Gerald Bloom

Technical Adviser, Health Systems and Research

Dr. Gerry Bloom is a medical doctor and health economist with expertise in health policy, planning and finance. He served as a Director of HPI from 2005 until 2017.

Background and relevant experience

Based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) since 1985, Gerry Bloom is a co-convener of the Health and Nutrition Cluster. In recent years, he has been the Health and Disease Domain Convener for the Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) Centre and the coordinator and senior researcher in the DFID-funded Future Health Systems Consortium. Previously he was the scientific coordinator of POVILL (Poverty and Illness), a major study of the relationship between illness and poverty and the performance of health safety nets for the poor in China, Cambodia and Laos.

His special interest is the management of health system transition in the context of rapid social and economic change. Areas of particular focus include the changing roles of government, health system innovations including the growing role of information technology and processes. His areas of expertise include Governance, Health, Politics and Power, Science and Society, Social Protection and Social Policy. He has worked for many years on health system development in Africa and Asia. As a member of the IDS Centre on the Rising Powers in Global Development, his work has focused on the increasing engagement of China in global health.

Gerry has undertaken a number of consultancies and research projects on health expenditure and finance and strategic management of sectoral change. He was Co-Director of the China Rural Health Project – Project Support Facility (PSF) which provided access to international experience and expertise in developing and testing cost-effective, sustainable models to improve the delivery of health services. Previously, he was a member of the core supervision team of the World Bank/DFID funded Rural Health Reform and Rehabilitation project and has completed several major studies of the impact of economic reform on health services in China. He coordinates the IDS input into the DFID-funded Future Health Systems Research programme in China, India, Uganda, Bangladesh and Nigeria. His work in Africa includes a review of community health finance in Ghana and an evaluation of the poverty impact of the Malawi Social Action Fund.

Gerry has presented and published widely and has worked in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Laos, Bangladesh, Cambodia and China.

Selected publications, presentations and reports:


Jennifer Constantine, Gerry Bloom and Alex Shankland (2016). ‘Towards Mutual Learning with the Rising Powers’, IDS Policy Briefing 123

Gerry Bloom et al. (2015) ‘Addressing Resistance to Pluralist Health Systems’ STEPS Working Paper

Gerry Bloom and Hayley MacGregor, Andrew McKenzie and Emmanuel Sokpo (2015)’ Strengthening Health Systems for Resilience’ IDS Practice Paper in Brief 18

Jing Gu, Gerry Bloom, Xiulan Zhang and Xiaoyun Li (2014) ‘China and International Development: Challenges and Opportunities’ IDS Bulletin 45 (4) 

Gerry Bloom, Spencer Henson and Peters D.H. (2014) ‘Innovation in Regulation of Rapidly Changing Health Markets’, Globalisation and Health (10):53

Gerry Bloom, Romulo Paes de Sousa, Yogan Pillay, Zhang Xiulan and Jennifer Constantine (2014). ‘Building Mutual Understanding for Effective Development’, IDS Policy Briefing 66

Henry Lucas, Gerry Bloom, Hilary Standing and Annie Wilkinson (2014). ‘Engaging with Health Markets in Low and Middle Income Countries’, IDS Working Paper 443


Gerry Bloom, Jennifer Constantine and Alex Shankland (2016). ‘Building Mutual Learning between the Rising Powers’ IDS Evidence Report 202

Jing, Gu, Gerry Bloom, Alex Shankland and Louise Oakley (2016) ‘Centre for Rising Powers and Global Development: Training Course on International Development and Global Health Strategy’ IDS Evidence Report 193

Hayley MacGregor, Stephen Lally, Gerry Bloom, Mark Davies, Spencer Henson, Andrés Mejía Acosta, Keetie Roelen and Martina Ulrichs (2014) ‘Non-communicable Disease and Development:Future Pathways’ IDS Evidence Report 100