Data Driven Strategies


How we work

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, and drive the intersection between strategy and policy.​

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

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


What we do

Strategy and
business plan development

Performance indicators
and risk assessment

Program design
and policy analysis

for action

Leadership development

COVID-19 response

Spark Street has contributed to the COVID response by providing pro-bono support to the City and State of New York, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the World Bank, the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria, Gavi, Pfizer, the Peterson Institute, CHAP Health, UNU-IIGH, Unicef, WHO as well as government and professional colleagues from around the world to help analyze data, interpret evidence and share learning. We have also volunteered in our own local communities on issues ranging from school and arts reopening to the production of hand sanitizer. Spark Street thought pieces have been published by the Council of Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum, the Conversation, the Lancet and the British Medical Journal. 


Selected projects

​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

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.


Core team

Nina Schwalbe

Principal | New York

Nina founded Spark Street in 2016. 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 led the Policy team at Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development, where she focused on market access, product introduction and advocacy. She directed the global public health program for the Open Society Foundation and has worked for the Population Council and AVSC International (now Engender Health). She holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities and teaches on the faculty at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and currently serves as a Principal Visiting Fellow at the United Nations International Institute for Global Health. She also chairs Gavi's Evaluation Advisory Committee and co-leads WHO's Research Network on COVID in educational institutions.

Susanna Lehtimaki

Lisbon, Portugal

Anna-Carin Matterson

Carcès, France

Susanna focuses on results-based program development, strategic planning, and analysis.
She has held positions with UNICEF in country and at headquarters and worked in maternal and child health in Finland and India. 

Anna-Carin is a health policy and health system specialist. She started her career at the Swedish Ministry of Health and has served as a senior policy advisor to the Ministries of Health in Kenya and Zambia. Anna-Carin has managed the implementation of health programmes for Swedish Sida, the German GIZ, the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). At Gavi, she worked on policy development and evaluation, including 
developing Gavi's fragility and emergency, gender and risk policies. Anna-Carin holds a MSc in Health and Pharmaco- Economics and a BSc in Macro Economics. Anna-Carin is fluent in Swedish and English and has a working knowledge of French. 

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. 


Recent publications

Although AI-driven health interventions can help to address several existing and emerging health challenges, many issues are not sufficiently described in these studies and warrant further exploration. These issues relate to the development of AI-driven health interventions; how efficacy and effectiveness are assessed and reported; planning for deployment at scale; and the ethical, regulatory, and economic standards and guidelines that will help to protect the interests of communities in low and middle income countries.

Nina Schwalbe and Brian Wahl

Lancet 2020


New York  |  Lisbon  |  New Delhi 

© 2019 by Spark Street Consulting