Health governance in lower-income countries and conflict-affected populations


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Health governance is a crucial component of a resilient health system, and requires interaction with a broad range of actors including governments and NGOs. Health service delivery in low-income and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) differs from that in high income countries in terms of resource mobilization, coverage, access, and governance. However, with respect to governance, the focus is slowly shifting from identifying gaps and unpacking the problems to identifying solutions relevant to the contexts (Bennett et al., 2018; Saif-Ur-Rahman et al., 2019). 

Similarly, conflict leaves a long-term impact on health systems and governance is a critical issue for healthcare responses for conflict affected populations (Levy & Sidel, 2016). Demand for emergency healthcare increases in active conflict situations but at the same time, access, and availability of healthcare decreases. In such contexts, health systems must rapidly adapt to the changing context. This involves multiple actors, giving rise to more complex organizational settings. Conflict and its after affects pose specific challenges for coordination of healthcare resulting in fractured healthcare responses (Lokot et al., 2022). It is important to understand how to adapt to the changing contexts and formulate effective and innovative solutions.  

In this Special Issue, we aim to present student-led and student-assisted research, either directly relevant to health governance in LMIC and conflict-affected populations, or more general health governance research that can assist in formulating solutions for these groups. The focus on student research, whether at undergraduate or post graduate levels, is designed to encourage critical thinking on the part of upcoming researchers, scholars, and advocates. We also encourage submission of reflective accounts of the challenges faced by students while conducting research into these issues.


List of topic areas

  • Influence of COVID-19 on health governance of low-income and LMIC countries: What challenges were faced by low-income and LMICs to develop health policies during the pandemic? What were the lessons learned and response strategies?
  • International indicators in low-income and LMIC contexts: Review of use of international indicators in national contexts. What is the role of international indicators in monitoring or implementing policies/programs in in low-income and LMIC contexts? How can international guidelines be meaningfully translated into national healthcare systems?
  • Capacity building in health governance: What are the essential competencies required for leading health governance activities in the low-income and LMICs? What are the opportunities for students to develop skills and train health governance in LMICs? 
  • Knowledge to action: Ho can evidence from other contexts/ various frameworks be translated into action? 
  • Public engagement in health governance: What is the role of the public/patient in health governance in low-income or LMICs? 
  • [Review] Digital health governance for the displaced population: What models are being applied currently around the world for the displaced population (e.g., forcibly displaced, refugees, IDPs, climate refugees)? How can digital health services be meaningfully used for health governance for displaced population? 
  • [Review] Health governance for displaced population: What governance principles are applied for the displaced population? How does it vary for displaced population from conflict affected areas and for internally displaced populations?


Guest Editors

Puspita Hossain, 
McMaster University and BRAC University, Bangladesh, 
[email protected] 

Dr Fiona MacVane Phipps,
Independent Researcher, IJHG Review Editor, UK
[email protected]   


Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below. 
Submit your paper here!   
Author guidelines must be strictly followed.
Submissions can include protocols, general and literature reviews, ongoing, and completed studies of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed designs. Please, follow the appropriate reporting guidelines from EQUATOR Network (, and submit completed check-lists for the adequate study design as Supplementary material.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 15 February 2024
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31 July 2024    



Bennett, S., Glandon, D., & Rasanathan, K. (2018). Governing multisectoral action for health in low-income and middle-income countries: Unpacking the problem and rising to the challenge. BMJ Global Health, 3(Suppl 4), e000880.
Levy, B. S., & Sidel, V. W. (2016). Documenting the Effects of Armed Conflict on Population Health. Annual Review of Public Health, 37(1), 205–218.
Lokot, M., Bou-Orm, I., Zreik, T., Kik, N., Fuhr, D. C., El Masri, R., Meagher, K., Smith, J., Asmar, M. K., McKee, M., & Roberts, B. (2022). Health system governance in settings with conflict-affected populations: A systematic review. Health Policy and Planning, 37(5), 655–674.
Saif-Ur-Rahman, K. M., Mamun, R., Nowrin, I., Hossain, S., Islam, K., Rumman, T., Kabir, E., Rahman, A., Dahal, N., & Anwar, I. (2019). Primary healthcare policy and governance in low-income and middle-income countries: An evidence gap map. BMJ Global Health, 4(Suppl 8), e001453.