Professor Don de Savigny is an epidemiologist and health systems specialist with a particular interest in systems science and in information systems. In collaboration with the University of Melbourne, he currently leads the Bloomberg Data for Health CRVS Innovation Hub at the Health Systems and Policies Research Group of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. Don has an MSc from the University of Guelph and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Basel and Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Columbia University. Prior to this, he was Head of the Swiss Tropical Institute Field Laboratory in the United Republic of Tanzania (currently the Ifakara Health Institute) from 1984 to 1988 and Principal Health Specialist for the International Development Research Centre, Canada from 1988 to 1996. He has lived and worked for many years in Africa, most recently (1996-2003) as lead facilitator of the Tanzania Essential Health Interventions Program (TEHIP) for the United Republic of Tanzania Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
Don is a frequent advisor to the World Health Organization and has led a number of its working groups and committees, such as: Chair of the WHO Health Metrics Network (HMN) Technical Advisory Group, Chair of the WHO Roll Back Malaria Vector Control Working Group, Chair of the RBM mHealth for Malaria Working Group, and Chair of the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) Scientific Oversight Committee for Community Case Management of Malaria and the WHO African Malaria Expert Committee. He is a founding member of INDEPTH, the International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health in Developing Countries and sits on their Scientific Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the Global Fund Technical Evaluation Reference Group (TERG) as well as previously serving on the Boards of the WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the Council for Health Research for Development and HealthBridge Canada.
His current research focuses on system-level interventions to strengthen health systems in developing countries, particularly health information systems, and on the health system effects of global health initiatives for universal health coverage.
For the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative, Don is CRVS Technical Advisor for Ghana and Tanzania, Co-chair of the governance and architecture working group and leads the innovation teams developing CRVS process mapping tools, CRVS verbal autopsy systems integration, verbal autopsy costing tools, CRVS costing tools, surveillance integration, ANACONDA, and integrating mortality data systems in the OpenCRVS development.