Carolina CardonaSenior Technical Advisor
I am a health economist focused on understanding demographic processes and their effect on economic development. I am particularly interested in the influence of women’s sexual and reproductive health decisions on women’s roles in society and how they shape demographic transitions. To date, my work has investigated these areas in the context of developing countries from sub-Saharan Africa and in the U.S. context. Much of my research relies on data collected by the Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) project to study contraceptive behaviors and family planning preferences using data from: 1) clients of reproductive age seeking healthcare services, 2) women of reproductive age surveyed at their household, and 3) health facility information. I have also devoted much research to understanding how demographic transitions in sub-Saharan Africa can spark economic growth. I have co-developed a tool to track the efforts placed by governments in setting a favorable policy environment that could allow countries to harness a demographic dividend. I’m currently the technical coordinator of the Demographic Dividend Initiative at the Gates Institute at JHSPH. I am also interested in understanding how government spending influences women’s sexual and reproductive health decisions and other population health outcomes. My work in this area has relied on U.S. data. To date, I have looked at the influence of social spending of local governments on life expectancy at birth and COVID-19. I have also analyzed spending trends across different U.S. welfare programs, and its relationship with population health.