Detlef Schwefel

Professional profile of Detlef Schwefel

Diploma in sociology at Free University of Berlin (1968). Doctor of social and economic sciences, University of Bremen (1973). Professorial habilitation (1979) and professor for sociology (since 1986) at Free University of Berlin, with specialties: development sociology and health systems research & management.

  • International consulting on health and development issues and policies (since 2002): Main topics: public health (various social and economic aspects in poor and rich countries), development issues with due regard to poverty and socio-economic impact assessment.
Main experiences: Three long-term (Chile, Philippines, Guatemala) and 140 short-term consultancies abroad, thereof more than 100 in 36 developing and transition countries (Latin America, Asia, Africa, Near East). Over 40 assignments for the World Health Organization (mainly WHO-EURO). Long lasting teaching and research experiences at Free University of Berlin, University of the Philippines in Manila, Boston University and Centre for Strategic Health Studies in Damascus. Main products: over 270 publications including 19 monographs, 22 editions of books and more than 150 lectures in German, English and Spanish. More than 50 consultancy reports. Organization of over 40 larger-scale national and international workshops and conferences.
  • Health systems management and development policy overseas (1989-2001): Manager of various Philippine-German Cooperations at the Department of Health, Philippines, and Consultant of the College of Public Health, University of the Philippines (1989-1997). 1997-2001: Co-management of a Primary Health Care Program of the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala with support of German Development Cooperation (GTZ).
Main achievements: Innovative and comprehensive preparation, acquisition, and management of projects and networking local initiatives and projects into coherent programs to strengthen the health system in developing countries; empowerment for civil health alliances and health promotion for prevention and self help.
  • Health systems research and consultancy in Europe (1976-1989): Research in social medicine in the Central Research Institute of the Sick-Funds Affiliated Physicians, Cologne (1976-78). 1978-89: Director of the “Health Systems Analysis” Department, MEDIS Institute of National Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF), Munich. Initiator and head of WHO-Collaborating Centre for Health Planning and Health Economics (1984-89).
Main achievements: Innovative studies on social health insurances; evaluation and health information systems; the economic and social context of health; cost-effectiveness analyses; health planning (methodologies); health care financing. European networking on health systems research and health economics.
  • Development policy (1966-1976): Socioeconomic research in Ecuador (1966) and in Chile (1968-69). Member of the German Development Institute, Berlin (1970-76): postgraduate training, consultancies, research on evaluation, social planning, health and nutrition, mainly on Latin America.
Main achievements: Innovative approaches towards socioeconomic planning and evaluation with product path analyses of development projects, programs and policies (all sectors: e.g., large dams, telecommunications, energy projects, industrial and agricultural programs, solar cookers, hospitals, health care).


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