Dr Victoria Boydell

School of Health and Social Care
Dr Victoria Boydell



Vicky Boydell is a lecturer in Global Public Health in the School of Health & Social Care at the University of Essex. She is a social anthropologist working in the field of sexual and reproductive health, rights and social justice. Her research interests are at the intersection of social science and global public health, with a strong emphasis on the empirical and analytical value of subjective and lived experience in global health policy and programming to improve dignity, well-being and health. Her past research has included developing and testing interventions to build political priority, examining social accountability and community engagement in the context of healthcare, and operationalising equity-oriented and rights-based approaches in the provision of frontline health services. Her current interests include: • Operationalising equity-oriented and rights-based approaches. • Integrated approaches to studies of reproduction and reproductive technologies. • Social accountability, community engagement and citizen science. • Action research on frontline service providers. • Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) and reproductive rights and justice. She has published widely on health policy and systems (e.g. governance and measurement), social accountability and sexual and reproductive health, including an edited volume on Nature and Ethics Across Geographical, Rhetorical and Human Borders with Routledge. She currently serves on the board of the Accountability Research Center and Durex’s Global Advisory Board on Sexual Well-Being and Health. Before joining Essex University, she had over 18 years of research, policy and advocacy experience. She had previously worked with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, UNWomen, the World Health Organization, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She continues to enjoy associations with the Global Health Centre at the Geneva Graduate Institute and senior research associate at the Centre for Health Inequalities Research at Lancaster University.


  • PhD London School of Economics and Political Science, (2010)

  • MSc London School of Economics and Political Science, (2000)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Rights Based Research and Dissertation (HS657)

  • Social Work Dissertation (HS659)

  • Introduction to Global Health (HS887)

  • Data Collection, Analysis and Interpretation (HS908)

  • Innovating for Health Policy and Systems (HS959)

  • Dissertation (HS982)

  • Health Inequalities and Intersectionality 101 (HS856)


Journal articles (26)

Boydell, V. and Dow, K., (2022). Adjusting the analytical aperture: propositions for an integrated approach to the social study of reproductive technologies. BioSocieties. 17 (4), 732-757

Boydell, V. and Galavotti, C., (2022). Getting Intentional about Intention to Use: A Scoping Review of Person‐Centered Measures of Demand. Studies in Family Planning. 53 (1), 63-132

Gilmore, K., Boydell, V., International Planned Parenthood Federation, MSI Reproductive Choices, IPAS, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetricians and International Confederation of Midwives, (2022). Defending frontline defenders of sexual and reproductive health rights: a call to action-oriented, human rights-based responses.. BMJ Global Health. 7 (4), e008867-e008867

Schaaf, M., Boydell, V., Topp, SM., Iyer, A., Sen, G. and Askew, I., (2022). A summative content analysis of how programmes to improve the right to sexual and reproductive health address power.. BMJ Global Health. 7 (4), e008438-e008438

Boydell, V., Kibira, D., Kiarie, J. and Mworeko, L., (2022). Considerations for social accountability in the expansion of self-care for sexual and repro- ductive health and rights. Sexual and Reproductive Helath Matters. 29 (3), 2083812-

McMullen, H., Boydell, V., Cordero, JP., Steyn, PS., Kiarie, J., Kinemo, P., Monyo, A., Addah, MA., Ahuno, JT. and Gyamfi, O-B., (2022). Accounting for complexity - Intervention design in the context of studying social accountability for reproductive health.. Gates Open Research. 5, 107-107

Kraft, JM., Paina, L., Boydell, V., Elnakib, S., Sihotang, A., Bailey, A. and Tolmie, C., (2022). Social Accountability Reporting for Research (SAR4Research): checklist to strengthen reporting on studies on social accountability in the literature. International Journal for Equity in Health. 21 (S1), 121-

Cordero, JP., Mochache, V., Boydell, V., Addah, MA., McMullen, H., Monyo, A., Mrema, S., Nai, D., Shamba, D. and Steyn, PS., (2022). Research and implementation interactions in a social accountability study: utilizing guidance for conducting process evaluations of complex interventions. International Journal for Equity in Health. 21 (S1), 153-

Schaaf, M., Kapilashrami, A., George, A., Amin, A., Downe, S., Boydell, V., Samari, G., Ruano, AL., Nanda, P. and Khosla, R., (2021). Unmasking power as foundational to research on sexual and reproductive health and rights. BMJ Global Health. 6 (4), e005482-e005482

Boydell, V., Wright, KQ. and Smith, RD., (2021). A Rapid Review of Sexual Pleasure in First Sexual Experience(s). The Journal of Sex Research. 58 (7), 850-862

Habib, N., Steyn, PS., Boydell, V., Cordero, JP., Nguyen, MH., Thwin, SS., Nai, D., Shamba, D. and Kiarie, J., (2021). The use of segmented regression for evaluation of an interrupted time series study involving complex intervention: the CaPSAI project experience. Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology. 21 (2), 188-205

Boydell, V., Nulu, N., Hardee, K. and Gay, J., (2020). Implementing social accountability for contraceptive services: lessons from Uganda. BMC Women's Health. 20 (1), 228-

Boydell, V., Steyn, PS., Cordero, JP., Habib, N., Nguyen, MH., Nai, D. and Shamba, D., (2020). Adaptation and validation of social accountability measures in the context of contraceptive services in Ghana and Tanzania. International Journal for Equity in Health. 19 (1), 183-

Marston, C., McGowan, CR., Boydell, V. and Steyn, P., (2020). Methods to measure effects of social accountability interventions in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health programs: systematic review and critique. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition. 39 (1), 13-

Squires, F., Martin Hilber, A., Cordero, JP., Boydell, V., Portela, A., Lewis Sabin, M. and Steyn, P., (2020). Social accountability for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health: A review of reviews. PLOS ONE. 15 (10), e0238776-e0238776

Schaaf, M., Boydell, V., Van Belle, S., Brinkerhoff, DW. and George, A., (2020). Accountability for SRHR in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters. 28 (1), 1779634-1779634

Schaaf, M., Boydell, V., Sheff, MC., Kay, C., Torabi, F. and Khosla, R., (2020). Accountability strategies for sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in humanitarian settings: a scoping review. Conflict and Health. 14 (1), 18-

Steyn, PS., Boydell, V., Cordero, JP., McMullen, H., Habib, N., Nguyen, TMH., Nai, D., Shamba, D. and Kiarie, J., (2020). Rationale and design of a complex intervention measuring the impact and processes of social accountability applied to contraceptive programming: CaPSAI Project. Gates Open Research. 4, 26-26

Boydell, V., Schaaf, M., George, A., Brinkerhoff, DW., Van Belle, S. and Khosla, R., (2019). Building a transformative agenda for accountability in SRHR: lessons learned from SRHR and accountability literatures. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters. 27 (2), 64-75

Boydell, V., McMullen, H., Cordero, J., Steyn, P. and Kiare, J., (2019). Studying social accountability in the context of health system strengthening: innovations and considerations for future work. Health Research Policy and Systems. 17 (1), 34-

Hardee, K., Jurczynska, K., Sinai, I., Boydell, V., Muhwezi, DK., Gray, K. and Wright, K., (2019). <p>Improving Voluntary, Rights-Based Family Planning: Experience From Nigeria And Uganda</p>. Open Access Journal of Contraception. Volume 10, 55-67

Cole, MS., Boydell, V., Hardee, K. and Bellows, B., (2019). The Extent to Which Performance-Based Financing Programs' Operations Manuals Reflect Rights-Based Principles: Implications for Family Planning Services. Global Health: Science and Practice. 7 (2), 329-339

Van Belle, S., Boydell, V., George, AS., Brinkerhof, DW. and Khosla, R., (2018). Broadening understanding of accountability ecosystems in sexual and reproductive health and rights: A systematic review. PLOS ONE. 13 (5), e0196788-e0196788

Van Belle, S., Boydell, V., George, AS., Brinkerhoff, DW. and Khosla, R., (2018). Correction: Broadening understanding of accountability ecosystems in sexual and reproductive health and rights: A systematic review. PLOS ONE. 13 (7), e0200675-e0200675

Boydell, V., Neema, S., Wright, K. and Hardee, K., (2018). Closing the gap between people and programs: Lessons from implementation of social accountability for family planning and reproductive health in Uganda. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 22 (1), 73-84

Dow, K. and Boydell, V., (2017). Introduction: Nature and Ethics Across Geographical, Rhetorical and Human Borders. Ethnos. 82 (1), 1-18

Books (2)

Boydell, V. and Dow, K., (2022). Technologies of Reproduction Across the Lifecourse Expanding Reproductive Studies. Emerald Publishing Limited. 1800717342. 9781800717343

Dow, K. and Boydell, V., (2019). Nature and Ethics Across Geographical, Rhetorical and Human Borders. Routledge. 135133347X. 9781351333474

Conferences (1)

Philpott, A., Knerr, W. and Boydell, V., (2006). Pleasure and Prevention: When Good Sex Is Safer Sex

Grants and funding


Social accountability during the covid-19 pandemic

World Health Organisation



Colchester Campus