Sophie Harman

International Politics Academic, Film Producer, Global Health Expert

I am a Reader in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, where I conduct research and teach in the areas of Global Health Politics, global governance, and the politics of East Africa.

I have published six books on these topics - Global Health Governance, the World Bank and HIV/AIDS, Global Politics of Health Reform in Africa, African Agency and International Politics, Governing the World? and Governance of HIV/AIDS and a range of academic articles in journals such as Political Studies, Third World Quarterly, and Global Governance.

I have contributed opinion pieces on Ebola and HIV/AIDS to The Guardian, The Independent, The Conversation, The Lancet and Open Democracy.

I am currently producing a feature film 'PILI' based in Tanzania that uses real people and locations rather than actors to tell the story of a woman seeking a better life as she navigates the barriers and hurdles of her HIV status. Pili has one opportunity to change her life but is limited by her own health and self-stigma, a bureaucratic state, and poverty. A story of friendship, determination, self discovery, and the compromises of getting what you want. For more information please visit
Does Bill Gates Have A Legitimacy

Does Bill Gates Have A Legitimacy Problem?

The problem here is that to be a legitimate actor in global health, someone has to challenge your role/position/ideas. Not just through accountability or monitoring and evaluation processes (which I'm sure the Foundation is pretty rigorous on) but a more mundane questioning of the authority of an actor.
24/08/2016 14:37 BST
PILI: HIV from the female

PILI: HIV from the female perspective

It was in this context that I embarked on a project to provide a voice for these women and to gain a greater understanding of the socio-economic risks they face on a day-to-day basis, supported by the AXA Research Fund. PILI, a feature length drama, is a film based on the testimony of 85 local women from the Pwani region of Tanzania.
27/07/2016 13:48 BST
Hooray for the New Health Emergencies Programme! Shame About the WHO's Legitimacy

Hooray for the New Health Emergencies Programme! Shame About the WHO's Legitimacy Problem

A lack of belief in the legitimacy of the WHO is a big problem for the success of the Health Emergencies Programme and the future of the institution. Unless member states such as the UK believe that the WHO has the legitimacy and ability to act in response to health emergencies, funding for ambitious life-saving programmes will not be forthcoming and the WHO will remain an institution of must-dos without action.
02/06/2016 08:54 BST
The Future of HIV/AIDS Is Decided Next Week - Is Anyone

The Future of HIV/AIDS Is Decided Next Week - Is Anyone Listening?

The 69th World Health Assembly (WHA) next week will see all eyes on the WHO again after a turbulent couple of years. Condemned for its failings in the global response to Ebola, stuck in a process of reform that everyone agrees is needed but no-one knows how, and on the brink of declaring yellow fever a public health emergency of international concern, things are hotting up for the election of the new Director General.
20/05/2016 16:38 BST