Paula Tavrow


Adjunct Professor of Community Health Sciences

Home Department: Community Health Sciences

Areas of Interest

Reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly of adolescents, Community-based approaches to improve women and children’s health in sub-Saharan Africa, Performance of health providers in under-resourced clinics and hospitals.




Paula Tavrow, PhD, MSc, MALD is the Director of UCLA’s Bixby Program in Population and Reproductive Health and Adjunct Professor in the Community Health Sciences Department at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Her current research interests center on adolescent reproductive health, coerced sex and the quality of primary health care in East Africa. Prior to coming to UCLA in 2002, Dr. Tavrow was the Deputy Research Director for the USAID-funded global Quality Assurance Project (1997-2001). She oversaw 11 operations research projects to improve the quality of rural health services in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Dr. Tavrow also has served as a women’s health advisor and researcher at the University of Malawi’s Centre for Social Research (1993-95), a USAID health officer who helped design Tanzania’s National AIDS Control Program and National Family Planning Program (1987-90), a USAID assistant food for peace officer who assisted Ogadeni refugees in Somalia (1984-86), and a project evaluator for nutrition activities in the Bandundu region of Zaire (1984). She received her AB (magna cum laude) from Harvard-Radcliffe College, her MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and her MSc and PhD from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Selected Research

1. Paula Tavrow, Mellissa Withers, Albert Obbuyi, Vidalyne Omollo, and Elizabeth Wu. ” Rape Myth Attitudes in Rural Kenya: Toward the Development of a Culturally Relevant Attitude Scale and ‘Blame Index’ “  Journal of Interpersonal Violence 01/2013. 

2. Paula Tavrow, Mellissa Withers, and Denise Abe. “Who meets their intentions to stop childbearing? Results of a longitudinal study in rural eastern Bali, Indonesia.” Health Care For Women International 09/2012; 33(9):814-32.    

3.Paula Tavrow, Moses Bateganya, Amy Hagopian, Samuel Luboga ,and Scott Barnhart. “Incentives and barriers to implementing national hospital standards in Uganda.” International Journal for Quality in Health Care 09/2009; 21(6):421-6.