Thomas Bossart

Thomas Bossert

Senior Lecturer on Global Health Policy

665 Huntington Avenue
Building I, Room 1207
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617.432.1148

Other Affiliations

Director of International Health Systems Program

International Health Systems Program – An interdisciplinary program which supports research, training and technical assistance on economics, politics, organizational and financing issues of health systems and health reform, including decentralization of health systems, public/private mix, political and policy analysis of reform processes, and institutional and governance reforms.  Currently responsible for Harvard School of Public Health activities in Albertina Sisula Executive Leadership Program in Health which provides executive training, policy analysis and research in collaboration with the University of Fort Hare, University of Pretoria and the Department of Health in South Africa.


Ph.D., 1976, University of Wisconsin
A.B., 1968, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School


Bossert T. “Decentralization of Health Systems: Challenges and Global Issues of the Twenty-First Century” Chapter 12 in Krishna Regmi, ed. Decentralizing Health Services (Springer, 2014)

Mitchell, A.; Bossert, T.J. “Politics and Governance for Human Resources for Health” Chapter 7 in Soucat, Agnes; Scheffler, Richard; and Adhanom Ghebreyesus,Tedros eds, The Labor Market for Health Workers in Africa: A New Look at the Crisis, Washington DC: World Bank 2013; pp. 109-127.

Brinkerhoff D. and Bossert T. “Health Governance: Principal Agent Linkages and Health System Strengthening” an introductory article for a symposium of three case studies in Health Policy and Planning 2013; 1-9

Farshad Farzadfar, Christopher J L Murray, Emmanuela Gakidou, Thomas Bossert, Hengameh Namdaritabar, Siamak Alikhani, Ghobad Moradi,,Alireza Delavari, Hamidreza Jamshidi, Majid Ezzati. “Effectiveness of diabetes and hypertension management by rural primary health-care workers (Behvarz workers) in Iran: a nationally representative observational study.” Lancet 2011; 378:

Bossert T. “Commentary: Health Systems” Health Policy and Planning 2011: 1-3 doi: 10.1093/heapol/czr008

Mitchell, A, Mahal, A., Bossert,T. “Health care utilization in Rural Andhra Pradesh’, Economic and Political Weekly, India January 29, 2011 vol xlvi no 5

Bossert T., Mitchell A. “Health sector decentralization and local decision-making:
Decision space, institutional capacities and accountability in Pakistan” Social Science and Medicine 72 (2011) 39-48

Bossert T., Ono T. “Finding Affordable Health Workforce Targets in Low Income Countries”  Health Affairs (2010) 29/7: 1379-85. 

Mitchell, A., Bossert T. “Decentralization, Governance and Health System Performance: “Where you stand depends on where you sit”” Development Policy Review 28 (6) November 2010 pp. 669-691

Bossert T., “Institutional Capacities and Decentralization of Health Systems in Latin America: Need for More Evidence” Americas Quarterly  Summer 2010

Brune, N. and Bossert T. “Building Social Capital in Post-Conflict Communities: Evidence from Nicaragua” Social Science and Medicine, 68 (2009) 885-893.

Bossert T., Meekers D. Brief Guide to Publishing.Washington DC.: Global Health Fellows Program (USAID Project) 2009

Bossert. T., Mitchell A., Mazumdar S, Belli P. “Decentralization of Health in the Indian State ofWest Bengal: Analysis of Decision Space, Capacities and Accountability” Report to the World Bank and Government ofIndia.  September 2009

Bossert. T., Mitchell A., Blanchet N. “Governance and Decentralization of Health Systems in Vietnam: Analysis of Provincial Organization, Decision Space/Accountability and Capacity”  Report to World Bank and Government ofVietnam. September 2009

Bossert T. Mitchell A, Valladares Cardona R, Bowser D. “Resource Allocation Options for Financing in the Health Sector: International Experience and Lessons forGuatemala”  Report for Proyecto Dialogo para la Inversión Social enGuatemala(Dialogue for Social Investment inGuatemala) (USAID)Guatemala.  June 2009

Bossert T. Mitchell A “Background note on sectoral decentralization and local governance for an economic and sectorwork(ESW):Health Sector.” World Bank, March 2009

Bossert T, Blanchet N. “Social Capital and Community Participation and Health: A Review for Health Planners in Andhra Pradesh” Report for Andhra Pradesh Health Sector Reform Program (DFID) February 2009

Bossert T. “Decentralization and Governance in Health”,Bethesda: Health Systems 20/20 Project, June 2008.

Brinkerhoff, D. and Bossert T. “Governance: Concepts, Experience and Program Options”,Bethesda: Health Systems 20/20 Project, February 2008

Mitchell, A., Bossert, T. Yipp, W., Mollahaliloglu, S. “Do more health workers mean higher immunization coverage? Evidence from Turkey,” Human Resources in Health, 2008, 6:29.

Bossert T. and Baernighausen T, Mitchell A. and Bowser D. Assessing Financing, Education and Management for Strategic Planning for Human Resources in Health. Geneva: World Health Organization 2007

Bossert T. and Bowser D and Amenyah J. “Is decentralization good for logistics systems? Evidence on essential medicine logistics from Ghana and Guatemala,” Health Policy and Planning (2007) 22:73-82

Mitchell, A. and Bossert, T. “Measuring Dimensions of Social Capital: Evidence from Surveys in Poor Communities in Nicaragua” Social Science and Medicine  2006, (64), pp. 50-63 Mello, M, Powlowski M and Bossert, T. “The Role of Law in Public Health: The Case of Family Planning in the Philippines”, Social Science and Medicine 2006, 63 (2), pp. 384-396.

Bossert, T. and Larrañaga O, Giedion U, Arbelaez J, and Bowser D. “Decentralization and Equity of Resource Allocation: Evidence from Colombia and Chile.” Bulletin of World Health Organization, 2003, 81 (2) pp. 95-100

Bossert T. and Chitah, Mukosha Bona and Bowser, Diana. “Decentralization Of The Health System In Zambia: Resource Allocation And District Performance” Health Policy And Planning 2003 18(4): 357-369

Bossert T. and Joel Beauvais “Decentralization of Health Systems in Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and the Philippines: A Comparative Analysis of Decision Space” in Health Policy and Planning, December 2001

Bossert T. “La investigación sobre reformas del sector salud en América Latina desde la perspectiva de las ciencias políticas” in Celia Almeida, Roberto Bazzani and Patricia Pittman, eds. Investigació sobre Reformas del Sector Salud en América Latina y el Caribe: Reflexiones sobre sus Contribuciones al Desarrollo de Políticas Washington DC, Organizacíon Panamericana de la Salud, Abril 2001

Bossert T. , Larrañaga O., and Ruiz Meir F. “Decentralization of Health Systems in Latin America” Pan American Journal of Public Health July August 2000 Year 79, Vol 8, Nos ½, pp. 84-92.

Bossert T. “Analyzing the Decentralization of Health Systems in Developing Countries: Decision Space, Innovation and Performance,” Social Science and Medicine, November 1998.

Bossert T., “Transformations of Ministries of Health in the Era of Health Reform: the Case of Colombia,” Health Policy and Planning, March, 1998.

Bossert T., Wlodarczyk C. and Koprowska I. ” Unpredictable Politics: Policy Process of Health Reform in Poland.” Harvard & Jagiellonain Consortium for Health, Data for Decision Making Project Report 74, January 2000. (

Bossert T. “Privatization and Payments: Lessons for Poland from Chile and Colombia,” Data for Decision Making Project Report 77, March 2000. (

Bossert T. “Decentralization of Health Systems: Chile, Colombia and Bolivia.” Latin American and Caribbean Regional Health Sector Reform Initiative Report 29, June 2000. )

Bossert T. and González Rossetti A. “Enhancing the Political Feasibility of Health Reform: A Comparative Analysis of Chile, Colombia and Mexico.” Latin American and Caribbean Regional Health Sector Reform Initiative Report 36, June 2000.