James Phillips, PhD
James F. Phillips is a Professor Emeritus, Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health where he founded a program for developing evidence-based primary health care program strengthening. Over a career that spanned five decades, he has led implementation science initiatives in East and South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, contributed to 228 peer-reviewed publications, and served on technical committees of the WHO, the US National Academy of Sciences, and the World Bank. He collaborated in launching international research networks for developing family planning program evaluation, for researching abandonment of female genital mutilation, for researching the scaling-up of health systems innovation, and for coordinating the conduct of longitudinal demographic research.
Dr. Phillips received the 2004 USAID Marjorie C. Horn Award for Excellence in Operations Research, the 2006 Government of Ghana Presidential Award for Excellence in Partnerships, the 2010 INDEPTH Network Outstanding Support Award, the 2014 Mailman School of Public Health Dean's Mentoring Award, the 2020 American Public Health Association Carl S. Schultz Award for Lifetime Achievement in Reproductive Health Research, and the 2021 Population Association of America Robert J. Lapham Award for Excellence in Applying Demographic Knowledge to Policy.
Prior to joining the Columbia faculty in 2007, he was a Population Council Senior Associate engaged in implementation research advisory roles in Asia and Africa which included a two-year assignment as a visiting lecturer in demography at the University of the Philippines and six years as a resident Scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh.
- Professor Emeritus of Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health
- Special Lecturer in Population and Family Health
- Member, Columbia Population Research Center
Credentials & Experience
Education & Training
- BS, 1967 University of Michigan
- MSc, 1972 University of Hawaii
- PhD, 1980 University of Michigan
Committees, Societies, Councils
Senior Associate, Poverty Gender and Youth Program, Population Council, 2006-2007
Senior Associate, Policy Research Division, Population Council, 1989-2006
Associate, Population Council International Programs Division, Population Council, 1979-88
Member, Science Advisory Committee, INDEPTH Network, 2002-2008
Founding member, ExpandNet, 2002-2008
Chair, International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, Committee on Family Planning and Fertility, 1990-1995
Africa Population Journal
Global Health: Policy and Practice
BioMed Central Health Systems Research
Honors & Awards
Marjorie Horn Award for Excellence in Operations Research, USAID
Presidential Award for Excellence in Partnership, Republic of Ghana, 2005
Dean's Mentoring Award, Mailman School of Public Health, 2013
Outstanding Support Award, INDEPTH Network, 2010
Phillips, James F., Bruce B. MacLeod, and S. Patrick Kachur. 2021. ‚ÄúBugs in the bed: Addressing the contradictions of embedded science with agile implementation research.‚Äù Global Health: Science and Practice 9(1):1-23. https://doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-20-00169.
Phillips, James F., John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Ayaga A. Bawah, Belinda Afriyie Nimako, Nicholas S. Kanlisi, Mallory C. Sheff, Elizabeth F. Jackson, Patrick O. Asuming, Adriana Biney, and Pearl Kyei. 2018. ‚ÄúWhat do you do with success? The science of scaling up a health systems strengthening intervention in Ghana.‚Äù BioMed Central, Health Services Research, 18(1):484 DOI: 10.1186/s12913-018-3250-3.
Phillips, James F. 2018. ‚ÄúBiafra at 50 and the birth of emergency public health.‚Äù American Journal of Public Health 108(6):731-733, doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304420.
Phillips, James F., Mallory C. Sheff, Christopher B. Boyer. The astronomy of health systems literature in Africa during the MDG era: where are the systems clusters? Global Health: Science and Practice. 2015;3(3):482-502. http://dx.doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-15-00034.
Ramsey, Kathryn, Ahmed Hingora, Malick Kante, Elizabeth Jackson, Amon Exavery, Senga Pemba, Fatuma Manzi, Colin Baynes, Stephane Helleringer, James F. Phillips. 2013. The Tanzania Connect Project: A cluster-randomized trial of the child survival impact of adding paid community health workers to an existing facility-focused health system, BioMed Central Health Services Research, 13 (Supplement 2):S6 doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-S2-S6.
Phillips, James F., Elizabeth F. Jackson, Ayaga A. Bawah, Bruce MacLeod, Philip Adongo, Colin D, Baynes. 2012. The long term fertility impact of the Navrongo Project in northern Ghana, Studies in Family Planning 43(3):175-190.
Phillips, James F., Tanya C. Jones, Frank K. Nyonator, and Shruti Ravikumar. 2007. Evidence-based scaling up of health and family planning service innovations in Bangladesh and Ghana, in Ruth Simmons, Peter Fajans and Laura Ghiron (eds.). Scaling Up Health Service Delivery: From Pilot Innovations to Policies and Programmes, World Health Organization, Geneva, pp 113-134.
Phillips, J., Bawah, A., Binka, F. Accelerating reproductive and child health programme impact: The Navrongo Experiment in Ghana Bulletin of the World Health Organization 84 949-955 2006
Nyonator, F., Awoonor-Williams, J., Phillips, J., Jones, T., Miller, R. The Ghana Community-based Health Planning and Services Initiative: Fostering evidence-based organizational change and development in a resource-constrained setting Health Policy and Planning 20(1) 25-34 2005
Phillips, James F, John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Ayaga A. Bawah, Belinda Afriyie Nimako, Nicholas Kanlisi, Mallory C. Sheff, Elizabeth F. Jackson, Patrick O. Asuming, Adriana Biney, Pearl Kyei. 2018. What do you do with success? The science of scaling up a health systems strengthening intervention in Ghana. BMC, Health Services Research, DOI: 10.1186/s12913-018-3250-3.
Global Health Activities
Senior Advisor, Community-based Health Planning and Services: Provided advisory support to the Navrongo Community Health and Family Planning Project, a program of mobilizing social traditions for supporting community health services in a northern Ghanaian district. Collaborated with the Ghana Health Service on a program of evidence-based scaling up of the Navrongo project.
The Ghana Essential Health Intervention Program: Coordinates a study of the child survival impact of health systems development innovations in Ghana
The Connect Project, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania: Conducted a randomized cluster trial of the child survival impact of community-based primary health care in rural Tanzania.