Dr. Kavita Singh Ongechi

Kavita Singh Ongechi, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Maternal and Child Health
Maternal, Child and Family Health Concentration
Faculty Fellow
Carolina Population Center
Senior Technical Advisor for Maternal and Child Health
D4I Project
429 Rosenau Hall
CB #7445
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Singh’s main areas of interests are the evaluation of maternal and child health and HIV prevention programs. She is interested in research focused on reaching the most vulnerable groups (including the poorest, displaced populations, orphans and stigmatized groups) with interventions. 

Dr. Singh has been the lead PI for external evaluations of quality improvement projects in Ethiopia and Ghana, which focused on improving maternal and child health. These evaluations took a mixed methods approach and included impact analyses, qualitative assessments and cost-effectiveness analyses. She has also evaluated a Safe Motherhood Initiative in Malawi and is currently evaluating interventions intended to improve newborn survival including chlorohexidine use, skin-to-skin contact and postnatal care. Much of her work is also focused on improving the measurement of maternal mortality and improving data quality of maternal and child health indicators.

Kavita Ongechi in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Philip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Acheivement by Young Faculty
2019, UNC-CH

Carolina Women's Center Faculty Scholar
2016-2017, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina Population Center Summer in Residence

Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society

Humphrey Fellows Teaching Excellence Award

Representative Courses

MHCH 722 Global Maternal and Child Health | Syllabus

SPHG 352 - Public Health Systems and Solutions

Research Activities

Co-Principal Investigator:  Capacity Building for the Professional Learner

Principal Investigator: D4I (Data for Impact)

Principal Investigator, Evaluation of a Maternal and Newborn Quality Improvement Project in Pastoral Ethiopia

Co-Investigator, MEASURE (Core) Evaluation Phase IV

Principal Investigator, Evaluation of a Maternal and Newborn Quality Improvement Project in Ethiopia

Service Activities

2020-present  MCH DEI Curriculum Co-Lead

2018-present  MCFH concentration co-lead

2018-present MCH Masters Committee

2016-present CPC Training Committee

2014-present CPC Summer Internship Mentor

Practice Activities

Hagaman A*, Singh K, Speizer I, Bitewulign B, Abate A, Alemu A, Seifu Estifanos A, Mulissa, Z, Magge H. The Impacts of Quality Improvement on Maternal and Newborn Health: Preliminary Findings from a Health System Integrated Intervention in Three Regions in Ethiopia. Oral Presentation at the Population Association of America Conference.  Austin, TX. April 2019.

Key Publications

The association of empowerment measures with maternal, child and family planning outcomes in Plateau State Nigeria by urban-rural residence. Singh K, Speizer I, Idji, RE*, Calhoun L.  (2021). BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 21(1).

Assessing coverage of essential maternal and child health interventions using health-facility data in Uganda. Simmons, E.M*., Singh, K., Mpiima, J., Kumar, M, Weiss, W. Population Health Metrics, 18(1).

The impacts of quality improvement on maternal and newborn health: preliminary findings from a health system integrated intervention in four Ethiopian regions. Hagaman, A.K*., Singh, K., Abate, M, Alemu H, Kefale AB, Bitewulign B, Seifu AE, Kiflie A, Mulissa Z, Tiyo H, Seman Y, Tadesse MZ, and Magge H.  (2020). BMC Health Services Research, 20(1).

National Level environmental factors around scale up of Doppler to improve fetal heart rate monitoring in Tanzania: a qualitative assessment. Plotkin M*, George J, Bundala J, Tibaijuka G, Njonge L, Lemwayi R, Drake M, Zaugrana J, Bishanga D, Ramaswamy R, Singh K, Wheeler S. (2020). Intl J of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(6), 1931.

Influences of health facility type for delivery and experience of cesarean section on maternal and newborn postnatal care between birth and facility discharge in Malawi. Kim ET, Singh K, Speizer IS, Lemani C.  (2020). BMC Health Services Research, 20(1), 139.

The impact of India’s accredited social health activist (ASHA) program on the utilization of maternity services: a nationally representative longitudinal modeling study. Agarwal A*, Curtis S, Angeles G, Speizer I, Singh K, Thomas J.  (2019). Human Resources for Health.

Evaluating the impact of a hospital scale-up phase of a quality improvement intervention in Ghana on mortality for children under five. Singh K, Speizer I, Barker PM, Afrakoma Agyeman-Duah JN, Agula J, Akpakli JK Akparibo S, Dasoberi IN, Kanyoke E, Steenwijk JH, Yabang E, Twum-Danso NAY,Sodzi-Tettey S. (2019). International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 31(10), 752–758.

Best practices in availability, management and use of geospatial data to guide reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health programs. Molla YB, Nilsen K, Singh K, Ruktanonchai CW, Schmitz M, Duong J, Serbanescu F, Moran A, Matthews Z, Tatem A, Rawlins B. (2019). BMJ Global Health, 4(5).

Measuring coverage of essential maternal and newborn care interventions: An unfinished agenda. Amouzou A, Carvajal-Aguirre L Khan S, , Mehtra V, Singh, K, Vaz L. (2019). Journal of Global Health Collection.

Reproductive health sequelae among women who survived Ebola virus disease in Liberia. C Godwin, D Wohl, W Fischer Nd, K Singh, D Hawks, E Devore, J Brown (2019). International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.

Referral patterns through the lens of health facility readiness to manage obstetric complications: national facility-based results from Ghana. P Bailey, J Awoonor-Williams, V Lebrun, E Keyes, M Chen, P Aboagye, K Singh (2019). Reproductive health, 16(1), 19.

Evaluation of a maternity waiting home and community education program in two districts of Malawi. K Singh, I Speizer, E Kim, C Lemani, J Tang, A Phoya (2018). BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 18(1), 457.


  • PhD, Population Dynamics (minor in Epidemiology), The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Hygiene and Public Health, 2002
  • MPH, Maternal and Child Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 1997
  • BA, Biology, Cornell University, 1996