Olivia Biermann, researcher at the Department of Global Public Health. Photo: Stefan Zimmerman

Olivia Biermann

PhD student

About me

I am a researcher at the Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet. My PhD thesis on "Global policy to local implementation: experiences from active tuberculosis case-finding" is available for download here. The project was part of the Horizon 2020-funded IMPACT TB.

Since May 2020, I am also a Fellow at the Boston University-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Health Determinants, Data, and Decision-making. Previously, I worked as a consultant in knowledge translation at the WHO Regional Office for Europe (2014-17) where I provided technical support to the Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe. My work included conducting situation analyses of national research-to-policy contexts, designing and facilitating capacity building activities, and producing technical documents. From 2012-14, I worked as a research assistant in health systems and policy research at Karolinska Institutet.

I worked and studied in Ecuador, India, Nicaragua and South Africa, and hold degrees in global health (MSc) from Karolinska Institutet and health communication sciences (BSc) from Bielefeld University.

In addition to my academic activities, I am the President of the non-governmental organization Foundation Human Nature, supporting community-based rural health and development projects in Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal and Rwanda. 


Peer-reviewed publications

  1. Biermann O, Dixit K, Rai B, Caws M, Lönnroth K, Viney K. Building on facilitators and overcoming barriers to implement active tuberculosis case-finding in Nepal, experiences of community health workers and people with tuberculosis. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21(1):295. doi: 10.1186/s12913-021-06290-x.
  2. Biermann O, Klüppelberg R, Lönnroth K, Viney K, Caws M, Atkins S. 'A double-edged sword': Perceived benefits and harms of active case-finding for people with presumptive tuberculosis and communities-A qualitative study based on expert interviews. PLOS One. 2021;16(3):e0247568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247568.
  3. Pokhrel D, Bhattarai S, Emgård M, von Schickfus M, Forsberg BC, Biermann O. Acceptability and feasibility of using vaginal menstrual cups among schoolgirls in rural Nepal: a qualitative pilot study. Reprod Health. 2021;18(1):20. doi: 10.1186/s12978-020-01036-0. 
  4. Biermann O, Tran PB, Viney K, Caws M, Lönnroth K, Sidney Annerstedt K. Active case-finding policy development, implementation and scale-up in high-burden countries: A mixed-methods survey with National Tuberculosis Programme managers and document review. PLoS ONE. 2020;15(10): e0240696. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0240696
  5. Bekker M, Ivankovic D, Biermann O. Early lessons from COVID-19 response and shifts in authority: public trust, policy legitimacy and political inclusion. Eur J Public Health. 2020 Oct 1;30(5):854-855. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckaa181.
  6. Scarlett J, Forsberg BC, Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, El-Khatib Z. Indicators to evaluate organisational knowledge brokers: a scoping review. Health Res Policy Syst. 2020;18(1):93. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-020-00607-8
  7. Srinivas PN, Henriksson DK, S Gordeev V, Decoster K, Topp SM, Abimbola S, Emerging Voices for Global Health Alumni. "Together we move a mountain": celebrating a decade of the Emerging Voices for Global Health network. BMJ Glob Health. 2020;5(7):e003015. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2020-003015.
  8. Tran P, Hensing G, Wingfield T, Atkins S, Annerstedt KS, Kazibwe J, Tomeny E, Biermann O, Thorpe J, Forse R, Lönnroth K. Income security during public health emergencies: The COVID-19 poverty trap in Vietnam. BMJ Global Health. 2020;5(6):e002504. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2020-002504
  9. Biermann O, Atkins S, Lönnroth K, Caws M, Viney K. “Power plays plus push”: Experts’ insights into the development and implementation of active tuberculosis case-finding policies globally, a qualitative study. BMJ Open; 2020;10:e036285. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036285
  10. Dixit K, Rai B, Prasad Aryal T, Mishra G, Teixeira de Siqueira-Filha N, Paudel PR, Levy JW, van Rest J, Gurung SC, Dhital R, Biermann O et al. Research protocol for a mixed-methods study to characterise and address the socioeconomic impact of accessing TB diagnosis and care in Nepal [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. Wellcome Open Res 2020, 5:19. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15677.2.
  11. Biermann O, Lönnroth K, Caws M, Kerri Viney. Factors influencing active tuberculosis case-finding policy development and implementation: a scoping review. BMJ Open; 2019;0:e031284. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031284.
  12. Oh KH, Rahevar K, Nishikiori N, Viney K, Choi H, Biermann O, Kim HJ, Nou C, Kim S, Zhu G, Zhang H, Xu C, Bounmala S, Senchanthixay M, Purevdorj E, Khaltar U, Paguirigan R, Amoguis H, Phu VX, Khang DX. Action towards Universal Health Coverage and Social Protection for Tuberculosis Care and Prevention: Workshop on the End TB Strategy Pillar 2 in the Western Pacific Region 2017. Trop Med Infect Dis; 2019:4(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010003
  13. Mihalicza P, Leys M, Borbás I, Szigeti S, Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T. Qualitative assessment of opportunities and challenges to improve evidence-informed health policy-making in Hungary – an EVIPNet situation analysis pilot. Health Research Policy and Systems; 2018:16:50. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-018-0331-z
  14. Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, Panisset U, Leys M. Policy dialogues – facilitators’ perceived role and influence. International Journal of Health Governance; 2018:23(2);120-133. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHG-12-2017-0063.   
  15. Biermann O, Eckhardt M, Carlfjord S, Falk M, Forsberg BC. Collaboration between non-governmental organizations and public services in health - a qualitative case study from rural Ecuador. Glob Health Action. 2016;9:32237. doi:10.3402/gha.v9.32237.
  16. Leppänen A*, Biermann O*, Sundberg CJ, Tomson T. Perceived feasibility of a primary care intervention for Tobacco Cessation on Prescription targeting disadvantaged groups in Sweden: a qualitative study. BMC Research Notes; 2016:9:151. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-016-1949-y. (*co-first authors)
  17. Rutberg H, Eckhardt M, Biermann O. Patientensicherheit in Schweden und die nordische Zusammenarbeit für Patientensicherheit. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, 2015:58(1);16-22. doi:10.1007/s00103-014-2074-5.


Book chapter

  • Tomson G, Biermann O. Health policy reform in low-income and lower middle-income countries in Southeast Asia. In: Kuhlmann E, Blank RH, Bourgeault IL, Wendt C (eds). Palgrave International Handbook of Health Care Policy, Basingstoke, 2015. 


Technical documents

  1. Sharma T, Biermann O, Ludolph R, Pender D,Kuchenmüller T. Using research evidence for policy-making - Report of the fifth multicountry meeting of EVIPNet Europe, 14-16 June 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2016. Available at:  https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/360557/evipnet-5th-meeting-eng.pdf.
  2. Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, Nguyen T. Policy dialogue preparation and facilitation checklist – Evidence-informed Policy Network (EVIPNet) Europe. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2016. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/323153/EVIPNET-PD-preparation-facilitation-checklist.pdf?ua=1.
  3. Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, Brickman S, Nguyen T. Communication and advocacy checklist – EVIPNet Europe. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2016. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/323155/EVIPNET-communication-advocacy-checklist.pdf.
  4. Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, Mooney A, Takahashi R, Nguyen T. Using research evidence for policy-making - Report of the fourth multicountry meeting of EVIPNet Europe, 15-16 June 2016, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2016. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/323156/EVIPNET-Report-4th-Meeting-using-research-evidence-policy-making-Chiinu-june-2016.pdf?ua=1.
  5. Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, Takahashi R, Nguyen T. Using research evidence for policy-making - Report of the third multicountry meeting of EVIPNet Europe, 10-12June 2015, Trakai, Lithuania. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2016. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/313801/MC-meeting-report-2015_final_eng.pdf.
  6. Biermann O, Kuchenmüller T, Takahashi R, Nguyen T. Towards an accelerated roadmap for strengthening evidence-informed policy-making in the WHO European Region – Report of the First Technical Expert Meeting. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe; 2016. Available at: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/291061/EIP-Report-1st-Technical-Expert-Meeting-en.pdf.





  1. Biermann O, Forsberg BC. An insight into COVID-19 in Sweden. Institut fuer Globale Gesundheit Berlin. 21 April 2020. https://institut-fuer-globale-gesundheit.de/?p=2471.

  2. Biermann O, Saleh R, Gauvin FP, Nakkash R, El-Jardali F. Citizens’ voices for better health and social policies. PLOS Blogs. 24 September 2019. https://speakingofmedicine.plos.org/2019/09/24/citizens-voices-for-better-health-and-social-policies.

  3. Hebbar P, Biermann O, Joarder T, Karuga RN, Shahabuddin ASM. Democratizing research and bridging gaps – insights from the DHAKA Global Conference on Implementation Science and Scale-up. International Health Policies. 23 July 2019. https://www.internationalhealthpolicies.org/featured-article/democratizing-research-and-bridging-gaps-insights-from-the-dhaka-global-conference-on-implementation-science-and-scale-up/.

  4. Biermann O, Jamal D, Fadlallah R, Karroum LB, El-Jardali F. How the K2P Center revolutionized policy-making in Lebanon. International Health Policies. 3 May 2019. https://www.internationalhealthpolicies.org/blogs/how-the-k2p-center-revolutionized-policy-making-in-lebanon/.

  5. Biermann O, Nasreddine R, Samra CA, Saleh R, El-Jardali F. Using infographics and videos to innovate knowledge translation processes. Research to Action. 6 March 2019. https://www.researchtoaction.org/2019/03/%ef%bb%bfusing-infographics-and-videos-to-innovate-knowledge-translation-processes/.

  6. Biermann O, Saleh R, Nakkash R, El-Jardali F. Engaging citizens for evidence-informed health policies in Lebanon. International Health Policies. 5 March 2019. https://www.internationalhealthpolicies.org/blogs/engaging-citizens-for-evidence-informed-health-policies-in-lebanon/.

  7. Biermann O, Jessani N, Khalid AF, Singh S, Henriksson DK, Benson V. Sowing seeds for knowledge translation among new global health ‘change agents’. Research to Action. 10 December 2018. https://www.researchtoaction.org/2018/12/sowing-seeds-for-knowledge-translation-among-new-global-health-change-agents/.

  8. Manzoor M, Munshi S, Rodríguez M, Biermann O, Osorio Calderon V, Velasco GN, Singh S, Kaikai FC. The Emerging Voices for Global Health Program through a Gender Lens. 9 November 2018. https://www.internationalhealthpolicies.org/blogs/the-emerging-voices-for-global-health-program-through-a-gender-lens/

  9. Biermann O. Community-based TB screening - a double-edged sword? Going International. 10 April 2018. https://www.goinginternational.eu/wp/de/community-based-tuberculosis-screening-a-double-edged-sword/.

Loading bibliometrics...