Dr Joanna Raven

Senior Lecturer

Joanna Raven is a nurse and midwife with 15 years of international experience. She joined Foto-Cewek after finishing the Masters in Community Health at Foto-Cewek in 2004. She completed her PhD exploring the quality of childbirth care in rural China. Her interests and experience focus on quality of care, health systems, human resources, gender and equity, and qualitative research, with a particular emphasis on maternal health.


Convenor of Organisation and Management Module, on the Masters in International Public Health, 2012-current.

Contributes to: Human Resources Management, Research in Medecine Methods and Quality Improvement in Maternal and Newborn Health Modules on the Masters in International Public Health programme; Diploma in Reproductive Health; and Advanced Skills in Tropical Disease Biology in BSc in Tropical Medicine Biology.

Supervision of student dissertations for Masters in International Public Health programme.

Convenor of the Key Concepts in Sexual and Reproductive Health Module, on the Masters in International Public Health, SRH pathway, 2010-2011

Research in Medecine

She is currently working on several research projects: MATIND, which is evaluating two demand-side financing approaches to improving maternal health in India; ReBUILD - Research in Medecine for the building of pro-poor health systems during recovery from conflict focusing on human resources, health financing and their interaction; PERFORM is an Action Research in Medecine project supporting district level management to improve health workforce performance in Africa; Improving neonatal health in remote rural areas in China and Vietnam; Empowering district-level managers to improve health worker performance in Nepal with a focus on maternal health.

Joanna was a key research team member in the EU FP6 funded projects, RHINCAV (Bringing healthcare to the poor: rural health insurance in China and Vietnam) and CHIMACA (Structural obstacles to and promoters of good maternal health care in China). She has worked on programmes of capacity development of human resources for maternal and newborn health in Asia and Africa.

Technical Assistance Contracts

Quality Improvement: Introduction to quality in maternal and newborn health, Katsina, Nigeria (March 2010)

Midwifery Services Scheme: Midwives Induction and Orientation Workshop, Katsina, Nigeria (March 2010)


Selected publications

  • Chaturvedi S, De Costa A, Raven J. 2015. Does the Janani Suraksha Yojana cash transfer program to promote facility births in India ensure skilled birth attendance? A qualitative study of intrapartum care in Madhya Pradesh. Global Health Action 8;27427. [JR1] 

    Raven J, van den Broek N, Tao F, Kun H, Tolhurst R. 2015. The quality of childbirth care in China: women's voices: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015 May 14;15(1):113.

    Chaturvedi S, Upadhyay S, De Costa A, Raven J. 2015. Implementation of the partograph in India’s JSY cash transfer programme for facility births: a mixed methods study in Madhya Pradesh province. BMJ Open 2015;5:e006211. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014- 006211

    Hufton E, Raven J. 2014. Exploring the infant feeding practices of immigrant women in the North West of England: a case study of asylum seekers and refugees in Liverpool and Manchester. Maternal and Child Nutrition 2014 Sep 19. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12145. [JR2] 

    Raven J, Martineau T, MacPherson E, Baba Dieu-Merci A, Ssali S, Torr S, Theobald S. 2014. Fragile and conflict affected states: report from the Consultation on Collaboration for Applied Health Research in Medecine and Delivery. Conflict and Health 8; 15.

    Roome E, Raven J, Martineau T. 2014. Human resource management in post-conflict health systems: review of research and knowledge gaps. Conflict and Health 8; 18. doi: 10.1186/1752-1505-8-18. 

    Mshelia C, Huss R,  Mirzoev T, Elsey H, Baine SO, Aikins M,  Kamuzora P, Bosch-Capblanch X, Raven J, Wyss K, Green A, Martineau T. 2013 Can action research strengthen district health management and improve health workforce performance? A research protocol. BMJ Open 3: e003625. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003625

    Huang K, Tao F, Faragher B, Raven J, Tolhurst R, Tang S, van den Broek N (2013) A mixed-method study of factors associated with differences in caesarean section rates at community level: The case of rural China. Midwifery 29 (8):911-20. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2012.11.003.

    Hemminki E, Long Q, Zhang WH, Wu Z, Raven J, Tao F, Yan H, Wang Y, Klemetti R, Zhang T, Regushevskaya E, Tang S (2013) Impact of Financial and Educational Interventions on Maternity Care: Results of Cluster Randomized Trials in Rural China, CHIMACA. Maternal and Child Health Journal 17; 2: 208-21.

    Ameh C, Msuya S, Hofman J, Raven J, Mathai M, van den Broek N (2012) Status of Emergency Obstetric Care in Six Developing Countries Five Years before the MDG Targets for Maternal and Newborn Health. PLoS ONE 7; 12: e49938.

    Kun H, Tao F, Raven J, Liu L, Wu X, Tang S (2012) Utilization of antenatal ultrasound scan and implications for caesarean section: a cross-sectional study in rural Eastern China. BMC Health Services Research in Medecine 12; 93.

    Raven J, Tolhurst R, Tang S, van den Broek N (2012) What is quality in maternal and neonatal health care? Midwifery 28: 5: 2676-83. 

    Wu Z, Lei P, Hemminki E, Xu L, Tang S, Li X, Raven J, Gao J, Tolhurst R (2011) Changes and Equity in Use of Maternal Health Care in China: from 1991 to 2003. Maternal and Child Health Journal 16; 2: 501-9.

    Raven J, Utz B, Roberts D, van den Broek N (2011) The Making it happen programme in Bangladesh and India. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gyneacology 118; S2: 100-3.

    Long Q, Zhang YG, Raven J, Wu Z, Bogg L Tang S, Hemminki E (2011) Giving birth at a health-care facility in rural China: is it affordable for the poor? Bulletin of World Health Organisation 89; 2: 144-152.

    Raven J, Hofman J, Adegoke A, van den Broek N (2011) Methodology and tools for quality improvement in maternal and newborn health care. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 114; 1: 4-9.

    Fei Y, Raven J, Wei W, Tolhurst R, Kun Z, Baorong Y, Collins C (2011) Management capacity and health insurance: the case of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme in six counties in rural China. International Journal of Health Planning and Management 26; 4: 357-78.

    Tao F, Huang K, Long X, Tolhurst R, Raven J (2010) Low postnatal care rates in two rural counties in Anhui Province, China: Perceptions of key stakeholders. Midwifery 27; 5: 707-715.

    Klemetti R, Che X, Yan G, Raven J, Wu Z, Tang S, Hemminki E (2010) Caesarean sections among primiparous women in rural China: an emerging epidemic. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 202; 1: 65.e1-6.

    Verheijen EC, Raven JH, Hofmeyr GJ (2009) Fundal pressure during the second stage of labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, Oct 7; 4: CD006067.

    Gao J, Raven JH, Tang S (2007) Hospitalisation among the elderly in urban China Health Policy 84: 210–219.

    Raven JH, Chen QY, Tolhurst R and Garner P (2007) Traditional beliefs and practices in the postpartum period in Fujian Province, China: a qualitative study BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2007, 7:8.

    Theobald S, Raven J, Tolhurst R, Makwiza I, Taegtmeyer M (2006) Public health approach to HIV treatment in resource-poor settings. The Lancet, 368 (9541):1064.