Dr Helen Walls

BSc MPH(Hons) PhD

Associate Professor
of Global Health and Food Systems

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

0207 927 2606

Helen is an Associate Professor of Global Health and Food Systems in the Department of Global Health and Development. Her research interest is the structural drivers of population health, with a particular focus on the political economy of food systems and nutrition. She brings both qualitative and quantitative research expertise to her work.

Helen has an MSc(Hons) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a PhD in epidemiology from Monash University, Australia. After finishing her PhD and working at the Australian National University she was awarded an NHMRC Sidney Sax Public Health Fellowship and began working in 2012 in London with the School. 

Prior to her PhD studies, Helen worked in public health in New Zealand regionally and with the Ministry of Health. She has also worked with the World Health Organization (Geneva) on trade policy, diets and non-communicable disease.

Helen holds honorary appointments at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and the University of Melbourne, Australia.


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


Helen is Deputy Programme Director for the distance-learning MSc, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate in Global Health Policy. Her other teaching roles include contributions to the distance-learning module Health Policy, Process and Power, and lecturing on several modules within the Global Health Policy programme. She also supervises several PhD and DrPH students.

Helen welcomes enquiries about research supervision on food systems and policy, and other areas related to her research interests.


Helen has been principal investigator and co-investigator on a number of studies, including recently on two programmes of work funded by the Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; UK Department for International Development). One of these, which Helen led in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Malawi and SOAS University of London, examined the impact of Malawi's agricultural input subsidy programmes on food choice and dietary diversity. Helen is also currently involved in work relating to migration and cross-border healthcare use, particularly relating to South Africa, Senegal and The Gambia.

Helen is based within the Health Policy and Systems Unit at LSHTM.

Research Area
Health inequalities
Health policy
Public health
Evidence use
Global Health
Policy analysis
Disease and Health Conditions
Chronic disease
Non-communicable diseases

Selected Publications

How effectively might agricultural input subsidies improve nutrition? A case study of Malawi's Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)
Walls H; Johnston D; Matita M; Chirwa E; Mazalale J; Quaife M; Kamwanja T; Smith R
Food Security
Using WhatsApp messenger for health systems research: a scoping review of available literature.
Manji K; Hanefeld J; Vearey J; Walls H; de Gruchy T
Health policy and planning
Does household participation in food markets increase dietary diversity? Evidence from rural Malawi
Matita M; Chirwa EW; Johnston D; Mazalale J; Smith R; Walls H
Global Food Security
Addressing Malnutrition: The Importance of Political Economy Analysis of Power.
Walls H; Nisbett N; Laar A; Drimie S; Zaidi S; Harris J
International journal of health policy and management
Economic globalization, nutrition and health: a review of quantitative evidence.
Cuevas García-Dorado S; Cornselsen L; Smith R; Walls H
Globalization and Health
See more Publications