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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.



The NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

The NIHR Global Health Research Unit (GHRU) on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people affected by three highly neglected conditions in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Sudan. In the current phase of the project, IDS is working with partners in these three...


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

10 October 2018

Tom Barker’s recent work

Past Event

Matters of Scale and Integration in Digital Health Ecosystems

This digital dialogue session will explore some of the emerging lessons for strengthening integrations of digital technologies into health services at scale and sustainability beyond Covid in mixed health systems. The aim of the discussion is to explore the role of government in facilitating a...

28 February 2022

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