© Photo by Maxim Shapavalov

Data Driven Strategies



Building on existing evidence, we apply qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches to answer the toughest questions.

We support clients to improve effectiveness and outcomes, maximize impact of investments, and drive the intersection between strategy, policy and advocacy.​

Our network includes professionals in public health, impact and outcomes research, product development and introduction, performance management, monitoring, evaluation and advocacy. 

Based in New York, with representation in New Delhi and Lisbon, the practice draws on experts from around the world.



Strategy and business plan development

We work with clients to develop new strategies and business plans and support them through implementation, planning and execution.

Key performance and risk assessment

We assist clients with existing strategies to articulate their theories of change, develop key performance indicators and “fit for purpose” risk management tools.  

Program design and policy analysis

We help clients evaluate the extent to which their programs, partnerships and policies are fit for purpose. Issues we tackle span from market access, to programme effectiveness, to procurement, to partnership.

Evidence for action

We work with clients to synthesize the latest available data so that evidence is an integral part of strategy, policy, advocacy and programming. We commit to put this information in the public domain.

Leadership development

We coach senior leadership on management and execution and tailor fit for purpose technical content to get clients up to speed in emerging or complex business areas in global health.



​Our clients are organizations working in health and global development that aspire to significantly impact the systems in which they operate.

- Private enterprise

- Product developers

- Not for profit and intergovernmental organizations

- Private foundations

- Academia 

Adolescent health


Spark Street supported Plan International to develop the evidence base for its global advocacy work on adolescents and NCDs and adolescents and Universal Health Coverage, used as a centrepiece for advocacy efforts with the UN General Assembly In New York.



Nina Schwalbe

Principal | New York

Nina founded Spark Street in 2019. She has held numerous leadership positions including as Managing Director for Policy and Performance at Gavi, the vaccine alliance, where she led Gavi’s work in strategic planning, policy development, market-shaping, performance management, and monitoring and evaluation. She also served as the principal advisor and acting chief of health at Unicef, overseeing their health programs in over 150 countries. Nina also led the Policy team at Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development, where she focused on market access, product introduction and advocacy and directed the global public health program for the Open Society Foundation. Nina has also worked for the Population Council and AVSC International (now Engender Health). She holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the faculty at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  She is also a Senior Fellow the United Nations International Institute for Global Health and Chair of Gavi's evaluation advisor committee.

Susanna Lehtimaki

Senior Consultant | Lisbon

Susanna focuses on results-based program development, strategic planning, and analysis.  She has held positions with UNICEF at country and headquarters levels and has worked in maternal and child health in Finland and in India. Susanna holds a BA in Social Sciences and an MA in Public Health from Tampere University, Finland. She also has an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from European University in St. Petersburg and in addition to Finnish, is fluent in English and Russian. 

Brian Wahl 

Senior Consultant | New Dehli 

Brian is responsible for review of methods and quality control. Currently a faculty member at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, he has been based in South Asia since 2009 conducting research, policy and advocacy projects.Brian holds an MPH in Epidemiological and Biostatistics methods and a PhD in Global Health and Epidemiology both from Johns Hopkins. He has published numerous peer reviewed articles.



Expanding the use of community health workers in urban settings


Community health worker (CHW) programmes have been used for decades to improve access to healthcare in rural settings in low- and middle-income countries. As global and national policymakers deliberate approaches to achieving the SDGs, including for universal health coverage, the delivery of community-based interventions involving CHWs in urban settings should be strongly considered.

Brian Wahl, Susanna Lehtimaki, Stefan Germann and Nina Schwalbe

Health Policy and Planning 2019


New York | Lisbon | New Delhi 

© 2019 by Spark Street Consulting