1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Maite Irurzun López

Former Visiting Fellow

Maite Irurzun López is a development and health economist who joined UNRISD in September 2012 as a visiting research fellow. Her research at UNRISD focuses on the relationship between increases in public health expenditure and health system strengthening.

Prior to joining UNRISD, she worked for several development institutions worldwide, such as the Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa (CHGA) (Ethiopia) as Economics Affairs Officer, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) (Ethiopia) as a fellow from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the Asian Development Bank (the Philippines), SHIS-local NGO in Calcutta (India), Universidad Javeriana de Cali (Colombia) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) (U.K).

She holds a Ph.D. in Public Health (Health Economics) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, an Mphil in Development Studies from the IDS, University of Sussex, U.K., and a MSc + BA in Applied Economics from the University of Alicante, Spain. Her Ph.D. thesis was on ‘Absorptive Capacity to finance HIV/AIDS treatment in South Africa: Where are the Bottlenecks?’


  • “Pursuing African AIDS Governance: Consolidating the Response and Preparing for the Future”. Co-author with Nana Poku. Conclusions chapter for the book The African State and the AIDS Crisis, Ed. by Amy Patterson; Ashgate: England.
  • Scoring African Leadership for Better Health: the Challenge of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Joint ECA/African Union/UNAIDS/WHO report; member of the writing and management team; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/Publications/Scoring/content.pdf
  • Financing Pro-Poor Health Policies; An Inquiry into Making Financing of Health Policies Work for the Poor, presented at the Expert Group Meeting on Pro-Poor Growth Strategies in Africa, Kampala, Uganda, 2003; http://www.uneca.org/eca_resources/Meetings_Events/ESPD/PoorGROWTH/health%20financing%20formatted%2010%20oct%20III.pdf
  • Study on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Access to Drugs; the African Perspective; co-author with Mrs. Aissatou Gueye, ECA Working Paper No. 3, June 2003; Paper presented April 2003 at UNECA;
  • Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Expanding Access to Treatment and Care; Article published in the Africa’s Population and Development Bulletin, ECA, September 2002; http://www.uneca.org/popia/gateways/AfriPopDevBu2002.pdf
  • Tackling the Diseases of Poverty through Red Biotechnology, chapter for the ‘Harnessing Technologies for Sustainable Development’ ECA Policy Research Report, leading author, July 2002; http://www.uneca.org/harnessing/Chapter4.pdf.