Laura Sochas

PhD Candidate in Demography
London School of Economics and Political Science

PhD Research Area:
Inequalities of maternal health in Zambia

Research Interests:
Health inequalities, maternal and newborn health, causal inference, GIS, mixed methods

PhD Research Description: "To what extent can intersecting identities and interacting barriers explain health access and health outcomes inequalities? Evidence from maternal health in Zambia".
Despite growing prioritisation of health equity in low-income countries, efforts to improve health equity by removing a specific barrier to health care access have often failed. A common but untested hypothesis to explain these null or negative findings is that removing a single barrier to care has a stronger effect for those affected by fewer other barriers. Focusing on maternal health care in Zambia, this mixed methods study will:
1. Empirically investigate the extent to which any multiplicative effect of concurrent access barriers and intersecting identities are relevant for explaining inequalities in maternal health care access and outcomes
2. Conduct a causal inference analysis to test whether removing a single access barrier benefits those facing fewer other access barriers the most, in terms of both access and outcomes
3. Explore the mechanisms through which intersecting identities affect women’s experiences of care-seeking in childbirth, through narrative interviews

PhD in Demography and Population Studies, London School of Economics, 2016-2020 (expected)
MSc Social Research Methods, London School of Economics, 2016
MPA International Development, London School of Economics, 2009-2011
BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford, Merton College, 2004-2007

ESRC scholarship 2015-2019
ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods award 2017-2019
Social Policy class teacher award 2016-17

“Introduction to research methods” (Msc level), Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt, Germany, Summer 2017 - co-developed the course, taught lectures and seminars
“Introduction to global population change” (BA level), London School of Economics, UK, Autumn 2016 - led seminars

Publications and presentations:
Sochas, L., Channon, A. & Nam, S. (forthcoming November 2017) Counting indirect crisis-related deaths in the context of a low-resilience health system: the case of maternal and neonatal health during the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.Health Policy and Planning
ten Hoope Bender, P, Nove, A., Sochas, L., Matthews, Z., Homer, C., Pozo Martin, F. (2017) The 'Dream Team' for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health: an adjusted service target model to estimate the ideal mix of health care professionals to cover population need. Human Resources for Health.
Sochas L. (2017 forthcoming) "To what extent can concurrent barriers explain inequalities in access to health? Evidence from maternal health care in Eastern and Southern Africa". Oral presentation at the XXVIII IUSSP International Population Conference.
Sochas L. (2017) Did Removing User Fees Improve Access To Maternal Health Care In Zambia? A Difference-In-Difference Study. Oral presentation at the Population Association of America and International Health Policy Conferences.
Sochas L., Channon, A. & Nam, S. (2017) Maternal, neonatal and stillbirth deaths caused by decreased utilisation of essential maternal care in the context of the 2014 Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. Oral presentation at the annual Population Association of America conference and the LSHTM MDSR seminar series.
Campbell, J., Sochas, L., Cometto, G., Matthews, Z. (2016) Evidence for action on improving the maternal and newborn health workforce: the basis for quality care. International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 132 (1). January 2016. 126-9.
UN Every Woman Every Child (2015) Saving Lives Protecting Futures. Progress Report on the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Contributed quantitative analysis and writing to chapter 3.
Campbell, J., Pozo-Martin, F., Sochas, L., Homer, C., ten Hoope Bender, P. (2015, January) Equity and effective coverage in post-2015: what are the workforce implications? Presenting author at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference. Bangkok, Thailand.
International Confederation of Midwives, WHO and UNFPA. (2014) State of the World's Midwifery report for 2014: 'A universal pathway. A woman's right to health'. June 2014. Contributed quantitative analysis and writing to chapter 2 and 4.
Sochas, L. & Campbell, J. (2014, February) Modelling geographic accessibility to health workers providing MNH care: an exploratory method. Poster presented at the CMMPH conference on Midwifery and the post-MDG agenda. Bournemouth UK.
Sochas, L., Grainger, C., Gorter, A., Griffith, D., Bodam-Whetham, L. (2013) What can vouchers do for universal coverage? Options Briefing Paper.

For further details please see my CV.