Dr Olena Nizalova PhD
Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics
- 01227 824966
A joint Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics in CHSS and the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) within the School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research (SSPSSR), I also lecture in Econometrics at the School of Economics. My research interests are in applied economics on the interrelation between individual health and informal care behaviour and labour market outcomes, policy evaluations of health care interventions and other government initiatives.
Within PSSRU I am engaged in two projects – investigation of the risk factors for future care use; and substitutability between formal and informal care. My other research projects are:
- study of the impact of severe recessions on obesity and health-related behaviours among working age males (in collaboration with Edward C. Norton from University of Michigan),
- study of the impact of wages on the amount of informal care provided to elderly parents in various long-term care regimes across Europe.
Within CHSS I lead Horizon 2020 project "Social Exclusion of Youth in Europe: cumulative disadvantage, coping strategies, effective policies and transfer" (EXCEPT), and a feasibility study "Effectiveness of public health system in combating severe population health crisis in Ukraine" funded by a Consortium (Wellcome Trust, ESCR, UK Aid, and MRC). My work also supports a wide range of projects in the area of impact evaluation and cost effectiveness analysis (e.g. the evaluation of BLF ‘Breathe Easy’ Integrated groups).
My interests lie in how the conditions and individual outcomes in the labour market shape individual behaviours and engagement with the family and community. Over the 7 years of my work in Ukraine, my interest in and understanding of the importance of evaluations of major government has developed through leading projects evaluating health care interventions and major reforms in social assistance in Ukraine. My interests in the problems around population ageing, in particular the growing demand for long-term formal or informal care continue to grow.
As an experienced quantitative researcher with significant background in Econometrics, my research interests led me to explore the fields of Health and Labour Economics, which I find very interesting and engaging.
I joined the University of Kent in 2013, having completed my tenure as an Associate Professor at the Kyiv School of Economics in Ukraine where I worked from 2005.
I completed my Specialist Degree in Business Management at the Ukrainian State Maritime Technical University, MA in Economic Theory from the EERC MA Program in Economics at the National University “Kyiv Mohyla Academy” Ukraine, and PhD from Michigan State University (USA). My dissertation title was “Three Essays in Labour Economics and Economics of Aging”
I have achieved the following awards:
Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professional Development Award (2012)
iHEA (International Health Economics Association) Award (2009, 2013)
PAA (Population Association of America) Award (2009)
Swedish Government Professorship Award (2005-2006)
RAND Summer Institute. Demography, Economics, and Epidemiology of Aging and Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists (2004)
Referee Service: Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Population Economics, Health Economics, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy
National Applied Economics Prize (Russia, http://econprize.ru/), Expert (2011)
Municipal Economic Development Toolkit, http://www.municipaltoolkit.org/, Russian version editor (2008)
Economics Education and Research Consortium, Economics Research Grant Competition, Expert (2007 – currently)
Master students – Principal Advisor on MA Thesis:
Violeta Skrypnikova, Valeria Pokidina, Kateryna Chmelova (2013);
Stsiapan Padchsha, Vladyslav Petrov, Oleksandra Slobodian, Ulyana Kravchenko, Alisa Firsova (2012);
Iuliia Grytsiv (2011); Volodymyr Korsun (2010); Galyna Grynkiv (2009); Ganna Bielen’ka, Victoria Golovtseva, Olga Gavryliuk (2008);
Olena Senyuta, Veronika Ivanova, Tamara Sliusarenko, Maia Gejadze (2007); Cristina Craciun (2006).
ERSTE Foundation Social Research Fellow (2012-2013)
P.E.O. International Peace Fellowship (2001-2003)
MSU Graduate School Fellowship (2000–2001)
H.R. Neville Fellowship in Economics (2000-2001)
K.L. Klomparens Fellowship (2000)
EERC Graduate Study Grant (2000)
Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository
Evaluation of the benefits of the British Lung Foundation's 'Breathe Easy' peer support network. ‘Integrated Breathe Easy’ is a two year evaluation undertaken on behalf of the British Lung Foundation (BLF) funded by the Cabinet Office through Nesta. It will assess whether integrating Breathe Easy groups into local respiratory care pathways results in better health and well-being outcomes for patients and carers. More than 230 BLF ‘Breathe Easy’ voluntary patient groups meet monthly across Britain. They aim to develop knowledge and increase self-management levels among those with long term lung disease including COPD, asthma and sarcoidosis. They offer support from health professionals and social activities. The study compares three cohorts to measure impact and assess outcomes: groups not integrated into the NHS care pathway new groups which are integrated control group - patients not attending Breathe Easy, but would be willing to. The focus is on patient understanding and self-help. Data collection in year one will explore patient self-efficacy levels, and their knowledge of where to seek help and advice. Carers will also be questioned about their confidence and burden of care. Year two will focus on cost effectiveness of the groups. Rowena Merritt leads and project manages the CHSS research team which includes Research Fellow Ferhana Hashem, Health Economist Olena Nizalova and Statistician Tracy Higgins. Start date: 01/04/2014 End date: 30/04/2016 Funder: British Lung Foundation Funding: £74,725
Social Exclusion of Youth in Europe: cumulative disadvantage, coping strategies, effective policies and transfer (EXCEPT)
Against a background of increasing youth labour market insecurities during the recent economic crisis, this interdisciplinary and internationally comparative project aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the consequences of youth labour market vulnerability for risks of social exclusion in Europe. The research team will adopt a dynamic perspective on objective and subjective dimensions of social exclusion to identify the complex interrelationships and potential risks of cumulative disadvantages, while examining possible mechanisms to address them. The project will examine the implications of labour market insecurities for young people in the following areas: risk of poverty material deprivation subjective well-being health status ability to gain independence from the parental home. Mixed methods will be used throughout the project. Qualitative interviews with youths from nine selected European countries including Ukraine will help to understand how disadvantaged youths perceive their social situation and try to cope in different economic, institutional and cultural environments. The quantitative element will use EU-28 and national micro-data to identify causal interrelationships and dynamic processes of youth social exclusion in different national contexts. A central objective is to assess the reach and effectiveness of EU and national policies in addressing issues around youth social exclusion, drawing on best practice examples to suggest reforms and policies designed to improve this group’s social situation. Different stakeholder groups will be involved at all stages to enable young people to be given a voice. This will also assist in the dissemination of project findings. Start date: 01/05/2015 End date: 30/04/2018 Funder: European Union Horizon 2020 Funding: €243,562 Publications: Except Working Papers Except Website
Effectiveness of public health system in combating severe population health crisis in Ukraine
This is a joint project with the Kyiv Economics Institute at the Kyiv School of Economics www.kse.org.ua It is a 12-month development study to assess the feasibility of implementing a full-scale evaluation of the Public Health programmes and policies in Ukraine over the period 1990-2014. Ukraine has long faced a significant health crisis exacerbated by growing health inequalities. It is one of five countries in the World Health Organisation European region with life expectancy 11 years lower than EU average and a 10 year gap between males and females. Since independence in 1992 Ukraine’s health care and public health systems have become inadequate to deal with growing epidemics of non-communicable diseases and TB/HIV/AIDs. The Ukraine government has stated its commitment to reform and to evidence-based decision-making. However, the dire state of population health and economic and political difficulties make it likely to opt instead for rapid implementation of ready-made examples from other countries. This allows for no fundamental analysis of what does/did and does not/did not work in the Ukrainian context. This 12-month development study funded by the Medical Research Council will examine how Ukraine’s national public health programmes and policies evolved from 1990-2014, mapping their implementation across regions and over time. Professor of Health Economics, Olena Nizalova leads the CHSS team which also includes Prof Stephen Peckham and Dr Erica Gadsby. Start date: 15/06/2015 End date: 31/12/2016 Funder: Medical Research Council Funding: £100,590 Project Publications: Working Paper 1: Importance of Process and Impact Evaluation of Public Health Programmes/Policies Overall and Especially in Financially Deprived Settings (David J Hunter, Stephen Peckham, Erica W Gadsby) This paper sets the scene for subsequent papers by discussing the importance of research evidence in public health policy and practice, and the role it plays, alongside other influences, in decision-making processes. The paper outlines the meaning and challenges of ‘evidence-informed public health’, and discusses the role of governments (and others) in developing public health policies and programmes based on good evidence. It then explores the UK experience of supporting evidence for public health policy, and looks at the way in which public health research has developed there, before discussing the need for greater commitment to, and investment in, research and knowledge exchange in Ukraine. Working Paper 2: Current Population Health Needs and Their Regional Distribution in Ukraine (Olena Nizalova,Nataliia Shapoval, Olga Nikolaieva) This working paper describes briefly the situation in Ukraine in terms of population health over the past decade, starting from the analysis of the national level data on mortality and comparison of its levels and the last decade’s dynamics to that in the UK, Estonia, and Russia. Further comparison is made between avoidable/non-avoidable mortality as a more appropriate measure of the effectiveness of the Public Health system. To complete the description of the situation with population health, we analyse the available information on morbidity across various conditions linked to high mortality. Working Paper 3: Public health programmes and policies in Ukraine: development, design and implementation (Erica Gadsby, Stephen Peckham, Anna Kvit, Kateryna Ruskykh) This working paper describes our analysis of the evaluability (in principle) of public health programmes/policies in Ukraine. To do this, we analysed programme and policy documents, and our telephone survey and in-depth interviews, to explore the logic models of programmes/policies and to describe their (intended and actual) implementation. We sought to identify and explain programme aims, objectives, outcomes/targets and mechanisms by which outcomes are expected to be achieved. The following sections include some general conclusions resulting from our analysis of a range of programmes/policies, and give explicit examples of specific programmes/policies where relevant. Working Paper 4: Existing Elements of Public Health System in Ukraine: Current State and Historical Developments (Erica Gadsby, Olena Nizalova, Olga Nikolaieva, Nataliia Shapoval, Oleksandra Betliy, Anastasiya Salnykova) This working paper describes the historical developments and current state of the various elements that might together make up the public health function in Ukraine. To do this, we have drawn on the structure used by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies in their analyses of health systems in Europe (Rechel and McKee 2014), and the World Health Organization’s self-assessment tool for the evaluation of the essential public health operations in the WHO European region (WHO, 2015). We focus on a number of essential public health operations, as identified by the WHO Regional Office for Europe that guide our assessment of public health capacities and services. They are key issues for health policy-making, and look across the whole political and administrative spectrum, rather than focusing on the activities of specific institutions. For each key issue described in this working paper, we define the issue, briefly discuss the international context, and describe the situation in Ukraine, with reference to policies and regulations, organization and infrastructure, and operations and activities specific to the issue. The first key issue we address relates to the surveillance of population health and wellbeing. We then go on to explore issues of health protection, including emergency response, occupational health, environmental health and food safety. Next, we explore disease prevention and early detection of disease by examining screening in Ukraine. We then examine health promotion in the Ukrainian context, including action to address non-communicable diseases and social determinants of health. Finally, we look at the organization and financing of public health, and the state of the public health workforce in Ukraine.
Tackling Obesity in Medway
Public Health Collaboration. CHSS has been commissioned to conduct an external evaluation of Medway Public Health Department’s weight management projects. This collaborative project will assess how Medway’s initiatives and programmes could be built on and improved. In 2014 Medway Council hosted an Obesity Summit attended by private, public and voluntary sector partners, to help develop a framework for tackling obesity. Medway Council’s dedicated ‘Supporting Healthy Weight’ team (SHW) works with adults, families, children and young people to help them in achieving healthy weight. Within the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) classification, 23.3% of 4-5 year olds and 32.7% of 10-11 year olds in Medway are overweight or obese. The SHW team provide and commission a diverse range of interventions across Medway to help prevent and manage overweight. These include four MEND programmes (2-4, 5-7, 7-13 and Graduates) and Fit Fix, a programme for 13 – 17 year olds. The team work across the Council to maximise opportunities to support obesity prevention in all aspects of the Council’s work, and in the revised Medway Local Plan. The evaluation will also focus on raising awareness of the SHW portfolio and developing its media profile to get the message out to a wide audience about obesity and public health initiatives in Medway. Start date: 15/01/2015 End date: 14/01/2017 Funder: Medway Council Funding: £67,187 Poster presentation: Evaluability assessments as part of a ‘whole systems approach’ to evaluating Medway Council’s interventions to tackle obesity.