Professor Lucy Gilson BA MA PhD

Professor of Health Policy & Systems


I have lived in South Africa since 1995, first working at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and since 2007, holding a joint appointment between the LSHTM and the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

From this joint position I am committed to the development of health policy and systems research as an innovative, applied and interdisciplinary field, at the cutting edge of health systems and societal development.

I am currently the co-Research Director of the Resilient and Responsive Health Systems consortium (RESYST) which is a UK-DFID funded research consortium bringing together researchers from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, India, Vietnam and the UK ( I have also supported a range of African capacity development initiatives in recent years, including the Consortium for Health Policy and Systems Analysis in Africa (CHEPSAA, an eleven partner consortium of African and European universities which is funded by the European Union; and the South African Collaboration for Health Systems Analysis and Innovation (CHESAI I am a Board Member of Health Systems Global.

My background is in development studies, health economics and health policy.




My LSHTM teaching commitments focus on PhD supervision, support for distance learning courses and occasional on-site teaching.


My primary research interests include concerns for: equity in health and health care; governance and leadership in health systems; how health care is funded and organised; the relational dimensions of of health systems; and how decisions about health and health care policies are made by political, managerial and household actors. I am also interested in methodological and theoretical developments that support this range of research interests - and that engage with the complexity of whole system change .

Research areas

  • Capacity strengthening
  • Complex interventions
  • Equity
  • Evaluation
  • Health care financing
  • Health care policy
  • Health inequalities
  • Health policy
  • Health sector development
  • Health systems
  • Implementation research
  • Qualitative methods
  • Research : policy relationship


  • Development studies
  • Economics
  • Policy analysis
  • Social Sciences


  • Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Other interests

  • Health Policy Process
  • Leadership and management
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