Who we are & what we do?

The Portsmouth-Brawijaya Centre for Global Health, Population, and Policy (PB Centre) is a collaboration between the University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom and the University of Brawijaya in Malang, Indonesia. The PB Centre has been developed through the British Council Newton Institutional Link grant awarded to the University of Portsmouth and the University of Brawijaya in 2015. The PB Centre is located in two campuses, the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom and the University of Brawijaya, Malang, Indonesia, with outreach to the global community. We, the two public universities, jointly cater to a student population of over 80,000 a year from across the world.

The key mission of the PB Centre is to improve the health and well-being of people globally through research, teaching and training. To achieve this objective we undertake evidence-based, policy led world class research on both basic and applied bio-social determinants of health, teaching advanced research methods to equip future scientists with the ability to undertake more complex challenges in data analysis. We also provide continued professional development programmes to enable practicing researchers to update their technical and substantive knowledge in the broad thematic area of population health. Our two year International Masters Programme on Global Health Research Methods starting from 2017 at our Malang Campus, and a one year MSc in Global Health Research Methods starting from 2018 at our Portsmouth Campus will cater to global aspirants in population research. We work with the academic community, federal governments, the third sector, international agencies, and inter-governmental organisations to generate maximum impact of our research findings on policy and programming at national, regional and local government levels; and international organisations, such as the United Nations Population Fund.

The PB Centre has a unique team of interdisciplinary researchers drawn from various faculties within both the Universities. Broadly, our geographic expertise cover most of the Low and Middle Income countries in the world and Europe. Our researchers have academic backgrounds in anthropology, demography, public health, social statistics, applied mathematics, health economics, gender, political science, epidemiology, human psychology, human geography, geology, international relations and development. Our researchers work on gender relations, climate change, poverty, health inequalities, family planning, maternal and child health, low fertility, food security, micro financing, demand side financing, human security, democratisation impact on public health services related to health policy, HIV transmission, international female migration, domestic violence, adolescent health, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable diseases, health systems, and access to medicine. Our methodological expertise include impact evaluation, implementation research, mixed methods, systematic reviews, advanced statistical modelling, ethnographic methods, and survey methods.

We are currently engaged in a major research programme on maternal and child health funded by UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India on demand side financing in Bangladesh and India. Our international collaborators in this project are Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi; International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b), Bangladesh; Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Trivandrum; Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum. We also currently run the UK Newton funded project on international female migration in Indonesia. The Portsmouth Birth Cohort Study is one of our flagship projects in the UK. This project aims to recruit over 2000 births from 2016 in the city of Portsmouth to generate a unique data set to explore various biological and social determinants of health and wellbeing of mothers and children. We have recently completed a major research project from the British Academy (BA) on the impact of low fertility on the health and well-being of women in developing countries. We have also concluded a prestigious ESRC seminar series on Low fertility in Developing Countries in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum. A special volume ‘Causes and implications of low fertility in developing countries’ including papers from the Seminar Series will be published in the Journal of Biosocial Science in early 2017. The PB Centre uses various platforms to disseminate research findings. These include academic publication in high impact journals (e.g. Health Policy and Planning, Journal of Population Research, Social Science and Medicine); conference presentations (e.g. British Society for Population Studies); public engagement; dissemination workshops; dissemination clinics and social media. We conduct our research ethically with full consideration of local cultures and government regulations and are embedded in gender and racial equality. Our research is governed by a joint executive committee representing senior academic and administrative members from both the Universities.