidence from a major resident-led neighbourhood improvement initiative, 21:1, 199-206.  Health and Social Care in the Community.

Barnes, Amy 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 Systems Framework.

Clark, J, Barnes, Amy, 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.

Barnes, Amy, 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.

Clark, J, Gardiner, C and Barnes Amy (2016) International palliative care research in the context of global development: a systematic mapping review, BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care.

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

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

Brown, GW, Barnes, Amy, et al (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, Amy 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.

Barnes, Amy 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.

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-I.

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.

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 and Related Research); 2013-2017. Role: Co-I/Res.

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.

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