Working to Advance
Health Equity in Africa

Russell Armstrong

  • Senior Research Officer
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Russell Armstrong joined HEARD in 2018. Prior to that time, he worked across the African continent as an independent technical consultant and researcher on a range of topics including financing and sustainability planning for national HIV responses, optimisation of HIV treatment programmes, law and human rights, capacity development for recipients of Global Fund grants, and policy and programme development for sexual and reproductive health programmes for sexual minorities.

He current portfolio includes research projects on examining the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health for sexual minorities in Southern Africa; exploring the concepts of social inclusion and sustainable development for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in African contexts; monitoring human rights-related trends in national and regional HIV responses; and, examining best-practices in capacity development for civil society entities working to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights for key populations.

Latest Publications

Research outputs

Book contribution

Govender, K. Poku, N. Armstrong, R. George, G. 2020. Epidemiology of HIV Among Adolescents and Young People In Eastern And Southern Region. In Preventing HIV Among Young People in Southern and Eastern Africa: Emerging Evidence and Intervention Strategies. Routledge.

Freedman, J. Crankshaw, T. Aantjes, C. Armstrong, R. Poku. N. 2020. Young Key Populations In Southern Africa: An Analysis of The Social determinants of HIV Risk and Barrier to SRH services. In Preventing HIV Among Young People in Southern and Eastern Africa: Emerging Evidence and Intervention Strategies. Routledge.

Edited book

K. Esom, B. Nibogora & R. Armstrong [eds] African Reflections on Sexuality and Equality Vol. 1. 2015 African Men for Sexual Health and Rights [AMSHeR] Johannesburg: South Africa.

Journal article

Aantjes, C. Burrows, D. Armstrong, R. 2021. Capacity development in pursuit of social change: an examination of processes and outcomes. Development in Practice, 32(4), 536-550.

Govender, K. Cowden, R. Nyamaruze, P. Armstrong, R. Hatane, L. 2020. Beyond the Disease: Contextualized Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Children and Young People Living in Eastern and Southern Africa. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 1-9.

Armstrong, R. Silumbwe, A. Zulu, J. 2020. Mental health, coping and resilience among young men who have sex with men in Zambia. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 1-15.

Armstrong, R., Campbell White, A., Chinyamuchiko, P., Chizimbi, S., Hamm Rush, S., Poku, N.K. 2019 Inclusive engagement for health and development or ‘political theatre’: results from case studies examining mechanisms for country ownership in Global Fund processes in Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe Globalization and Health 2019;15:34.

Poku, NK., Esom, K and Armstrong, R (2017) Sustainable development and the struggle for LGBTI social inclusion in Africa: opportunities for accelerating change Development in Practice, 27 (4), pp 432-443,

Armstrong, R. Mandatory HIV testing in pregnancy:  Is there ever a time?  2008 Developing World Bioethics 8(1): 1-10.


Armstrong R., 2018 Conducting exploratory research on Global Fund processes for HIV in Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe Durban, Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division (HEARD)

Nemande S., Esom, K., Armstrong R., 2015. Key Populations Experiences within the Global Fund’s New Funding Model in Sub-Saharan Africa. Johannesburg: African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR).

Armstrong R, Khoboko T, Moleli M. Role of education sector in providing care and support to OVC in Lesotho and Swaziland: A comparative case study analysis. Johannesburg, RSA: Open Society Institute for Southern Africa.