I am a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Queensland’s Centre for the Business and Economics of Health (CBEH). My current research is in the areas of health and development economics and cuts across societal healthcare issues such as child health (i.e., malnutrition), healthcare utilisation, out-of-pocket health expenditure, nutrition and mental health.

My studies also help tackle global community challenges including disease outbreak resilience, poverty, vulnerability, food insecurity and energy poverty. I have worked on projects as a consultant for organisations such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and other policy-oriented research institutes.

I engage with organisations to turn research findings into actionable outcomes. In 2018, I was part of a three-member research team on the UNE/BUPA Health System Project which assessed students' access to the Australian Health System. I have led a team of researchers from the United States to introduce a novel multidimensional disease outbreak resilience index (DORI).

My deep connections to international universities provide cutting-edge insights from across the globe. Currently, I am an adjunct Faculty Director at the Centre for Social Development for the Brown School at Washington University, and I am also a guest lecturer in Quantitative Research Methods at the University of North Carolina and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the United States.

Research interests

Health economics: drivers of healthcare utilisation, catastrophic and out-of-pocket health expenditure, mental health, obesity, disease outbreak resilience and social determinants of health.

Development economics and personal finance: how personal finance affects health and wellbeing, poverty and vulnerability, food insecurity and energy poverty, among others.

Applied econometrics: application of econometrics and emerging data science/analytic techniques to build evidence on how to enhance health and socioeconomic outcomes.

Research impact and partnerships

My translational research influences policy and systems design for improved health and socioeconomic outcomes. Our UNE/BUPA Health System Project identified challenges for international students and their families to understand and access the Australian Health System. We developed a source document that is currently assisting these students to effectively navigate the Australian health system in the Armidale region and its surrounds.

Our novel Disease Outbreak Resilience Index (DORI) provides a holistic measure for profiling households based on their readiness towards disease outbreaks. DORI can effectively help policymakers to identify vulnerable households for planning and implementing public health safety interventions. A DORI dashboard is currently being designed by the dashboard team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The dashboard will help to promote research in disease outbreak resilience across the globe.

Other achievements

I am a recipient of the prestigious University of New England Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal and the D. H. Drummond Prize in Economic Studies for Best PhD Thesis with practical digital financial literacy, financial inclusion, and women’s empowerment policies. This research was designed to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in both developed and developing countries. In July 2019, I was recognised as the Researcher of the Month by Adroit Research in Queensland, Australia.


To find out how we can collaborate and bring value to your organisation, I can be contacted via:
 Email - i.koomson@uq.edu.au
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