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Dr. Dr. Jan-Walter De Neve


Research Group Leader Education and Health

Jan-Walter De Neve MD ScD MPH is Research Group Leader for Education and Health and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health. His work focuses on three areas of research: (i) the relationship between schooling and health, (ii) the causal impacts of interventions on population health, economic, social and behavioral outcomes, and (iii) the improvement of health systems in global health. Current research interests include health spillovers of human capital investment, the scale up of secondary schooling as an HIV prevention intervention, and community health initiatives in low- and middle-income countries .

Walter is principal investigator on grants from the European Commission; the German Science Foundation; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; World Health Organization; Harvard University; and Heidelberg University. Prior to his graduate training at Harvard University, Walter worked at a Johns Hopkins affiliated-hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, and co-founded a non-profit organization focused on improving health conditions in low-resource settings. He holds an Sc.D. and M.P.H. degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an M.D. degree from the University of Brussels.

For additional and up-to-date information: https://scholar.harvard.edu/jwdeneve


2017 Doctor of Science (ScD) in Global Health and Population Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA
2014 Master in Public Health (MPH) in Global Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA
2009 Medical Doctor (MD), Faculty of Medicine University of Brussels, Belgium.


Selected Publications

(out of 70+)


  • De Neve JW, Harttgen K, Verguet S (2020). Nationally and regionally representative analysis of 1.65 million children aged under 5 years using a child-based human development index: A multi-country cross-sectional study. PLoS Medicine. 17(3):e1003054.
  • Teufel F, Geldsetzer P, Manne-Goehler J, Karlsson O, Koncz V, Deckert A, Theilmann M, Marcus ME, Ebert C, Seiglie JA, Agoudavi K, Andall-Brereton G, Gathecha G, Gurung MS, Guwatudde D, Houehanou C, Hwalla N, Kagaruki GB, Karki KB, Labadarios D, Martins JS, Msaidie M, Norov B, Sibai AM, Sturua L, Tsabedze L, Wesseh CS, Davies J, Atun R, Vollmer S, Subramanian SV, Bärnighausen T, Jaacks LM, De Neve JW (2020). Analysis of Attained Height and Diabetes Among 554,122 Adults Across 25 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Diabetes Care. 43(10):2403-2410.
  • Thoma B, Sudharsanan N, Karlsson O, Joe W, Subramanian SV, De Neve JW (2020). Children's education and parental old-age health: Evidence from a population-based, nationally representative study in India. Popul Stud (Camb). 16:1-16.
  • Lemp JM, De Neve JW, Bussmann H, Chen S, Manne-Goehler J, Theilmann M, Marcus ME, Ebert C, Probst C, Tsabedze-Sibanyoni L, Sturua L, Kibachio JM, Moghaddam SS, Martins JS, Houinato D, Houehanou C, Gurung MS, Gathecha G, Farzadfar F, Dryden-Peterson S, Davies JI, Atun R, Vollmer S, Bärnighausen T, Geldsetzer P (2020). Lifetime Prevalence of Cervical Cancer Screening in 55 Low- and Middle-Income Countries. JAMA. 324(15):1532-1542
  • Yapa HM, De Neve JW, Chetty T, Herbst C, Post FA, Jiamsakul A, Geldsetzer P, Harling G, Dhlomo-Mphatswe W, Moshabela M, Matthews P, Ogbuoji O, Tanser F, Gareta D, Herbst K, Pillay D, Wyke S, Bärnighausen T (2020). The impact of continuous quality improvement on coverage of antenatal HIV care tests in rural South Africa: Results of a stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled implementation trial. PLoS Medicine. 17(10):e1003150.
  • Local Burden of Disease Educational Attainment Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2020). Mapping disparities in education across low- and middle-income countries. Nature. 577(7789):235-238.
  • Local Burden of Disease Child Growth Failure Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2020). Mapping child growth failure across low- and middle-income countries. Nature. 577(7789):231-234.
  • De Neve JW, Karlsson O, Canavan CR, Chukwu A, Adu-Afarwuah S, Bukenya J, Darling AM, Harling G, Moshabela M, Killewo J, Fink G, Fawzi WW, Berhane Y (2020). Are out-of-school adolescents at higher risk of adverse health outcomes? Evidence from 9 diverse settings in sub-Saharan Africa. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 25(1):70-80.
  • Werner LK, Jabbarian J, Kagoné M, McMahon S, Lemp J, Souares A, Fink G, De Neve JW (2019). “Because at school, you can become somebody” - The perceived health and economic returns on secondary schooling in rural Burkina Faso. PLoS One. 14(12):e0226911. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226911.
  • Didzun O, De Neve JW, Awasthi A, Dubey M, Bärnighausen T, Vollmer S, Theilmann M, Geldsetzer P (2019). Anaemia among men in India: a nationally representative cross-sectional study. Lancet Global Health; 7(12):e1685- 94. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(19)30440-1.
  • LBD Under-5 Mortality Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2019). Mapping 123 million neonatal, infant and child deaths between 2000 and 2017. Nature; 574(7778):353-358. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1545-0.
  • Koncz V, Geldsetzer P, Manne-Goehler J, Wendt A, Teufel F, Subramanian SV, Bärnighausen T, De Neve JW (2019). Shorter height is associated with diabetes in women but not in men: nationally representative evidence from Namibia. Obesity (Silver Spring). 27(3):505-512. doi: 10.1002/oby.22394.
  • GBD Health Financing Collaborator Network, including De Neve JW (2019). Past, present, and future of global health financing: a review of development assistance, government, out-of-pocket, and other private spending on health for 195 countries, 1995-2050. Lancet. Jun 1;393(10187):2233-2260. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30841-4.
  • Mauti J, Gautier L, De Neve JW, Beiersmann C, Tosun J, Jahn A (2019). Kenya's Health in All Policies strategy: a policy analysis using Kingdon's multiple streams. Health Research Policy and Systems. 6;17(1):15.
  • Muller N, Emmrich PMF, Rajemison EN, De Neve JW, Bärnighausen T, Knauss S, Emmrich JV (2019). A Mobile Health Wallet for Pregnancy-Related Health Care in Madagascar: Mixed-Methods Study on Opportunities and Challenges. Journal of Medical Internet Research Mhealth Uhealth. Mar 5;7(3):e11420.
  • De Neve JW, Andriantavison RL, Croke K, Krisam J, Rajoela VH, Rakotoarivony A, Rambeloson V, Schultz L, Qamruddin J, Verguet S (2018). Health, financial, and education gains of investing in preventive chemotherapy for schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, and lymphatic filariasis in Madagascar: a modeling study. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 12(12):e0007002. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007002.
  • GBD 2017 Sustainable Development Goals Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2018). Measuring progress and projecting attainment of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 195 countries and territories: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet. 8 Nov; 392:2091–138. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32281-5.
  • GBD 2017 Population and Fertility Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2018). Population and fertility by age and sex for 195 countries and territories 1950-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease 2017. Lancet. 8 Nov;392:1995-2051. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32278-5.
  • GBD 2017 Mortality Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2018). Global, regional, and national age- and sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet. 8 Nov;392:1684-735. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31891-9.
  • Karlsson O, De Neve JW, Subramanian SV (2018). Weakening association of parental education: analysis of child health outcomes in 43 low- and middle income countries. International Journal of Epidemiology; doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy158.
  • GBD 2016 Alcohol Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2018). Alcohol use and burden: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 for 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016. Lancet; doi: 10.1016/S01406736(18)31310-2.
  • Chetty T, Yapa HMN, Herbst C, Geldsetzer P, Naidu KK, De Neve JW, Herbst K, Matthews P, Pillay D, Wyke S, Bärnighausen T for the MONARCH study team (2018). The MONARCH intervention to enhance the quality of antenatal and postnatal primary health services in rural South Africa: protocol for a stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research. 18(1):625. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3404-3.
  • De Neve JW, Karlsson O, Coetzee L, Schröder H, Subramanian SV, Bärnighausen T, Vollmer S. Antiretroviral therapy coverage associated with increased co-residence between older and working-age adults in Africa. AIDS. 2018 Sep 10;32(14):2051-2057.
  • GBD 2016 Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators, including De Neve JW (2018). Measuring performance on the Healthcare Access and Quality Index for 195 countries and territories and selected subnational locations: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet; doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30994-2
  • De Neve JW, Fink G (2018). Children's education and parental old age survival - Quasi-experimental evidence on the intergenerational effects of human capital investment. Journal of Health Economics; 58:76-89.
  • De Neve JW, Garrison-Desany H, Andrews KA, Sharara N, Boudreaux C, Gill R, Geldsetzer P, Vaikath M, Bärnighausen T, Bossert TJ (2017). Harmonization of community health worker programs for HIV: a four-country qualitative study in Southern Africa. PLOS Medicine; 14(8): e1002374.
  • Subramanian SV, De Neve JW (2017). Social determinants of health and the International Monetary Fund. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 20;114(25):6421-6423.
  • De Neve JW, Harling G (2017). Offspring schooling associated with increased parental survival in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Social Science & Medicine; 176; 149-157.
  • De Neve JW, Subramanian SV (2017). Causal effect of parental schooling on early childhood undernutrition—quasi-experimental evidence from Zimbabwe. American Journal of Epidemiology; doi: 10.1093/aje/kwx195.
  • De Neve JW, Kawachi I (2017). Spillovers between siblings and from offspring to parents are understudied: a review and future directions for research. Social Science & Medicine; 183:56-61.
  • Geldsetzer P, Vaikath M, De Neve JW, Bossert TJ, Sibandze S, Mkhwanazi M, Bärnighausen T (2017). Distrusting community health workers with confidential health information: A convergent mixed-methods study in Swaziland. Health Policy and Planning; doi:10.1093/heapol/czx036.
  • Geldsetzer P, Vaikath M, De Neve JW, Bossert T, Sibandzeb S, Bärnighausen T (2017). Household coverage of Swaziland’s national community health worker program: Evidence from a population-based survey. Tropical Medicine & International Health; doi: 10.1111/tmi.12904.
  • De Neve JW, Boudreaux C, Gill R, Geldsetzer P, Vaikath M, Bärnighausen T, Bossert TJ (2017). Harmonizing community-based health worker programs for HIV: a narrative review and analytic framework. Human Resources for Health; 3;15(1):45.
  • Geldsetzer P, De Neve JW, Boudreaux C, Bärnighausen T, Bossert TJ (2017). Improving the performance of community health workers in Swaziland: findings from a qualitative study. Human Resources for Health; 18;15(1):68.
  • De Neve JW, Fink G, Subramanian SV, Moyo S, Bor J (2015). Length of secondary schooling and risk of HIV infection in Botswana: evidence from a natural experiment. Lancet Global Health; 3(8):e470-7.