Professor Lucy Gilson


of Health Policy & Systems

Keppel Street
United Kingdom

based in South Africa

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 support a wide range of health policy and systems research in South Africa and Africa more widely. For example, I was the co-Research Director of the Resilient and Responsive Health Systems consortium (RESYST), 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.


Department of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Public Health and Policy


Centre for Evaluation


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 Area
Complex interventions
Health care financing
Health care policy
Health inequalities
Health policy
Health sector development
Health systems
Research : policy relationship
Capacity strengthening
Implementation research
Qualitative methods
Development studies
Policy analysis
Social Sciences
Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Organizational change and everyday health system resilience: Lessons from Cape Town, South Africa
Gilson L; Ellokor S; Lehmann U; Brady L
Social Science & Medicine
What role can health policy and systems research play in supporting responses to COVID-19 that strengthen socially just health systems?
Gilson L; Marchal B; Ayepong I; Barasa E; Dossou J-P; George A; Guinaran R; Maceira D; Molyneux S; Prashanth NS
Health Policy and Planning
Shocks, stress and everyday health system resilience: experiences from the Kenyan coast.
Kagwanja N; Waithaka D; Nzinga J; Tsofa B; Boga M; Leli H; Mataza C; Gilson L; Molyneux S; Barasa E
Health policy and planning
Sometimes Resigned, Sometimes Conflicted, and Mostly Risk Averse: Primary Care Doctors in India as Street Level Bureaucrats.
Ramani S; Gilson L; Sivakami M; Gawde N
International journal of health policy and management
See more Publications