Laura Sochas

PhD Candidate in Demography
London School of Economics and Political Science
Access my CV.

PhD Research Area:
Inequalities of maternal health in Zambia

Research Interests:
Health inequalities, maternal and newborn health, multi-level modelling, causal inference, GIS, mixed methods

PhD Supervisors:
Tiziana Leone
Ernestina Coast

PhD Research Description:
"A social justice approach to explaining maternal health inequalities in Zambia".
Paper 1 uses innovative multilevel Bayesian methods to investigate whether multidimensional health system environments cut across individual and community-level heterogeneity to reliably predict access to facility delivery, and thereby identify specific environments that policy-makers could target under a progressive universalist approach.
Paper 2 proposes, formalises, and empirically examines the “Concurrent Barrier Hypothesis” (CBH): if disadvantaged groups are more likely to face more than one healthcare access barrier concurrently, and if removing a barrier increases access to a greater extent for those who face fewer or no other barriers, then removing a single barrier to healthcare access population-wide could increase inequalities.
Paper 3 demonstrates a practical way forward for quantitative research on health inequalities to engage with “categorical thinking” critiques formulated by health anthropologists, using decomposition approaches.
Paper 4 explores inequalities in women’s pregnancy and birth experiences in a district of Zambia through primary qualitative data and modified grounded theory analysis.

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

PAA annual conference best poster award, 2019
ESRC overseas institutional visit (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), April-June 2019
ESRC fieldwork funding, June-July 2018
LSE class teacher award 2016-17
ESRC Advanced Quantitative Methods award 2017-2019
ESRC scholarship 2015-2019

Peer-reviewed publications:
Sochas, L. (2020) The predictive power of health system environments: a novel approach to explaining inequalities in access to maternal healthcare. BMJ Global Health. February 2020.
Sochas, L. (2019) Women who break the rules: Social exclusion and inequities in pregnancy and childbirth experiences in Zambia. Social Science & Medicine. 232, pp.278-288.
Sochas, L. , Channon, A. & Nam, S. (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. 32 (suppl. 3), pp.ii32-ii39.
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. 15:46.
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. pp.126-9.

Academic research employment:
Research officer. Adolescents, contraception and abortion in Malawi, Ethiopia and Zambia, London School of Economics. PI: Ernestina Coast. 2019-2020
Research officer. Causal impact of retirement on health in UK women. Worklong project, Kings College London. PI: Mauricio Avendano Pabon. 2019
Research officer. Interviewer effects and abortion in African DHS, London School of Economics. PI: Tiziana Leone. 2019

"Maternal health" short module (Msc level), Imperial College, February 2020 - Curriculum development, lectures & seminars
"Survey research methods" summer school course (Msc level), LSE, July 2019 - assisted during seminars
"Population dynamics and demographic transitions" guest lecture (Msc level), Imperial College, February 2019, February 2020
“Key Concepts in Global Health” course (BA level), Kings College London, UK, Oct-May 2018 - designed and led seminars
“Introduction to research methods” short module (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” course (BA level), London School of Economics, UK, Autumn 2016 - led seminars