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Laurel Hatt, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, International Health Division

Laurel Hatt, Ph.D. Laurel Hatt, Ph.D.
Laurel Hatt has more than 13 years of professional experience in health economics and finance, health systems strengthening, and evaluation research. She is the health finance lead for the USAID-funded Health Finance and Governance (HFG) project.

She has evaluated numerous health finance programs using both qualitative and quantitative methods, including a microinsurance pilot in Nigeria, Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, a health insurance program for informal sector workers in Nicaragua, Bangladesh’s demand-side financing program for maternal health services, and Mali’s fee exemption program for Caesarean deliveries. Her doctoral dissertation research analyzed risk factors for catastrophic health expenditures in Peru and measured their long-term effects on families. 

From 2011-2012, she served as Health System 20/20’s health insurance strategy lead, managing a portfolio of health finance technical assistance in nine countries. From 2010-2013, she led a team providing health financing technical assistance to ministries of health and nongovernmental organizations in nine Caribbean countries. The work included costing analyses, National Health Accounts estimations, and Health Systems and Private Sector Assessments. Within the HFG project, Dr. Hatt is currently guiding efforts to develop and roll out metrics for measuring progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in low-income contexts. She is also supporting a cross-country analysis of how countries design and implement UHC benefits packages. 

She served as co-chair of the Demand-Side Financing review team for the USAID Maternal Health Evidence Summit in 2012.

Hatt has a Ph.D. in International Health with a health economics concentration from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and a B.A. in Politics with an international relations concentration from Oberlin College.

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  • Health economics and finance
  • Health systems strengthening
  • Evaluation research 
  • Languages: French, Bahasa Indonesia 

Key Projects

  • Health Finance and Governance Project (HFG), USAID
  • HS20/20, USAID 


  • USAID Excellence in Evaluation Award for “Extending Social Insurance to Informal Sector Workers in Nicaragua via Microfinance Institutions: Results from a Randomized Evaluation,” 2012.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Alebachew, A., L. Hatt, and M. Kukla. (2014). Monitoring and Evaluating Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage in Ethiopia. PLoS Medicine Sept 11(9).
  • Hatt, L., M. Makinen, S. Madhavan, and C. Morrissey. (2013). Effects of User Fee Exemptions on Provision and Use of Maternal Health Services: A Literature Review. Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition Dec 31(4) Suppl 2.
  • Comfort, A., L. Peterson, and L. Hatt. (2013). Effect of health insurance on use and provision of maternal health services and maternal and neonatal health outcomes: A systematic review. Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition Dec 31(4) Suppl 2.
  • Thornton, R., L. Hatt, E. Field, M. Islam, F. Solis, and M. Azucena Gonzalez (2010).  Social Security Health Insurance for the Informal Sector in Nicaragua: A Randomized Evaluation. Health Economics 19 Suppl:181-206.
  • El-Khoury, M., L. Hatt, and T. Gandaho (2012). User fee exemptions and equity in access to caesarean sections: an analysis of patient survey data in Mali. International Journal for Equity in Health 11(49): 1-7.
  • Nguyen HT, L. Hatt, M. Islam, N. Sloan, J. Chowdhury, J. Schmidt, A. Hossain, and H. Wang (2012). Encouraging maternal health service utilization: An evaluation of the Bangladesh voucher program. Social Science & Medicine 74(7):989-96.
  • Chankova S., L. Hatt, S. Musange (2012). A community-based approach to promote household water treatment in Rwanda. Journal of Water and Health 10(1):116-29.
  • Connor, C., L. Hatt, and T. van Bastelaer. (2011). Paying for a Healthier Future. Global Health Magazine issue 11 (summer 2011).