Sameh El-Saharty

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Sameh El-Saharty

January 30 (2017-01-30)
Egypt Cairo, Egypt

Dr. Sameh El-Saharty
Harvard Arab Alumni Association 4th Annual Conference 2008
Nationality Egyptian
Fields International health, Health policy, Health insurance, Health management, Public health
Known for

Improving Health Service Delivery in Developing Countries: From Evidence to Action

Capitalizing on the Demographic Transition: Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in South Asia

Sameh El-Saharty (Arabic: سامح السحرتى‎‎) is an Egyptian medical doctor and expert in international health, he works as Lead Health Specialist and Program Leader for Human Development at The World Bank in Washington, DC. He is responsible for health, nutrition and population as well as education, social protection and labor markets in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Dr. El-Saharty joined the Bank in 1998 and was the first Egyptian to work in the health, population, and nutrition sector at the Bank since its establishment. During this period, he was responsible for leading the health policy dialog and strategy development for client countries as well as managing several programs and projects amounting to about $2.5 billion in more than 20 countries in three world regions. He also holds the position of Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Health at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.


He graduated from Cairo University School of Medicine in 1982 and received a Master of Public Health from the Military Medical Academy in Egypt in 1988, a Certificate in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo in 1988, and Master of Public Health in International Health Policy and Management from Harvard University in 1991.

Major Publications in International Health[edit]

He authored and contributed to more than 30 published books, papers, articles, studies, reviews, and technical reports. His most recent work includes: “Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Policy Harmonization in Bangladesh”; “Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in Bangladesh: Now is the Time”; “Connecting Sectors and Systems for Health Results”; “Capitalizing on the Demographic Transition: Tackling Non-Communicable Diseases in South Asia." One of his key publications, “Improving Health Service Delivery in Developing Countries: From Evidence to Action”, is being widely cited. The links to his most important publications are below.

Professional Experience[edit]

Dr. El-Saharty provided policy advice and managed programs and projects that spanned a wide range of health programs and systems including maternal and child health, nutrition, communicable and non-communicable diseases, health promotion and behavior change, health service delivery, hospital management, human resources, pharmaceuticals, decentralization, public expenditures, health financing, health insurance and health reform. He is one of the leading experts who designed the Health Sector Reform Program in Egypt in 1998 that piloted the expansion of health insurance coverage and introduced the family health model in the country. Prior to joining the World Bank, he has worked for several organizations including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Pathfinder International, Clark Atlanta University, the American University in Cairo (AUC), Vinci (construction) (formerly Société Générale d’Entreprises), Ministry of Health and Population (Egypt), and Cairo University School of Medicine. He also worked for part-time or provided short-term consultancies to several organizations including Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard Kennedy School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Management Sciences for Health (MSH), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Professional Affiliations[edit]

Dr. El-Saharty is a member of the Global Think Tank of the Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of Health. He serves as a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council of Harvard School of Public Health and is the President-Elect of the School’s Alumni Council. In addition, he serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Staff Association the World Bank-International Monetary Fund. In the past, he served on the advisory board of several institutions including the MENA Health Policy Forum, the Harvard Arab Alumni Association and the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at Harvard University.

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

He received several awards including the Knowledge Management Award (2012) and Award of Excellence (2009) from the World Bank; the Alumni Leadership Award (2010) from Harvard University; and was decorated with the “Medal of Officer of the Independence” of the National Order (2006) by the President of the Republic of Djibouti; and the Middle East Fellowship (1990) from the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

External links[edit]

Conferences and Presentations[edit]

Bangladesh: Racing with Population Growth. Lecture at Georgetown University. December 8, 2014.

Implementation Research & Delivery Science: A Journey of Discovery. Presentation at the HIV Implementation Science Symposium. Johns Hopkins University. October 21, 2014.

Advancing Implementation Research and Delivery Science: Action Agenda. Presentation at the Third Health Systems Research Symposium at Cape Town, South Africa. September 30, 2014.

Applying Program Science to Strengthen People-Centered Health Systems: The Example of AIDS in India. Presentation at the Third Health Systems Research Symposium at Cape Town, South Africa. September 29, 2014.

Population and Family Planning Policy Harmonization. Presentation at the High-Level Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Negombo, Sri Lanka. May 25, 2014.

Implementation & Delivery Science: Putting the Client in the Driver’s Seat. Presentation at the Advisory Board Meeting and Consultations of the John Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in Health Sciences, the National Institutes of Health. May 13, 2014.

Health Policy and System Research: A perspective from the frontline. Presentation at the Consultation Meeting on Capacity Development for Health Policy and Systems Research in Low and Middle Income Countries, Johns Hopkins University. March 11, 2014.

The National AIDS Control Support Project: An Overview. A presentation at the Project Launch Conference. New Delhi, India. August 24, 2013.

Delivery of Targeted Interventions to Curb the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in India: A Case Study from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The World Bank. July 17, 2013.

Tackling Non-communicable Diseases in South Asia: What can other sectors do? Presentation at the Human Development Week. The World Bank, Washington DC, USA. February 6, 2013.

List of Publications and Project Documents[edit]

List of Dr. El-Saharty publications may be found at: Research Gate.


The Path to Universal Health Coverage in Bangladesh: Bridging the Gap of Human Resources for Health (2015)

Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Policy Harmonization in Bangladesh (2014)

Bangladesh - Universal Health Coverage for Inclusive and Sustainable Development. Summary Report (2014)

Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases in Bangladesh: Now is the time (2013)

Connecting sectors and systems for health results (2012)

Capitalizing on the Demographic Transition: Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases in South Asia (2011)

Private Health Insurance in Egypt in “Global Marketplace for Private Health Insurance: Strength in numbers (2009)”

Ethiopia: Improving Health Service Delivery (2009)

Improving Health Service Delivery in Developing Countries: From Evidence to Action (2009)

Public Expenditure on Health in Egypt in “The Egyptian Economy: Current Challenges and Future Prospects” (2008)

Private Voluntary Health Insurance in Development: Friend or Foe? (2007)

Étude du secteur de la santé en Tunisie (2006)

Tunisia Health Sector Study (2006)

Egypt and the Millennium Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities (2005)

Strengthening, Integrating and Sustaining EPI and Public Health Programs (2001)

Technical Reports

Pay-for-Performance for Improved Health in Egypt (2010)

Egypt Health Sector Reform and Financing Review (2004)

Egypt’s Health Policy Note (2005)

• Voluntary Health Insurance in Egypt (2005)

Yemen: Health Sector Strategy Note (2000)

International Strategies for Tropical Disease Treatments: Experiences with Praziquantel (1998)

The Health Insurance Organization of Egypt: An Analytical Review and Strategy for Reform (1997)

A Reform Strategy for Primary Care in Egypt (1997)

Articles and Briefs

• The Economic Impact on Households and Nations of NCDs : A Review of Existing Evidence: A Review of Existing Evidence. (2012)

• An effective, well-coordinated response to HIV in Djibouti (2006). HIV/AIDS Getting Results Series. The World Bank:

• Public Health Challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (2006). Co-author. The Lancet:

Project Documents

• HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis Control Project, Implementation Completion Report (2009). The World Bank:

• Morocco: Health Financing and Management Project, Implementation Completion Report (2007). Lead Author. The World Bank.

• Vision 2020 Health Sector Report of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2004). Unpublished.

• Yemen Budget and Expenditures Strengthening Health Chapter (2001). Unpublished.

• Oman: Cost Effectiveness of Health Services (2001). Unpublished.

• Tunisia: Hospital Restructuring Reform Support Project, Implementation Completion and Results Report (2000). Lead Author. The World Bank.

• Étude de la performance des structures sanitaires publiques en Tunisie (2008). Study Team Leader. Université de Montréal.