Karar Zunaid Ahsan, PhD, MIPH, MS

Assistant Professor
Public Health Leadership Program
4111 McGavran-Greenberg Hall
CB #7469
135 Dauer Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Karar Zunaid Ahsan has worked in the fields of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and research in the health sector for over 15 years. Recently, he received his doctoral degree from the Department of Maternal and Child Health of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC) Gillings School of Global Public Health and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), before joining the Public Health Leadership Program. Prior to his doctoral training, he worked at MEASURE Evaluation at the UNC Carolina Population Center, where he was Senior Research Associate and served as the M&E Advisor to the Program Management and Monitoring Unit (PMMU) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in Bangladesh. Previously, he worked for four years for the World Bank’s South Asia Health, Nutrition and Population Sector as a Research Analyst, where he was involved in developing knowledge products and strategic analytical tasks on demographic and epidemiologic transitions, health equity, and health systems strengthening. He also worked in the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) for six years and was involved in a number of survey and research activities. He has authored more than 40 technical reports/book chapters and had 16 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. He has also presented in various international symposiums and conferences on policy and programs for strengthening health systems, monitoring and evaluation, and epidemiologic and demographic transitions. He graduated in Applied Statistics from the University of Dhaka and completed a Master of International Public Health from the University of Sydney. 

Honors and Awards

Policy Communication Fellowship
2019-2020, Population Reference Bureau

Doctoral Merit Assistantship
2016-2020, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Young Scientist Award
2008, INDEPTH Network

Master of International Public Health with Merit
2006, University of Sydney

Australian Development Scholarship
2005, Government of Australia

Key Publications

A comparison of approaches to measuring maternal mortality in Bangladesh, Mozambique, and Bolivia. Singh, K., Li, Q., Ahsan, K.Z (2022). Popul Health Metrics, 20(5).

Has the sector-wide approach (SWAp) been successful in improving equity in skilled delivery care in Bangladesh? An exploratory study using synthetic control analysis. Ahsan KZ, Angeles G, Curtis SL, Streatfield PK, Singh K Health Policy and Planning.

Estimating the impact of donor programs on child mortality in low- and middle-income countries: a synthetic control analysis of child health programs funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Weiss, W., Piya, B., Andrus A., Ahsan, K.Z (2022). Popul Health Metrics, 20(2).

Demographic, socioeconomic, and biological correlates of hypertension in an adult population: evidence from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2017‒18. Iqbal A, Ahsan KZ, Jamil K, Haider MM, Khan SH, Chakraborty N, Streatfield PK (2021). BMC Public Health, 21(1299).


  • PhD, Maternal & Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2021
  • MIPH, MS, International Public Health, University of Sydney, 2005
  • MS, Applied Statistics, University of Dhaka, 1999
  • BS, Applied Statistics, University of Dhaka, 1998