Prof. Karl Blanchet

Designation: Professor, //Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva // Director of the Centre

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.

Before joining the University of Geneva, Professor Blanchet worked 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.

Professor Blanchet’s research focuses on system 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 focuses on Women, adolescents and Child Health in humanitarian settings. Karl is also developing a priority package of essential health services for countries like Afghanistan and, more generally, for humanitarian crises. Karl Blanchet was one of the coPI of the Lancet Series on Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings.

Professor Blanchet is also the Academic Director of InZone, a University of Geneva academic project offering university courses for refugee populations.

Prof Blanchet is also 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 to support countries with fragile or challenging operating environments. He is also 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 was 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:

Professor Blanchet is a member of the editorial board of the BMC journal Health Research Policy and Systemsand BMCConflict and Health. He 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., Rubinstein, L., Taithe, B. et al. “Have attacks on healthcare become the new normal? a public health call to action for armed conflicts before it is too late“. Confl Health 17, 56 (2023).

Ismail SA, Tomoaia-Cotisel A, Noubani A, Borghi J.,Blanchet K. “Resilience in childhood vaccination: analysing delivery system responses to shocks in Lebanon“. BMJ Global Health 2023;8:e012399.

Abudayya, A., K. Abu Ghali, S. Hargreaves, K. Blanchet, E. Bjertness, A. S. Bhopal, C. Agyemang, G. Holmboe-Ottersen, R. S. Bhopal, A. Krasnik, S. Dias, L. Lien, A. Kapilashrami and B. N. Kumar “An urgent call to save and protect lives of vulnerable populations in the Gaza Strip.” The Lancet Regional Health – Europe, 21 October 2023.

Ning Wang, Nico Mutzner, Karl Blanchet, Societal acceptance of urban drones: A scoping literature review, Technology in Society, Volume 75, 2023, 102377.

Saeedzai SA, Blanchet K, Alwan A, et al.. Lessons from the development process of the Afghanistan integrated package of essential health services.
BMJ Global Health 2023;8:e012508.

Dafallah, A., Elmahi, O.K.O., Ibrahim, M.E. Blanchet, K.. Destruction, disruption and disaster: Sudan’s health system amidst armed conflictConflict and Health 17, 43 (2023).

Witter, S., S. Thomas, S. M. Topp, E. Barasa, M. Chopra, D. Cobos, K. Blanchet, G. Teddy, R. Atun and A. Ager (2023). “Health system resilience: a critical review and reconceptualisation.” The Lancet Global Health 11(9): e1454-e1458.

Zhang, W., Eike, D., Pasquero, L., Mahieu, A., Staderini, N., Blanchet, K., Hossein, M. (2023) Mandatory reporting of sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian settings: A qualitative analysis of international guidelines for humanitarian practitioners and scoping review of existing evidence, Global Journal of Medicine and Public Health (GJMEDPH), Special issue 2023.

Adolescent wellbeing in humanitarian and fragile settings: moving beyond rhetoric. The BMJ 2023;380:e068280 . Neha S Singh, Jocelyn DeJong, Kimberley Popple, Chi-Chi Undie, Rozane El Masri, Ritah Bakesiima, Mariana Calderon-Jaramillo, Ellen Peprah, Saha Naseri, Nadine Cornier, Karl Blanchet.

“Afghan women are essential to humanitarian NGO work.” The Lancet Global Health.. Essar, M. Y., N. Raufi, M. G. Head, A. Nemat, A. Bahez, K. Blanchet and J. Shah.

“The Afghan population needs a national health system to survive and continued support from international donors”.. Karl Blanchet, Fouzia Shafique. The Lancet Regional Health–Europe 25 (2023).

Decision-making processes for essential packages of health services: experience from six countries. Rob Baltussen, Omar Mwalim, Karl Blanchet, Manuel Carballo, Getachew Teshome Eregata, Alemayehu Hailu, Maryam Huda, Mohamed Jama, Kjell Arne Johansson, Teri Reynolds, Wajeeha Raza, Jacque Mallender, Reza Majdzadeh. BMJ Global Health 8 (Suppl 1), e010704 (2023).

Country readiness and prerequisites for successful design and transition to implementation of essential packages of health services: experience from six countries. Ala Alwan, Reza Majdzadeh, Gavin Yamey, Karl Blanchet, Alemayehu Hailu, Mohamed Jama, Kjell Arne Johansson, Mohammed Yusuf Ahmed Musa, Omar Mwalim, Ole Frithjof Norheim, Najibullah Safi, Sameen Siddiqi, Raza Zaidi. BMJ Global Health 8 (Suppl 1), e010720. (2023)

Auditing the quality of epidemic decision-making in Somalia: a pilot evaluation. A Warsame, A Ore, A Azad, F Hassan, K Blanchet, J Palmer, F Checchi. BMJ open 13 (1), e065122. (2023)

How to do (or not to do)… using causal loop diagrams for health system research in low and middle-income settings, Health policy and planning 37 (10), 1328-1336, Rachel Cassidy, Josephine Borghi, Agnes Rwashana Semwanga, Peter Binyaruka, Neha S Singh, Karl Blanchet (2022)

Realistic evaluation of the Integrated electronic Diagnosis Approach (IeDA) for the management of childhood illnesses at primary health facilities in Burkina Faso, International Journal of Health Policy and Management, Karl Blanchet, Vincent-Paul Sanon, Sophie Sarrassat, Arsène Satouro Somé (2022)

‘Re-Evaluating our Knowledge of Health System Resilience During COVID-19: Lessons From the First Two Years of the Pandemic, International Journal of Health Policy and Management, (), pp. -.Saulnier, D., Duchenko, A., Ottilie-Kovelman, S., Tediosi, F., Blanchet, K. (2022).

Lancet Migration European Regional Hub: Working together towards inclusive, evidence-based outcomes for promoting and protecting the health of migrants in the European Region. Rosemary James, Karl Blanchet, Bernadette Nirmal Kumar. Lancet Regional Health – Europe. December 2022.

Framing rehabilitation through health policy and systems research: priorities for strengthening rehabilitation. Alarcos Cieza, Aku Kwamie, Qhayiya Magaqa, Nino Paichadze, Carla Sabariego, Karl Blanchet, Nukhba Zia, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani, Abdul Ghaffar & Bente Mikkelsen. BMC Health Research Policy and Systems, September 2022.

Health systems resilience in practice: a scoping review to identify strategies for building resilience. Lena Forsgren, Fabrizio Tediosi, Karl Blanchet & Dell D Saulnier. BMC Health Services Research, September 2022.

Time to reconcile migration and health in Europe. Blanchet Karl, The Lancet Regional Health Europe, October 2022.

Conceptualising and assessing health system resilience to shocks: a cross-disciplinary view. Sharif A. Ismail, Sadie Bell, Zaid Chalabi, Fouad M. Fouad, Reinhard Mechler, Andrada Tomoaia-Cotisel, Karl Blanchet, Josephine Borghi. Wellcome Open Research, May 2022.

Meeting the health needs of displaced people fleeing Ukraine: Drawing on existing technical guidance and evidence. Bernadette N.Kumar, Rosemary James, SallyHargreaves, Kayvan Bozorgmehr, Davide Mosca, Seyed-Moeen Hosseinalipour, Khawla Nasser AlDeen Chrysanthi Tatsi, Reem Mussa, Apostolos Veizis, Daniela Kállayová, Karl Blanchet, Rita Sá Machado, Miriam Orcutt, Santino Severoni. The Lancet, 7 May 2022.

The development of Afghanistan’s Integrated Package of Essential Health Services: Evidence, expertise and ethics in a priority-setting process. Isabelle L. Lange Ferozuddin Feroz Ahmad Jan Naeem Sayed Ataullah Saeedzai, Fatima Arifi, Neha Singh, Karl Blanchet. Social Science & Medicine, May 2022.

Chronic NCD care in crises: A qualitative study of global experts’ perspectives on models of care for hypertension and diabetes in humanitarian settings, Éimhín Ansbro, Rita Issa, Ruth Willis, Karl Blanchet, Pablo Perel, Bayard Roberts, Journal of Migration and Health, Volume 5, 2022.

Evaluating COVID-19 decision-making in a humanitarian setting: The case study of Somalia. A Warsame, M Fuje, F Checchi, K Blanchet, J Palmer. PLOS Global Public Health, 2022.

How is hygiene behaviour affected by conflict and displacement? A qualitative case study in Northern Iraq. White S, Heath T, Khalid Ibrahim W, Ihsan D, Blanchet K, Curtis V, et al.PLoS ONE, March 2022.

Feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions against infectious diseases among crisis-affected populations: a scoping review, Jonathan A. Polonsky, Sangeeta Bhatia, Keith Fraser, Arran Hamlet, Janetta Skarp, Isaac J. Stopard, Stéphane Hugonnet, Laurent Kaiser, Christian Lengeler, Karl Blanchet and Paul Spiegel.Infectious Diseases of Poverty, BMC, January 2022.

Innovation for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Crises, Kimberley Popple, Ana Florescu, Andrea Wong, Dr Anne Golaz, Dr Neha Singh, Professor Karl Blanchet. , Elrha, January 2022.

Impact of conditional and unconditional cash transfers on health outcomes and use of health services in humanitarian settings: a mixed-methods systematic review Kim Robin van Daalen, Rosemary James, Henry Charles Ashworth, Parnian Khorsand, Jiewon Lim, Ciaran Mooney, Yasmeen Khankan, Mohammad Yasir Essar, Isla Kuhn, Helene Juillard, Karl Blanchet, BMJ Global Health, January 2022.

Sanctioned countries in the global COVID-19 vaccination campaign: the forgotten 70%, Blanchet, K., Mallard, G., Moret, E. et al.. Conflict Health 15, 69 (2021).

Use of COVID‑19 evidence in humanitarian settings: the need for dynamic guidance adapted to changing humanitarian crisis contexts, Alex Odlum , Rosemary James, Audrey Mahieu, Karl Blanchet, Chiara Altare, Neha Singh and Paul Spiegel, Conflict and Health, November 2021.

Reducing the impact of the coronavirus on disadvantaged migrants and ethnic minorities, Bernadette N Kumar, Sally Hargreaves, Charles Agyemang, Rosemary A James, Karl Blanchet, Laurence Gruer, European Journal of Public Health, Volume 31, Issue Supplement_4, November 2021, Pages iv9–iv13.

Understanding the health needs of internally displaced persons: a scoping review, David James Cantor, Jina Swartz, Roberts Bayard, Aula Abbara, Alastair Ager, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Karl Blanchet, Derebe Madoro Bunte, JohnBosco Chika Chukwuorji, Nihaya Daoud, Winifred Ekezie, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, Kiran Jobanputra, Nino Makhashvili, Diana Rayes, Maria Helena Restrepo-Espinosa, Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales, Salami Bukola, James Smith, Journal of Migration and Health, 2021, 100071.

Violence against healthcare in conflict: a systematic review of the literature and agenda for future research. Haar, R.J., Read, R., Fast, L. et al. Conflict Health 15, 37 (2021).

Understanding the maternal and child health system response to payment for performance in Tanzania using a causal loop diagram approach. Rachel Cassidy, Andrada Tomoaia-Cotisel, Agnes Rwashana Semwanga, Peter Binyaruka, Zaid Chalabi, Karl Blanchet, Neha S. Singh, John Maiba, Josephine Borghi, Social Science & Medicine, Volume 285, 2021, 114277.

Building a multisystemic understanding of societal resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic Wernli D, Clausin M, Antulov-Fantulin N, Blanchet, K. et al. BMJ Global Health 2021; 6.

Migration health research in the European region: Sustainable synergies to bridge the research, policy and practice gap, Rosemary James, Karl Blanchet, Miriam Orcutt, Bernadette Kumar, The Lancet Regional Health – Europe, Volume 5, 2021, 100124, ISSN 2666 7762.

Using Research Evidence in the Humanitarian Sector: A practice guide. Blanchet K, Allen C, Breckon J, Davies P, Duclos D, Jansen J, Mthiyane H, Clarke M. (2018) London, UK: Evidence Aid, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Nesta (Alliance for Useful Evidence).

Violence against healthcare in conflict: a systematic review of the literature and agenda for future research. Haar, R.J., Read, R., Fast, L., Blanchet Ket al Confl Health 15, 37 (2021).

An Integrated eDiagnosis Approach (IeDA) versus standard IMCI for assessing and managing childhood illness in Burkina Faso: a stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial. Sarrassat, S., Lewis, J.J., Some, A.S. Somda, S. Cousens, S, Blanchet, KBMC Health Serv Res 21, 354 (2021).

Setting research priorities for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in humanitarian settings”, Loulou Kobeissi, Mahalakshmi Nair, Egmond Samir Evers, Mansuk Daniel Han, Samira Aboubaker, Lale Say, Nigel Rollins, Gary L. Darmstadt, Karl Blanchet, Daniel Martinez Garcia, Olivier Hagon, Per Ashorn & Members of the WHO research prioritization group for SRMNCAH promotion in humanitarian settings,Conflict and Health, 2021.

Models of care for patients with hypertension and diabetes in humanitarian crises: a systematic review, Michael S Jaung, Ruth Willis, Piyu Sharma, Sigiriya Aebischer Perone, Signe Frederiksen, Claudia Truppa, Bayard Roberts, Pablo Perel, Karl Blanchet, Éimhín Ansbro,Health Policy and Planning, 2021;, czab007.

Delivering health intervention to women, children and adolescents in conflict settings: what have we learned from ten country case studies? Singh, Neha SBhutta, Blanchet K et al. (2021) The Lancet, Volume 397, Issue 10273, 533 – 542.

Priority setting in a context of insecurity, epidemiological transition and low financial risk protection, Afghanistan Blanchet K; Ferozuddin F; Naeem AJJ; Farewar F; Saeedzai SA; Simmonds S (2019), Bulletin of the World Health Organisation.

Protecting women and children in conflict settings.
Bhutta, Zulfiqar AGaffey, Michelle F; Blanchet, Karl; Waldman, RonAbbasi, Kamran; (2019) BMJ.

Operational adaptations of the trachoma pre-validation surveillance strategy employed in Ghana: a qualitative assessment of successes and challenges.
Senyonjo, LauraAboe, AgathaBailey, RobinAgyemang, DavidMarfo, BenjaminWanye, SethSchmidt, ElenaAddy, JamesBlanchet, Karl (2019). Infectious Diseases of Poverty. 

Syrian refugees in Greece: experience with violence, mental health status, and access to information during the journey and while in Greece.
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 this page.