Prof. Karl Blanchet

Designation: Director & Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

Professor Karl Blanchet is the Director of the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, and Professor in Humanitarian Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva.

Professor Blanchet has been working in health systems research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine since 2010 and was the co-founder and co-Director of the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre. He has a management and public health background and brings extensive experience in humanitarian contexts as a former relief worker and a researcher. 

Professor Blanchet’s research focuses on resilience and health systems issues in global health, specifically in post-conflict and conflict-affected countries. He has developed innovative research approaches based on complexity science and system thinking, and is currently focusing on Women, adolescent and Child Health in humanitarian settings. Karl is also developing a priority package of essential health services for countries such as Afghanistan and more generally for humanitarian crises.

Professor Blanchet is also the Academic Director of InZone, an academic project working in refugee camps.

Prof Blanchet is a member of the technical working group on Research on Global Health Emergencies at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. He is also a core member of the UHC2030 Technical Working Group on support to countries with fragile or challenging operating environments,  and a member of the WHO technical working group on Health Systems Assessment and the WHO technical working group on SRH in emergencies.

In early 2021 Prof. Blanchet has been nominated to represent the University of Geneva in the Steering Committee of the Geneva Hub for Education in Emergencies, a new initiative of the Swiss Government.

Professor Blanchet also gave an LSHTM TED Talk on health systems and complexity.

His 2020 Professor inaugural lecture on evidence in humanitarian public health can be found here.

Fields of interest

Karl is particularly interested in understanding the resilience of local health systems by introducing notions of system dynamics and complexity science.

Karl is currently working on several studies:

  • The development of priority healthcare packages in Afghanistan (Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).
  • The impact of attacks on health (Funded by the UK FCDO)
  • The use of social dynamics and agent-based modeling in health systems research (COSMIS Study) in Tanzania and Zambia Funded by the UK Medical Research Council).
  • The resilience of health systems during conflicts and disease outbreaks.
  • Sexual and reproductive health innovations in humanitarian crises (funded by ELRHA).
  • Management of diabetes and hypertension patients in Afghanistan (Funded by Novo Nordisk)

Professor Blanchet is a member of the editorial board of the BMC journal Health Research Policy and Systems and BMC Conflict and HealthHe is also a member of the Scientific Committee of the journal Humanitarian Alternatives and a reviewer for several scientific journals: The Lancet; BMJ; Health Policy and Planning, BMC Health Services; BMC Medicine; Social Science and Medicine; PLoS Medicine; Plos NTDs; BMC Health and Conflict; Medicine, Conflict and Survival; Disability and Rehabilitation.

Blanchet K; Ferozuddin F; Naeem AJJ; Farewar F; Saeedzai SA; Simmonds S (2019), Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 
Duclos D; Ekzayez A; Ghaddar F; Checchi F; Blanchet K (2019), Conflict and Health
Bhutta, Zulfiqar AGaffey, Michelle F; Blanchet, Karl; Waldman, RonAbbasi, Kamran; (2019) BMJ
Senyonjo, LauraAboe, AgathaBailey, RobinAgyemang, DavidMarfo, BenjaminWanye, SethSchmidt, ElenaAddy, JamesBlanchet, Karl (2019). Infectious Diseases of Poverty. 
Ben Farhat, JBlanchet, KJuul Bjertrup, PVeizis, APerrin, CCoulborn, RMMayaud, PCohuet, S; (2018) BMC Medicine
For a more extensive list of Professor Blanchet’s publications, please visit: