Get in touch:
T: +44(0)1273 765250 (Itad Office)

Lewis Husain

Lewis Husain is a Chinese-speaking political scientist and development expert, whose expertise is in researching and understanding institutional adaptation and processes of government innovation in China, with special reference to transformation of the rural healthcare system, (specifically rural health insurance).

Lewis has worked in/on China since 2001, when he was posted as a teacher/trainer in a small town in Yunnan Province by Voluntary Services Overseas, a UK international development charity.

Before starting his PhD (obtained in 2012), he worked in HIV/AIDS outreach for a Chinese public hospital in Shenzhen and in research and policy analysis in Beijing.

Lewis has substantial experience of desk research, fieldwork, interviewing, programme assessment and evaluation in China in both academic and civil society organisations. From 2008 to 2012, as part of his doctoral work, he carried out research on processes of institutional change in Chinese local government. He also has experience in negotiating access in complex policy and institutional environments and experience in dealing with a wide range of stakeholders, including multiple levels of Chinese government.

Lewis is currently working with Itad on our Evaluation of the China-UK Global Health Support Programme and has worked with us on our Formative Evaluation of Monitoring Results for Equity System (MoRES) Approach.

Nationality: British
Languages: English (mother tongue), Chinese, Spanish, French
Country Experience:



2008 - 2012
PhD, Implementing and innovating: Local governments in the development of China’s New Cooperative Medical Scheme
University of Leeds
2003 - 2004
MA Chinese Studies (Distinction)
University of Leeds
1994 - 1998
BSc (Hons) Modern languages (French) (First class)
Aston Univeristy


2014 - Present
Research Associate
Institute of Development Studies
Contributing to work of Future Health Systems consortium: working with Chinese partner institutions to produce publications on health system reforms in China for journal special issue and developing a book proposal in conjunction with IDS on health reforms in China. Developing research collaboration with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
2013 - Present
Team Lead/Consultant
Team Lead, China-UK Global Health Support Programme: Evaluation of China-UK Global Health Support Programme. GHSP is the new (12m GBP) phase of DFID’s support to China in health. Role includes responsibility for design of evaluation, data collection, analysis, report writing, liaising with stakeholders (DFID, National Health and Family Planning Commission – NHFPC – Project Management Office, etc). Consultant, evaluation of NI/NHFPC collaboration: Contributed to evaluation of NICE International (NI) / NHFPC collaboration on reform of county-level hospitals and implementation of clinical pathways. Role includes contribution to design of evaluation, including writing of successful project bid, county-level interviewing, report writing, validation of findings with NI.
2013 - 2014
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Institute of East Asian Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen
Contributed to development of research project on city low carbon development strategies in China.
2012 - 2013
Consultant, subsequently Programme Officer
Forum on Health, Environment and Development
Co-wrote report on food safety in China and contributed to development of food safety discussion forum. Recruited members of policy and academic communities for Guangdong network on environment, development and health. Oversaw day to day university curriculum development project on development, environment and health.
February 2008 - November 2008
China International Capital Corporation
Responsible for editing analytical and research products across a wide range of subject areas (macro economy, banking, companies and numerous industrial and commercial sectors).
2006 - 2007
Business Policy Analyst
Confederation of British Industry
Provided analysis of relevant policy changes in China to member companies. Supported the head of CBI China with communications, position statements, research and analysis. Produced a range of CBI information products. Represented CBI in liaison with members of foreign business community in Beijing.
2005 - 2006
Claydon Gescher Associates
Co-researched and wrote consulting reports for MNC clients on Chinese economy, development and social issues for use in corporate decision making. Editorial oversight of report chapters and overall focus of reports with Managing Director.
2004 - 2005
Project Assistant
Shenzhen Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Hospital
Part of HIV/AIDS and STD prevention outreach team. Contributed to design of materials, training in presentation skills, as well as taking part in outreach. Worked on design of public health projects on STD/HIV prevention among at risk groups (sex workers, MSM).
2001 - 2003
Voluntary Service Overseas
English teacher and trainer in Wenshan Teaching College. Taught English major students, set and marked exams, etc. Developed HIV/AIDS training materials and courses for use among students.


  • Looking for ‘new ideas that work’: County innovation in China’s health system reforms – the case of the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (2016)
    Journal of Contemporary China Vol. 25, No.98, March 2016
    Husain, L.

  • Logics of government innovation and reform management in China (2015)
    STEPS Centre Working Paper, Brighton: STEPS Centre
    Husain, L.

  • Europe China Research and Advice Network (ECRAN) (2014)
    Short Term Policy Brief 101, October 2014
    Husain, L.

  • National Policy, Sub-National Trajectories – Development of Local Models in China’s Health Reform Process (2013)
    C.M. Dent and C. Brautaset, eds. The Great Diversity: Trajectories of Asian Development, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen.
    Husain, L.

  • Food safety in China: A mapping of problems, policies and research (2013)
    Report on behalf of the Forum on Health, Environment and Development Working Group on Food Safety, Beijing.
    Holdaway, J. and Husain, L.

  • Policing AIDS in China: Official discourses, change, continuity, and unofficial voices (2004)
    Christiansen, F., Dosch, J., Rose, C., Hamelman, S. eds. Leeds East Asia Paper, No. 66.
    Husain, L.