Manish Kumar

Manish Kumar, MPH, PhD

Senior Technical Specialist for Health Systems Strengthening, MEASURE Evaluation Project
Carolina Population Center
DATIM Support and Maturity Model Project
[funded by USAID-Digital Square project at PATH]
Adjunct Associate Professor
Public Health Leadership Program
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior
MEASURE Evaluation Project
3rd Floor
123 W Franklin St, Suite 330
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


Manish Kumar, Ph.D., MPH, MSc. has about 20 years of global and country-level experience in global health, health information systems (HIS), digital health, and health systems, especially in PEPFAR priority countries. Kumar has provided research and evaluation, strategic, technical, and managerial services for projects/programs funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office/United Kingdom, the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has planned, implemented, managed and evaluated HIS, health information exchange, digital health, health informatics, and capacity building projects at global, regional, national, and sub-national levels. He has co-led the development of maturity model based tools such as the HIS Stages of Continuous Improvement (in collaboration with CDC) and the HIS interoperability maturity toolkit in addition to serving as an expert for maturity model activities of the WHO, USAID, PEPFAR and other donors. Kumar has provided technical advice to advance the digital health/HIS efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO), in Geneva and its regional offices in the Americas, Africa, Eastern Mediterranean Region and Europe, as well as to the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). He has implemented and assessed global digital goods such as the DHIS 2 and iHRIS. 

Currently, Kumar is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the TB Data, Impact Assessment and Communications Hub project, funded by USAID, that strengthens collection, analysis, and use of tuberculosis data and features an interactive data hub by country and a repository of best practices for methods and approaches. In addition, he is also the PI for the PMI Measure Malaria project, funded by the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative and USAID, that strengthens the country capacity to analyze and use malaria health data and manage health information systems to serve malaria needs and develop tools, methods, and share knowledge.

Kumar is also the PI for a PATH led and PEPFAR/CDC funded Technical Assistance Platform project (2020-2025) and provides research, monitoring and evaluation, implementation, capacity building, and technical assistance support for HIS governance, workforce development, and health information exchange activities. He is also the PI and Senior Technical Specialist- Health Systems Strengthening for the PATH funded DATIM Support and Maturity Model project supporting governments and implementing partners in 50+ countries. Kumar is a core member of the PEPFAR-Ministry of Health data alignment team that supports indicator mapping, facility harmonization and data import activities in 23 PEPFAR priority countries since 2017. This project included conducting a landscape analysis of health information exchange in low-resource settings with funding support from Microsoft Corporation. He is involved in global maturity model efforts involving WHO/PAHO, PEPFAR, and USAID across various disease domains such as HIV, Malaria and TB. He is also the co-chair of the policy sub-group of the Health Information Exchange Task Force, established by the Africa CDC. He led the development of A Navigator for Digital Health Capability Models that allows stakeholders to select and use an assessment tool that aligns with their organizational digital health goals and context.

As the Senior Technical Specialist-Health System Strengthening in the USAID-MEASURE Evaluation project (June 2015-May 2020), Kumar provided research, and technical assistance to strengthen HIS, and both developed and implemented maturity model assessments in collaboration with the Digital Health Interoperability Working Group of the Health Data Collaborative (HDC) and the CDC. He planned and conducted trainings, established, and led data exchange communities of practice, and supported PEPFAR-Ministry of Health data alignment initiative in 23 countries while working closely with country teams. As an adjunct faculty in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Kumar offers mentorship and coaching services to students and faculty for their global health research and practice efforts.

He was awarded a certificate of appreciation from PEPFAR Ambassador for his work on DATIM and from the US Department of State for the successful delivery of systems and data use training to 500 program staff in the field. He has published several research papers in reputed journals such as the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association and serves as an expert reviewer for global health journals.

Honors and Awards

Received recognition for outstanding contributions in using data and systems for reducing HIV burden in more than 60 countries under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
2017, United States Department of State

Rotary Peace Fellowship
2013-2015, Rotary International Foundation

Delta Omega Service Award
2015, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Miriam L. Cole Scholarship
Gillings School of Global Public Health

Inducted into Frank Porter Graham Graduate Honor Society
UNC-Chapel Hill

Anne van den Ban Scholarship
The Netherlands

The TB Data, Impact Assessment and Communications Hub (TB DIAH) project United States Agency for International Development
May 1, 2021 – September 30, 2023, Principal Investigator and Technical Expert

Malaria Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation (Malaria SME) Project
May 1, 2021 – July 31, 2024, United States Agency for International Development

Global Informatics Collaborative-Technical Assistance Platform Project
October 18, 2020 – September 30, 2025, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data for Accountability, Transparency and Impact Monitoring System and Maturity Model
June 01, 2020 – May 31, 2022, USAID- Digital Square Project

Research Activities

Health systems strengthening

Health information systems and digital health maturity models

Implementation, Scale-up and Sustainability of Health Information System Interventions

Health Informatics and digital health

Practice Activities

2021 - Present: International Network for the Science of Team Science

1999 - Present: Indian Association of Information Technology in Agriculture (Life membership), India

1998 - Present: Society of Extension Education (Life membership), India

Key Publications

Research gaps in transforming tuberculosis data to action for better health outcomes: A systematic literature review. Kumar M, Silver M, Chauffour J, Boyle C, Boone D (1970). J Glob Health, 11(04058).

Advances in monitoring and evaluation in low- and middle-income countries. James C. Thomas, Kathy Doherty, Stephanie Watson-Grant, Manish Kumar (2021). Evaluation and Program Planning, 101994.
View publication

Standard health data exchange model enables the use and reuse of data to improve maternal health programs and services: a case study from India. Kumar M, Mostafa J (2021). Journal of Global Health Reports, 5(e2021066).
View publication

Assessing coverage of essential maternal and child health interventions using health-facility data in Uganda. Elizabeth Simmons; Kavita Singh; Jamiru Mpiima; Manish Kumar; William Weiss (2020). Journal of Population Health Metrics.

Electronic health records for better health in the lower- and middle-income countries: A landscape study. Kumar, M. and Mostafa, J Library Hi Tech.
View publication

Electronic health records for better health in the lower- and middle-income countries: A landscape study. Kumar, M. & Mostafa, J (2020). Library Hi Tech.
View publication

Evaluating visual analytics for health informatics applications: a systematic review from the American Medical Informatics Association Visual Analytics Working Group Task Force on Evaluation.  Wu D, Chen AT, Manning JD, Levy-Fix G, Backonja U, Borland D, Caban JJ, Dowding DW, Hochheiser H, Kagan V, Kandaswamy S, Kumar M, Nunez A, Pan E, Gotz D (2019). Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
View publication

A Primer on the Privacy, Security, and Confidentiality of Electronic Health Records. Kumar, Manish and Samuel Wambugu  (2016). MEASURE Evaluation Project, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
View publication


  • PhD, ABD, Health Informatics, Carolina Health Informatics Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • MPH, Public Health Leadership with specialization in public health informatics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015
  • MS, Management of Agriculture Knowledge Systems, Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands, 2003
  • MS, Development Communication, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Uttarakhand, India, 2000