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Wallace Lauren

photo of Lauren Wallace

Lauren Wallace

Adjunct Faculty
Department of Anthropology

Area(s) of Interest:


Lauren J. Wallace is a Senior Researcher at the Dodowa Health Research Centre, in Greater Accra, Ghana, under the Research and Development Division of Ghana Health Service. She is a medical anthropologist whose research critically examines the making and implementation of maternal and reproductive policies at national and sub-national levels. Her PhD (2017, McMaster University), funded by a Vanier Scholarship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, was an ethnographic study of family size and family planning in northern Ghana. She has since ‘studied up’ to examine the dynamics of national priority setting for maternal and reproductive health in Ghana and Uganda ethnographically.

 Her forthcoming book with Katerini T. Storeng and Margaret MacDonald: Anthropologies of Global Maternal and Reproductive Health: From Policy Spaces to Sites of Practice (Springer) treats global health policies as ethnographic objects, tracking the processes and politics of their making, the mechanisms of their implementation in diverse contexts, and people’s intimate encounters with their consequences and effects.

 Lauren is currently the Ghana Principal Investigator of the COVID-19 in West and Central Africa (CATALYSE) study. CATALYSE, funded by IDRC, examines policy and systems responses to COVID-19 and their intended and unintended effects in 6 West and Central African countries, in collaboration with national policymakers. Lauren has also worked on other large-scale, interdisciplinary global health studies as a consultant. Presently, she consults on longitudinal research into responsive and effective primary health care in urban settlements in Accra in collaboration with local governments in Ghana through CHORUS (Community-led Responsive and Effective Urban Health Systems).

 Lauren is a member of WAHPSCON, the West and Central African Health Policy and Systems Consortium. As an interim board member of the newly-formed Canadian Association for Global Health, she leads consultations and provides oversight to inform decisions on policy, governance, staffing, and strategic directions.


2017 Ph.D. Anthropology of Health, McMaster University



2021                             Health Policy and Systems Research: Ethnography (Facilitator)

                                    Health Policy Management and Leadership Elective Modules

                                    Faculty of Public Health Membership Program

                                    Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons


2018                            Applied Medical Anthropology (co-taught with Philip Adongo)

                                   Masters in Public Health Program

                                   School of Public Health, University of Ghana


2015-2017                   Working Across Difference in Midwifery (sole instructor)

                                   Midwifery Education Program, McMaster University




Publications (selected):


Wallace, L.J., Macdonald, M., & Storeng, K.T. (Eds). (Forthcoming 2021). Ethnographic Examinations of Maternal and Reproductive Health: From Policymaking to Sites of Practice. New York, NY: Springer.


Adama, S., Wallace, L.J., Arthur, J., Kwakye, S., & Adongo, P.B. (Forthcoming June 2021). Self-medication practices of pregnant women attending Antenatal clinic in northern Ghana: An analytical cross-sectional study. African Journal of Reproductive Health.


Wallace, L.J., Nouvet, E., Bortolussi, R. et al. (2020). COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa: Impacts on vulnerable populations and sustaining home-grown solutions. Canadian Journal of Public Health 111, 649–653.

Wallace, L.J., & Kapiriri, L. (2019). Priority setting for maternal, newborn and child health in Uganda: A qualitative study evaluating actual practice. BMC Health Services Research, 19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12913-019-4170-6.

Kapiriri, L., Lee, N-M., Wallace, L.J, & Kwesiga, B. (2019). Beyond cost-effectiveness, morbidity and mortality: A comprehensive evaluation of priority setting for HIV programming in Uganda. BMC Public Health, 19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-6690-8

Wallace, L.J., & Adongo, P.B. (2018). Change and continuity in Kassena men’s perceptions of family planning in northern Ghana. Human Organization, 77(2), 135-145. DOI:10.17730/0018-7259-77.2.135


Wallace, L.J., & Kapiriri, L. (2017). How are new vaccines prioritized in low income countries? A case study of Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine and Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Uganda. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 6(12), 707-720. DOI:10.15171/IJHPM.2017.37


Arseneau, E., & Wallace, L.J. (2017). What to do with the placenta: An uninformed choice discussion. Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research and Practice, 16(1), 12-22.


Wallace, L.J. (2017). It doesn’t match my blood: Contraceptive side effects and Kassena women in northern Ghana. In Gender, feminism and global cross-cultural connections. Edited by Glenda Tibe Bonifacio. Bingley, UK: Emerald.  


Wallace, L.J. (2017) Case study: Culture, language and privilege. In Comprehensive midwifery: The role of the midwife in health care practice, education and research, an interactive guide to the theory and evidence of practice. Edited by Eileen K. Hutton & Beth Murray-Davis. Montreal: Pressbooks.