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Tom Barker

Senior Health & Nutrition Convenor

Tom Barker is Senior Health Convenor in the Health and Nutrition Cluster of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK.

Tom has 20 years of experience working in knowledge brokering, research communication, policy engagement, and parliamentary influencing in the UK health, global health and international development policy arenas. Tom collaborates with partners in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and at regional and global levels on projects funded by the likes of UK NIHR, GCRF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Tom is currently a strategic communications advisor to The Lancet Global Health Commission on Financing Primary Health Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. From 2016 to 2021, Tom was the Communications Manager for the Health Systems Global health policy and systems research and practice network with more than 1,600 members in over 110 countries. He was previously the Policy Influence and Research Uptake Manager for the UK DFID-funded Future Health Systems research consortium.

Tom’s previous experience includes managing a research knowledge brokering network for the UK NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme; facilitating engagements with the UK Parliament and Whitehall for the NHS Confederation, a membership body for UK NHS organisations; and running the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care and Public Health.



Covid-19 Responses for Equity (CORE) Knowledge Translation Support

This knowledge translation project aims to increase the visibility, support and uptake of research generated by IDRC’s cohort of CORE research projects, to foster evidence-based policymaking for response to and recovery from the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.


Living Off-Grid Food and Infrastructure Collaboration

This research is designed to help improve the lives of the poorest residents of cities in Africa and Asia by focusing on how they are meeting their basic needs and accessing infrastructure, particularly when they are living 'off-grid'. The research is led by a consortium including experts in...



Insights from health systems under stress

Health systems around the world are straining under the impact of Covid-19. As the pandemic progresses it is evident that there is much for health systems across the world to learn from each other from these shared experiences, and that when a global pandemic hits the differences between high,...

30 April 2020



Global framework on people-centred and integrated health services

FHS Stories of Change 8

Future Health Systems research into empowering communities to demand and shape health services has informed the development of a WHO strategy on service delivery. The strategy reflects a paradigm shift towards an increased emphasis on preventive public health, as well as curative strategies, to...

Sara Bennett

1 December 2017

Tom Barker’s recent work

Past Event

Matters of inclusivity in design and governance of digital health in India

This session opens up a conversation between state, tech and civil society actors in the context of the rapid increase in application of digital health solutions in India’s mixed health system, and the challenges of ensuring inclusivity. This consultation will ask what it means to take a...

16 December 2021

Past Event

Re-imagining health systems for better health and social justice

We are pleased to announce that registration to the Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2020) is now open. The Symposium will bring together over 2,000 policy-makers, practitioners and researchers from more than 100 countries to explore how we can build health systems which...

From 8 November 2020 until 12 November 2020