Do you consider traveling onsite for each consultancy?

It is not a must, but I would prefer so for several reasons and previous experiences. I will give an example (among many) to illustrate this preference. In a malaria survey during an epidemic, some health centers (HCs) were recording three times more cases than others. Sophisticated analyses were building up while geospatial and ecological explanations were proliferating. I physically visited these sites and quickly understood that those HCs were in fact very serious and asked (and recorded) patients to come daily for the three-day treatment, while the other HCs were handing out the entire treatment at once. So, however much I enjoy analyzing datasets, I’m always a bit uncomfortable not feeling and meeting the actors on site. There is so much valuable information missing that can even guide statistical analysis. A bit like Sherlock Holmes never going on any scene.

Some modules seem to involve large surveys, but who will do the field surveys? You alone?

Indeed, some surveys, or even studies, can require a lot of work by interviewing and examining consenting subjects. For such large surveys, local support would certainly be needed.

Are you open to “Desktop Research” (home-based production of reports) on some consultancies?

Yes, I’m open to consultancies only requiring computer-based work… but my preference remains to visit, meet and feel local realities in order to better understand a Global Health issue and propose the most adequate recommendations in a participatory approach with local stakeholders.

Are your consultancies “one-offs” or are you open to following up the health outcomes?

They can be “one-off”, but if some consultancy recommendations are retained I would be very interested in remotely following up on the situation and the data to provide feedback on progresses made (or not). For example, 1-2 days/month could do.

Can you perform statistical modeling?

I am comfortable with developing standard models such as linear, logistic regression models, and survival analysis. However, I’m less comfortable with simulation-based methods such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC)… probably because I like keeping a close track of the data and am less comfortable with “black boxes” (in the jargon). I’m very much an “on-the-ground” epidemiologist.

Can you use Geographical Information Systems (GIS)?

Yes, and I think they are a fabulous tool to visualize geographical distributions of health issues, and generate great hypotheses… with the cautions expressed in my reply to the first question above.

Do you include collaborations in your consultancies?

As much as possible, whether with local health authorities, local leaders, or in the spirit of PPP. However, this anyways depends on the objectives of the study and the vision of the client.

Are you more interested in consultancies for the public sector or the private sector?

Tricky question because I’ve mostly worked to help the most vulnerable populations in resource-limited settings, and this usually comes with a close rapport with the public sector. However, a recent professional experience brought me to work in the private sector, often with large factories with hundreds of employees. I strongly believe they also deserve the same attention. So I’m happy to work for both sectors.

What clients could be interested in your consulting services?

Quite a broad range, in fact, could see a utility in my assistance:

- Multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, including development banks, for specific technical expertise to support country-level implementations, program appraisals and evaluations.

- Academia and research institutes for assistance in research and analysis, program evaluation, grant writing and review, and policy development.

- Companies from the private sector for their employees, mostly those with factories or those in remote areas in contact with under-resourced communities.

Who are you?

I’m Patrice PIOLA, a French medical doctor that worked for almost 30 years abroad, first on MSF Humanitarian missions in critical situations. Later, with an MSc and PhD in Epidemiology, I became a lead operational researcher with Epicentre, Oxford University, and Pasteur Institute. I’ve also been exposed to the world of multinational companies. I am fluent in English, Spanish, French… and Stata languages. I’m now very motivated in being a freelance Global Health consultant, with an emphasis on topics that raise both my interest and concerns. You can get to know more about me on my LinkedIn below:

Get in touch