Megan Schmidt-Sane is a medical anthropologist with interdisciplinary training and experience in public health, working with the Health and Nutrition cluster.
Her work focuses on political economy of health, urban health, and overlapping themes of gender, generation, and inequalities. She uses participatory, community-led, and policy-engaged approaches in her research.
Her doctoral research focused on the political economy of HIV among younger men in an informal settlement in Kampala, Uganda and involved long-term ethnographic fieldwork. She examined everyday uncertainties related to informality, describing the structural pressures on young men in terms of surveillance, informal work, and urban precarity. In light of everyday uncertainties, men engage in different, socially contingent, strategies to manage that uncertainty and remake their futures. This research has helped to elucidate the structures and constraints to HIV prevention, treatment, and overall management and informed Uganda’s HIV/AIDS priorities on improving men’s HIV outcomes.
She currently works in a community, policy, and research partnership in Ealing, west London to explore community assets, build partnerships, and improve health equity and linkages to the Integrated Care System. Her work in Ealing has been funded by the British Academy and the AHRC.
She also works on social science approaches to epidemic preparedness and response, for example with colleagues at Makerere University or with the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP). In 2019 and 2021, she conducted research in Uganda’s western borderlands, on the political economy, trust, and gendered aspects of Ebola and COVID-19 preparedness and response.
She has a PhD in Medical Anthropology and Global Health from Case Western Reserve University and a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. Her MPH research was conducted in Sangli, India. She has previously worked for the Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC) based in Kampala, Uganda, which conducts public health outreach and advocacy at the intersection of health and rights.