HealthBridge works with partners world-wide to improve health and health equity through research, policy and action.

Debra Efroymson

Regional Director

Bangladesh Bangladesh

Debra joined HealthBridge as a consultant in 1995 and later became full-time. In her role as Regional Director she provides support to different programs (livable cities, tobacco control and NCD prevention, and gender and reproductive health). Based in Bangladesh, she works particularly with HealthBridge’s Asian partner organizations. Her work includes research, training, writing and advising organizations in a range of countries. In the last several years she has focused particularly on livable cities, with an emphasis on urban planning and transport policy. 


Harvard School of Public Health 
Master of Science in Population and International Health, 1993. 

Harvard College 
Bachelor of Arts in English and American Literature and Language, 1987. Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. 

Tobacco control 

Debra provides technical assistance to the Tobacco Control/NCD Prevention program. In particular, she assists with tobacco control work conducted by WBB Trust (Work for a Better Bangladesh) and HealthBridge Vietnam.

Livable cities

Debra provides technical assistance to Livable Cities projects funded by HealthBridge in Asia and Africa. She is particularly interested in urban planning and transport planning as they relate to public health, well-being and happiness.


Debra supports HealthBridge’s gender program, and is particularly interested in the issue of the economic contribution of women through their unpaid work.


Debra regularly writes for the on-line magazines Sustainable City News ( and Carfree Times (, maintains a blog on the HealthBridge website and for the Institute of Wellbeing in Bangladesh (, and has written and co-written various publications, mostly on tobacco control, gender/reproductive health and livable cities issues.


Efroymson, D and U Fernando. Public Space and Quality of Life, A case study of Mount Lavinia Beach. Sri Lanka, July 2013.

Broadening the Focus from Tobacco Control to NCD Prevention: Enabling Environments for Better Health

Daniel, K, D Efroymson, S FitzGerald, and L Jones. Broadening the Focus from Tobacco Control to NCD Prevention, Enabling Environments for Better Health. HealthBridge, July 2013.

Efroymson, D, J Ahmed, and S Ruma. The Economic Contribution of Bangladeshi Women through their Unpaid Labor. HealthBridge and WBB Trust, 2nd Edition, February 2013.

From the Field: Building and maintaining strong networks to address tobacco, poverty, and development

Efroymson, D and L Jones. From the Field: Building and Maintaining Strong Networks to Address Tobacco, Poverty and Development. HealthBridge, July 2012.

Cities For Children: Defining the dream and achieving the reality

Thomas, P, L Jones, and D Efroymson. Cities for Children: Defining the Dream and Achieving the Reality. HealthBridge, 2012.

Efroymson, D and K Munna. Addressing Climate Change: Can we reduce carbon emissions while increasing quality of life? WBB Trust, January 2011.

Daniel, K and D Efroymson, D. Urban Planning for Livable Cities: Density, Diversity and Design. HealthBridge, June 2010.

Efroymson, D, TTKT Ha and PT Ha. Public Spaces, How they humanize cities. HealthBridge and WBB Trust, Dhaka, October 2009.

Promoting male involvement in family planning in Vietnam and India: HealthBridge experience

MacDonald, L, Jones, L, Thomas, P, Le TT, FitzGerald, S, and Efroymson, D. Promoting male involvement in family planning in Vietnam and India: HealthBridge experience. Gender & Development (2013): 21(1):31-45.

Efroymson D, Berti P and Jones L. Letter on Exercise and life expectancy to the Lancet, Vol. 379, March 3, 2012.

Gainfully employed? An inquiry into bidi-dependent livelihoods in Bangladesh

Roy A, Efroymson D, Jones L, et al. Gainfully Employed? An Inquiry into Bidi-Dependent Livelihoods in Bangladesh. Tobacco Control (2011).

Efroymson, D, Pham HA, Jones L et al. Tobacco and Poverty, Evidence from Vietnam. Tobacco Control (2011)20:296-301.

Hanoi at Cross-Roads: Streets for People or for Cars?

Geertman, S, K Daniel, and D Efroymson. Hanoi at Cross-Roads: Streets for People or for Cars? An introduction to a practical framework to support healthy public transit which can be adopted for Hanoi: the 3D approach – Summary. Vietnamese Urban Planning Journal (Tap Chi Xay Dung) 2010.

Naher, F, D Efroymson, and S Ahmed. Tobacco Cultivation and Poverty in Bangladesh, Issues and potential future directions. Case study prepared for WHO, February 2007.

Efroymson, D. Dhaka’s Rickshaws Under Threat. Car Busters Issue 22, Jan-Mar 2005.

Efroymson, D. Robbing the Poor. WHO Lifeline, SEARO, Volume 1 Issue 2, April-June 04.

Efroymson, D and S Ahmed. Building Momentum for Tobacco Control: The Case of Bangladesh. Tobacco Control Policy: Strategies, Successes & Setbacks. World Bank and RITC 2003.