Dr Elizabeth H Shayo

Dr Elizabeth H Shayo

Principal Research Scientist

National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)



Dr Elizabeth H Shayo is a Principal Research Scientist1 of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) with BA, MA (Social Sciences and Medical Anthropology), PhD on International Health and a Post-Doctoral Research on health systems. Dr Shayo has worked with NIMR for 21 years in different health research projects both quantitative and qualitative in nature addressing communicable and non-communicable diseases, health systems and social determinants of health.  She is an expert in research communication, stakeholders’ engagement, trainer on policy briefs development and running of policy dialogue meetings. Currently, Dr Shayo Leads the One Health Social Science research programme of the SACIDS Foundation for One Health (SACIDS), as NIMR is a Member Institute of SACIDS and its coleader in Tanzania.

Dr Shayo’s research and  service provision experience has focused at community level and translating community to national health systems. In so doing, she has accumulated expertise and experience in several branches of sociology including socio-anthropology, gender,  risk communication. Examples of practical experience through project activities commissioned by the Tanzania Ministry of Health, UNICEF and others in addressing infectious disease epidemic as follows;

  • Co-investigator in the study on Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on Ebola Virus Disease, a consultancy supported by UNICEF (2020).
  • In COVID19 time, she has been also the co-investigator in the study on Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on COVID19, a consultancy supported by UNICEF (2020).
  • She coordinated a study on the assessment of the community adherence to the COVID preventive measures (hand washing, physical distance and wearing of masks), the study supported by WHO (2020).
  • She was the Principal Investigator on the project focusing on impact of COVID19 on gender inequities and access to immunization services to children, under UKRI funding, the project is still under implementation (2020-2021).
  • She was the local investigator on the project targeting use of community health workers in observing and capturing ramous related to misconception, lack of knowledge etc. in the context of emergence like COVID 19 time, supported by LSHTM (2021-2023).
  • She participated in assessing the COVID19 vaccine acceptance and hesitance among health care workers in Tanzania, that was implemented collaboratively with MUHAS, PoRALG, KCMUco and NIMR.

Dr Shayo has participated in writing four books, 22 technical reports and 58 peer reviewed publications.  She has  been awarded the overall best  NIMR Research Scientist (2019), and  at Center level four  times (2023, 2022, 2021, and 2009).

Currently, she combines her leadership of the NIMR role as Head of health Systems, Policy and Translational Research Section and the Leadership of the SACIDS Social Sciences Research Programme.

For her leadership role in SACIDS,  Dr Elizabeth Shayo is bringing together, under one portfolio, the various strands of social sciences that SACIDS affiliated scientists had undertaken since 2010.  The SACIDS One Health research programme has always been taken as a collaborative effort between the natural and social sciences. So she is developing the programme as a Regional One Health Social Sciences Hub for preparedness and response to infectious diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance in East and Southern Africa. This is to link social scientists from SACIDS Member Institutions in Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and the Democratic of Congo (DRC) to address the shared Overarching Research Question: How can social science and One Health systems analyses be integrated into preparedness and response to epidemics and AMR in East and Southern Africa while reflecting the local and regional health context?

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