Dr Haribondhu Sarma

PhD, MSS, BSS (Hons)
Research Fellow


Dr Haribondhu Sarma is a global health researcher, currently working as a Research Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra. Dr Sarma is recognised for his extensive contributions in the fields of implementation research, health systems research, nutrition and vaccine program evaluation within the dynamic landscape of Asia and Pacific countries. Dr Sarma has played a pivotal role in shaping the direction of health systems policies and practices across diverse and complex contexts and possesses a deep understanding of the intricate challenges and opportunities inherent to the health systems of the Asia-Pacific region. Their efforts have led to the generation of critical insights into the functioning of health systems, thereby paving the way for evidence-based interventions that bridge gaps and enhance the overall healthcare delivery framework. Dr Sarma's remarkable work in vaccine program evaluation, particularly for the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliances for its Full Country Evaluation underscores his commitment to ensuring the effectiveness and accessibility of immunization initiatives in low- and middle-income countries. Their research has not only assessed the impact of existing vaccine programs but has also propelled the design of innovative strategies to optimize their implementation, resulting in increased immunization coverage and safeguarding public health. Furthermore, Dr Sarma's proficiency in implementation research has been instrumental in translating theoretical concepts into tangible, real-world outcomes. Their work encompasses the intricate process of taking research findings and translating them into actionable policies and programs, thereby fostering meaningful change within healthcare systems. Dr Sarma’s holistic approach to implementation research considers the cultural, social, and economic dynamics of each context, leading to tailored solutions that resonate with local populations. Dr Sarma has developed networks among several national and international funding agencies, research institutes, UN bodies and global alliances, including DFAT, UN-ESCAP, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Gavi–The Vaccine Alliance, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (USA).


Research interests

  • Implementation science
  • Impact analysis of implementation research
  • Programme evaluation
  • Health systems research
  • Operations research
  • Mixed-methods research
  • Qualitative research



Peer-reviewed journal article:

  1. Talukder A, Sara SS, Khan ZI, Yadav UN, Mistry SK, Biswas T, Alam AM, Ali W, Jannat Z, Haseen F, Uddin MJ, Gray DJ, Ahmed T, Kelly M, Islam SMS, SARMA H. Prevalence and Determinants of Hypertension in South-Asian Urban Communities: Findings from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Data of South Asian Countries. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4439142.

  2. Rahman M, Tariqujjaman M, Ahmed T, SARMA H. Effect of home visits by community health workers on complementary feeding practices among caregivers of children aged 6–23 months in 10 districts of Bangladesh. Front. Public Health 2023; 10:1014281.

  3. Tariqujjaman M, Rahman M, Wangdi K, Karmakar G, Ahmed T, SARMA H. Geographical variations of food insecurity and its associated factors in Bangladesh: Evidence from pooled data of seven cross-sectional surveys. PloS One. 2023 6;18(1):e0280157.

  4. Moucheraud C, Epstein A, SARMA H, Kim SS, Nguyen PH, Rahman M, Tariqujjaman M, Glenn J, Payan D, Menon PD, Bossert TJ. Assessing sustainment of health worker outcomes beyond program end: Evaluation results from an infant and young child feeding intervention in Bangladesh. Frontiers in Health Services.2023;2:138.

  5. SARMA H, Wangdi K, Tariqujjaman M, Das R, Rahman M, Kelly M, Ahmed T, Gray DJ. The Effects of Deworming and Multiple Micronutrients on Anaemia in Preschool Children in Bangladesh: Analysis of Five Cross-Sectional Surveys. Nutrients. 2022; 14(1):150.

  6. Luies SK, Sultana T, Budden A, Asaduzzaman M, Hossain MB, Kelly M, Gray D, Uddin MJ, SARMA H. Partnerships in the introduction of new routine vaccines in Bangladesh: evidence from a prospective process evaluation. BMJ Open. 2022 1;12(9):e061742.

  7. Lowe C, SARMA H, Kelly M, Kurscheid J, Laksono B, Amaral S, Stewart D, Gray D. Association of soybean-based food with the prevalence of anaemia among reproductive-aged men and women in rural Central Java, Indonesia. Public Health Nutrition; 2021;:1–9.

  8. Chowdhury KI, Jabeen I, Rahman M, Faruque AS, Alam NH, Ali S, Ahmed T, Fuchs GJ, Duke T, Gyr N, SARMA H. Barriers to seeking timely treatment for severe childhood pneumonia in rural Bangladesh. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2021, 14.

  9. Uddin M, Jabeen I, Islam MA, Rahman M, Chisti MJ, Ahmed T, SARMA H. Barriers to breastfeeding are shaped by sociocultural context: an exploratory qualitative study in Bangladesh. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition. 2022 Dec;41(1):1-3.

  10. Mistry SK, Ali AM, Yadav UN, Khanam F, Huda MN, Lim D, Chowdhury AA, SARMA H. Changes in Prevalence and Determinants of Self-Reported Hypertension among Bangladeshi Older Adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022 18;19(20):13475.

  11. Giang PN, Kelly M, Nhung NTT, SARMA H. Continuing medical education programs for primary care physicians from remote locations of Vietnam: A needs assessment. BMC Medical Education 22, 279 (2022).

  12. Rahman M, Tariqujjaman M, Islam MR, Sheikh SP, Sultana N, Ahmed T, Ahmed S, SARMA H. Socioeconomic Inequalities in Women’s Undernutrition: Evidence from Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2017–2018. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(8):4698.

  13. Islam MA, Rahman M, Uddin MF, Tariqujjaman M, Karmakar G, Rahman MA, Kelly M, Gray D, Ahmed T, SARMA H. Household Food Insecurity and Unavailability of Toilet Facilities Contribute to Adverse Health Outcomes of Under-five Children in Bangladesh: A Cross-sectional Study. BMC Public Health. (2022) 22:1075.

  14. Uddin MF, Molyneux S, Muraya K, Jemutai J, Berkley JA, Walson JL, Hossain MA, Islam MA, Zakayo SM, Njeru RW, Ahmed T, Chisti MJ, SARMA H. Treatment-seeking and recovery among young undernourished children post-hospital discharge in Bangladesh: A qualitative study. PloS One. 2022 23;17(9):e0274996.

  15. Supthanasup A, Cetthakrikul N, Kelly M, SARMA H, Banwell C. Determinants of Complementary Feeding Indicators: A Secondary Analysis of Thailand Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey 2019. Nutrients. 2022 18;14(20):4370.

  16. SARMA H. Implementation science in nutrition: a summary and synthesis. Public Health Nutrition. 2021;24(S1):s1–s6.

  17. SARMA H, D’Este C, Ahmed T, Bossert TJ, Banwell C. Developing a conceptual framework for implementation science to evaluate a nutrition intervention scaled-up in a real-world setting. Public Health Nutrition. 2021;24(S1):s7–s22.

  18. SARMA H, Uddin MF, Islam MA, Rahman M, Aaron GJ, Harbour C, Banwell C, Ahmed T. Use of concurrent evaluation to improve implementation of a home fortification programme in Bangladesh: a methodological innovation. Public Health Nutrition. 2021;24(S1):s37–s47.

  19. SARMA H, Mbuya MNN, Tariqujjaman M, Rahman M, Askari S, Khondker R, Sultana S, Shahin SA, Bossert TJ, Banwell C, Neufeld LM, Ahmed T, D’Este C. Role of home visits by volunteer community health workers: to improve the coverage of micronutrient powders in rural Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition. 2021;24(S1):s48–s58.

  20. SARMA H, Tariqujjaman M, Mbuya MNN, Askari S, Banwell C, Bossert TJ, D’Este C, Ahmed T. Factors associated with home visits by volunteer community health workers to implement a home-fortification intervention in Bangladesh: a multilevel analysis. Public Health Nutrition. 2021;24(S1):s23–s36.

  21. Rahman M, Tariqujjaman M, Mahfuz M, Ahmed T, SARMA H. Caregiver perceived barriers to the use of micronutrient powder for children aged 6–59 months in Bangladesh. PloS One. 2021 Dec 2;16(12):e0260773.

  22. Tariqujjaman M, Rahman M, Luies SK, Karmakar G, Ahmed T, SARMA H. Unintended consequences of programmatic changes to infant and young child feeding practices in Bangladesh. Maternal and Child Nutrition. 2021; 17:e13077.

  23. Feng X, Kelly M, SARMA H. The association between educational level and multimorbidity among adults in Southeast Asia: A systematic review. PloS One. 2021; 20;16(12):e0261584.

  24. Ahmed S, SARMA H, Hasan Z, Rahman M, Ahmed MW, Islam MA, Djimeu EW, Mbuya MNN, Ahmed T, Khan JAM. Cost-effectiveness of a market-based home fortification of food with micronutrient powder programme in Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition 2021;24(S1):s59–s70.

  25. Lowe C, Kelly M, SARMA H, Richardson A, Kurscheid JM, Laksono B, Amaral S, Stewart D, Gray DJ. The double burden of malnutrition and dietary patterns in rural Central Java, Indonesia. The Lancet Regional Health-Western Pacific. 2021; 1;14.

  26. Njeru RW, Uddin M, Zakayo SM, Sanga G, Charo A, Islam M, Hossain M, Kimani M, Mwadhi MK,….SARMA H & Molyneus S. Strengthening the role of community health workers in supporting the recovery of ill, undernourished children post hospital discharge: qualitative insights from key stakeholders in Bangladesh and Kenya. BMC Health Services Research. 2021 Dec;21(1):1-4.

  27. Glenn J, Moucheraud C, Payán DD, Crook A, Stagg J, SARMA H, Ahmed T, Epstein A, Luies SK, Rahman M, Kruk ME. What is the impact of removing performance-based financial incentives on community health worker motivation? A qualitative study from an infant and young child feeding program in Bangladesh. BMC Health Services Research. 2021;21(1):1-1.

  28. Uddin M, Molyneux S, Muraya K, Hossain M, Islam M, Shahid AS, Zakayo SM, Njeru RW, Jemutai J, Berkley JA, Walson JL, Ahmed T, SARMA H, Chisti MJ. Gender-related influences on adherence to advice and treatment-seeking guidance for infants and young children post-hospital discharge in Bangladesh. International Journal for Equity in Health 2021 20, 64.

  29. Salvador-Carulla L, Fernandez A, SARMA H, Mendoza J, Wands M, Gandre C, Chevreul K, Lukersmith S. Impact of Ed-LinQ: A Public Policy Strategy to Facilitate Engagement between Schools and the Mental Health Care System in Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):7924.

  30. Muraya K, Ogutu M, Mwadhi M, Mikusa J, Okinyi M, Magawi C, Zakayo S, Njeru R, SARMA H, Uddin M, Marsh V. Applying a gender lens to understand pathways through care for acutely ill young children in Kenyan urban informal settlements. International Journal for Equity in Health. 2021 Dec;20(1):1-5.

  31. SARMA H, Jabeen I, Luies SK, Uddin MF, Ahmed T, Bossert TJ, Banwell C. Performance of volunteer community health workers in implementing home-fortification interventions in Bangladesh: A qualitative investigation. PloS One. 2020 1;15(4):e0230709.

  32. Moucheraud C, SARMA H, Ha TT, Ahmed T, Epstein A, Glenn J, Hanh HH, Huong TT, Luies SK, Moitry AN, Nhung DP. Can complex programs be sustained? A mixed methods sustainability evaluation of a national infant and young child feeding program in Bangladesh and Vietnam. BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1):1-4.

  33. Wangdi K, SARMA H, Leaburi J, McBryde E, Clements AC. Evaluation of the malaria reporting system supported by the District Health Information System 2 in Solomon Islands. Malaria Journal. 2020;19(1):1-4.

  34. Zakayo SM, Njeru RW, Sanga G, Kimani MN, Charo A, Muraya K, SARMA H, et al. Vulnerability and agency across treatment-seeking journeys for acutely ill children: how family members navigate complex healthcare before, during and after hospitalisation in a rural Kenyan setting. International Journal for Equity in Health 2020 19, 136.

  35. Rahman M, Delarosa J, Luies SK, Alom KR, Quintanar-Solares M, Jabeen I, Ahmed T, Abu-Haydar E, SARMA H. Understanding key drivers and barriers to implementation of the WHO recommendations for the case management of childhood pneumonia and possible serious bacterial infection with amoxicillin dispersible tablets (DT) in Bangladesh: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research 2020 20, 142.

  36. Soi C, Shearer JC, Budden A, Carnahan E, Salisbury N, Asiimwe G, Chilundo B, SARMA H, Gimbel S, Simuyemba M, Uddin J, Masiye F, Kamya M, Hozumi D, Rajaratnam JK, Lim SS. How to evaluate the implementation of complex health programmes in low-income settings: the approach of the Gavi Full Country Evaluations, Health Policy and Planning 2020; 35:2, Pages ii35–ii46, 

  37. Tariqujjaman M, Hasan MM, Moitry AN, Huda SQ, Irfan SD, Kafi MA, Azad MR, SARMA H, Hossain MB. Prevalence and correlates of HIV/AIDS knowledge among ever married women of reproductive age in Bangladesh: an update from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2014. American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health. 2020 18;6(2):26-38.

  38. SARMA H, Budden A, Luies SK, Lim SS, Shamsuzzaman M, Sultana T, Rajaratnam JK, Craw L, Banwell C, Ali M, Uddin M. Implementation of the World’s largest measles-rubella mass vaccination campaign in Bangladesh: a process evaluation. BMC Public Health 19, 925 (2019).

  39. SARMA H, Gerth-Guyette E, Shakil SA, Alom KR, Abu-Haydar E, D’Rozario M, Tariqujjaman M, Arifeen SE, Ahmed T. Evaluating the use of job aids and user instructions to improve adherence for the treatment of childhood pneumonia using amoxicillin dispersible tablets in a low-income setting: a mixed-method study. BMJ Open. 2019 May 1;9(5):e024978.

  40. Epstein A, Moucheraud C, SARMA H, Rahman M, Tariqujjaman M, Ahmed T, Glenn J, Bossert T, Kruk ME. Does health worker performance affect clients’ health behaviors? A multilevel analysis from Bangladesh. BMC Health Services Research. 2019;19(1):1-9.

  41. Luies S K, Hossain M, SARMA H. Awareness Among Parents About Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Routine Immunization Program to Prevent Pneumococcal Pneumonia in Bangladesh. Cureus 11(11): 2019, e6082.

  42. Dwyer-Lindgren L, Squires ER, Teeple S, …SARMA H,...Lim SS.  Small area estimation of under-5 mortality in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zambia using spatially misaligned data. Population Health Metrics 16, 13 (2018).

  43. Alom R, SARMA H. Understanding the capacity of civil society organisations' in strengthening adolescent's sexual and reproductive health rights in disaster-prone area of Bangladesh. Peoples’ Preface (2018) 2:2, ISSN 2520-7679.

  44. SARMA H, Islam MA, Khan JR, Chowdhury KIA, Gazi R. Impact of Teachers Training on HIV/AIDS Education Program among Secondary School Students in Bangladesh: A Cross-sectional Survey. PLoS One. 2017;12(7):e0181627.

  45. SARMA H, Uddin, MF, Rahman Khan JR, Asaduzzaman M, Tarannum S, Hasan MM, Rahman AS, Ahmed T. Factors Influencing the Prevalence of Stunting among Under-five Children in Bangladesh. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2017, Vol. 38(3) 291-301.  

  46. SARMA H, Saquib N, Hasan MM, Saquib J, Rahman AS, Uddin J, Cullen MR, Ahmed T. Determinants of overweight and obesity among ever-married adult women in Bangladesh. BMC Obesity (2016) 3:13.

  47. SARMA H, Uddin, MF, Harbour C, Ahmed T. Factors Influencing Child Feeding Practices Related to Home Fortification of Micro-nutrient Powder among Caregivers of Under-5 Children in Bangladesh. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2016;37(3):340-352.

  48. Uddin J, Alam N, SARMA H, Chowdhury MAH, Koehlmoos TP, Alam DS, Louis N. Consequences of hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, healthcare-seeking behaviours of patients, and responses of the health system: a population-based cross-sectional study in Bangladesh. BMC Public Health 2014,14:547.

  49. Uddin J, SARMA H, Wahed T, Ali MW, Koehlmoos TP, Nahar Q, Azim, Vulnerability of Bangladeshi street-children to HIV/AIDS: a qualitative study. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:1151.

  50. SARMA H, Gazi R, Islam M.A. Impact of training of teachers on their ability, skills, and confidence to teach HIV/AIDS in classroom: a qualitative assessment. BMC Public Health. 2013, 13:990.

  51. Uddin J, SARMA H, Bari TI, Koehlmoos T P. Introduction of new vaccine: decision-making process in Bangladesh. Journal of Health Population and Nutrition. 2013;31(2):211-17.

  52. SARMA H, Oliveras E. Implementing HIV/AIDS education: the impact of teachers' training on HIV/AIDS education in Bangladesh. Journal of Health Population and Nutrition, 2013;31(1): 20-7.

  53. Burchett HED, Mounier-Jack S, Griffiths U K, Biellik R, Ongolo-Zogo P, Chavez E, SARMA H, Uddin J, Konate M, Kitaw Y, Molla M, Wakasiaka S, Gilson L, Mills A. New vaccine adoption: qualitative study of national decision-making processes in seven low- and middle-income countries. Health Policy and Planning 2012;27:ii5–ii16.

  54. SARMA H, Oliveras E. Improving STI counseling services of non-formal providers in Bangladesh: Testing an alternative strategy.  Sexually Transmitted Infections 2011;87:476-478.

  55. Koehlmoos TP, Uddin J, SARMA H. Impact of Measles eradication activities on routine immunisation services and health systems in Bangladesh. The Journal of Infectious Disease; 2011;204:S82–S89.

  56. Hanvoravongchai P, Mounier-Jack S, Cruz C O, Balabanova D, Biellik R, Kitaw Y, Koehlmoos T P, Loureiro S, Molla M, Nguyen H T, Ongolo-Zogo p, Sadykova U, SARMA H, Teixeira M, Uddin J, Dabbagh A, Griffiths U K. Disease eradication and health systems: the impacts of measles elimination activities on immunisation services and health systems in six countries. The Journal of Infectious Disease, 2011;204:S90-S97.

  57. SARMA H. Academic detailing: A strategy to disseminate health information to non-formal providers in Bangladesh. Health Science Bulletin, 2010;8(4).

  58. Gazi R, Khan SI, Haseen F, SARMA H, Islam M.A, Wirtz AL, Rahman M. Young clients of hotel-based sex workers in Bangladesh: Vulnerability to HIV, risk perceptions, and expressed need for interventions. International Journal of Sexual Health, 2009;21:167–182.

Book chapter:

59. Hanvoravongchai P, Mounier-Jack S, Cruz CO, Balabanova D, Biellik R, Kitaw Y, Koehlmoos TP, Loureiro S, Molla M, Nguyen HT, Ongolo-Zogo P, Sadykova U, SARMA H, Teixeira M, Uddin J, Dabbagh A, Griffiths UK. (2011) The Impacts of Measles Elimination Activities on Immunization Services and Health Systems in Six Countries. From "Disease Eradication in the 21st Century: Implications for Global Health", edited by S. L. Cochi and W. R. Dowdle. Strüngmann Forum Report, vol. 7, J. Lupp, series ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-01673-5.

60. Alom R, SARMA H, Sarker F. Sexual and Reproductive Health Vulnerabilities of the Adolescents in a Coastal District of Bangladesh, edited by Islam Z, Shafie H, Mahmood R. Culture, Adaptation and Resilience: Bangladesh Climate Change Trust and Department of Anthropology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. ISBN 978-984-34-3288-9.



Convenor: Global Population Health


Xiyu Feng (2021-till data), PhD Project: Multimorbidity in Thailand.

Shuvagato Mondal (2022-till date), PhD Project: Household food insecurity and lack of sanitation facilities associated health risks in coastal regions of Bangladesh.

Sitotaw Bogale (2022-till date), PhD Project: Evaluating a lifestyle intervention to reduce metabolic syndromes in Ethiopia.

Ashis Talukder (2023-till date), PhD Project: Double burden of malnutrition in South and Southeast Asia.

Callum Lowe (2022- till date), PhD Project: Environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) as a driver of child growth faltering.

Gayathri Menon (completed), MChD Project: Opportunities and challenges to accessing mental health services and support amongst South Asian Immigrants in Australia.