Jacinta Nzinga is health systems and policy researcher with the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Nairobi. She has a PHD in Health and Social Studies (University of Warwick) and a Masters degree in global health (Oxford University). She is also adjunct faculty with the department of Public Health, Pwani University and the Institute of Healthcare Management at Strathmore University and leads social science capacity building in the Nairobi programme. Jacinta joined the programme as an intern with the health services unit working with Prof Mike English leading work on documenting implementation experiences of health workers in using clinical guidelines for sick children. This work transitioned her PhD which focused on examining the role of health care managers (hybrids) & in influencing service delivery in hospitals this in the routine provision of care in hospitals. She co-led the recently concluded Health Services that Deliver for Newborns (HSD-N) study, a multi-disciplinary research project aimed at assessing quality of nursing care for sick newborns by investigating the human resource needs, exploring what influences nursing care quality including the potential of using task-shifting as an approach to address the observed gaps. Jacinta is now the National Platform Manager r for a newly funded African Health Observatory Platform on Health Policies and Systems Research (AHOP) that aims at synthesising existing research and generating new evidence on health systems performance to guide policy development and evidence-informed decision making within the health system.
Her work continues to focus on health workforce research particularly investigating issues around health workforce governance and management, how professional identities shape work practices and evaluating health system interventions. Her work mainly uses embedded approaches to increase the interaction between policy and practice and over the years engagements with policy and practice stakeholders has enhanced uptake of disseminated findings into policy and improved practice. To facilitate this influence, Jacinta sits in several national technical working groups, intersectoral coordinating committees where she provides formal advice and technical support to various departments within the ministry of health. Her future work interests are in continuing to lead evidence-based systems research aimed at improving public service delivery by exploring innovative ways of engaging all relevant stakeholders in collaborative research and mapping their contribution to achievement of sustainable change and improvement in public service. She is also very keen on building regional collaborations around health systems research, continuing building capacity in the areas social science and health system and policy research and mentoring women interested in/involved in science.