Annie Wilkinson

Annie Wilkinson

Health and Nutrition Cluster Lead

Annie Wilkinson is an anthropologist and health systems researcher working with the Health and Nutrition, and Cities, clusters.

Annie conducts interdisciplinary, participatory and applied research on health in LMICs and has expertise in: zoonotic disease; epidemic preparedness and control; drug resistance; and urban health. She has worked extensively in West Africa, especially Sierra Leone, and within emergency humanitarian and epidemic response. Her recent research explores the governance of infection control in complex and rapidly changing health and socio-ecological systems. Annie holds an ESRC New Investigators Award exploring institutional arrangements around health and disease in informal urban settlements in Sierra Leone. She is interested in the knowledge and politics which influence how people understand, organise, make decisions and act to improve health or address infectious threats, and within that, to the promotion and application of social science in global health.

She co-founded the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform during the West African Ebola epidemic which provided rapid response advice and research into critical social and historical dimensions of the epidemic (and received the ESRC’s International Impact Prize in 2016). She was a member of the social science sub-group of the UK government’s SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies) for the West African Ebola epidemic. Building on these lessons, she co-leads the ‘Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform’, which mobilises social science networks and evidence for emergency preparedness and response.

Prior to joining IDS, Annie did her PhD at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex on the development and use of diagnostics for Lassa fever, and she holds an MSc in Health Services Research from the University of York. She has previously worked for the UK Medical Research Council, and the UCL Centre for Sexual Health and HIV research.

Google Scholar



Epidemic Response Anthropology Platform

The Epidemic Response Anthropology Platform (ERAP) is a resource to support a humane and effective response to epidemics. The aim of the platform is to promote evidence on the social dimensions of epidemics in different contexts and to improve the way this evidence is used in response planning.



What’s health got to do with World Habitat Day?

Epidemics are a window into society. They reveal our social relationships and circumstances. The global pandemic has brought to the fore the inequalities that persist within our towns and cities. The spread and the impacts of the disease have not been even. As the world continues to grapple...

5 October 2020


Covid-19 – a social phenomenon requiring diverse expertise

As the Covid-19 pandemic rages across the world, one thing is clear: this epidemic, like all others, is a social phenomenon. The dynamics of the virus, infection and immunity, not to mention on-going efforts to revise and improve clinical care, and endeavours to develop medical treatments and...

20 March 2020



Pandemic Preparedness for the Real World

Why We Must Invest in Equitable, Ethical and Effective Approaches to Help Prepare for the Next Pandemic The cost of the Covid-19 pandemic remains unknown. Lives directly lost to the disease continue to mount, while related health, livelihood and wellbeing impacts are still being felt, and the...

10 March 2023

Annie Wilkinson’s recent work


New epidemic online platform calls for local response to Ebola

Launched today in partnership between the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a new online platform, the Epidemic Response Anthropology Platform (ERAP2), building on the success of the award-winning work of the original Ebola...

11 June 2018