Martha Silva, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor

Program Director, MPH in International Health and Development
Tidewater Suite 2200-32
Martha Silva, headshot

Education & Affiliations

PhD, International Health and Development, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
MPH, International Health and Development, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
BA, Psychology and French, Macalester College


Martha Silva has over 20 years of experience in international public health in the non-profit sector, academic institutions, and independently as a research and evaluation consultant. Her research focus includes health services research and social and behavior change evidence generation for program and policy improvement. From 2018-2023 she was Data Strategist and Innovation Team Lead for the Breakthrough RESEARCH project – a USAID cooperative agreement tasked with advancing social and behavior change by promoting evidence-based solutions to improve health and development programs around the world. In this role, Dr. Silva worked with B-R partners to identify strategic and innovative ways to collect, analyze, and use qualitative and quantitative data to strengthen program interventions in Africa and Latin America. Dr. Silva’s research has focused on factors affecting access to – and use of – contraception and abortion care, studying individual and community factors, healthcare setting and system-level factors impacting abortion care pathways in settings where abortion is legal and illegal; including Mexico, New Zealand, Uruguay, Cameroon and USA.

Please view Dr. Silva's publications at her NCBI profile page

Research Areas

  • Abortion, family planning, comprehensive sex education, reproductive justice
  • Social and behavior change research and evaluation
  • Provider behavior change and health services research

Honors & Awards

  • 2023 - 2024: Anti-Racism Leadership Program, Tulane University
  • 2023: Abortion Scholars Accelerator Program, ANSIRH, UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health
  • 2022 - present: Newcomb Fellow, Tulane University
  • 2004-2006: Compton Foundation Population Fellowship, Compton Foundation
  • 2004-2005: Population Policy Communication Fellowship, Population Reference Bureau


SBPS 7280 Qualitative Research Methods 1: Theory and Practice
SPHU 3110 Social and Behavioral Perspective of Public Health