Building GH capacity in middle-income countries
Researchers from the Centre for International Health, the University of Tromsø and Heidelberg University are collaborating with 3 Eastern Europe-Central Asian countries to build capacity in Global Health education in higher education institutions in these countries.
The process of globalisation has contributed to a range of health-related risks, including environmental pollution, climate change, unregulated migration of health workers, antimicrobial resistance etc. A new academic discipline, Global Health (GH), emerged in the late 1990s to respond to these challenges. Researchers involved in GH aim to generate knowledge, promote collaboration, and create conceptual, technical, and operational frameworks for protecting the world's populations from globalisation’s health challenges.
Today most Western European and North American universities include a GH academic unit. In addition, a growing number of low-income countries in Africa and Asia are also establishing academic programmes in GH, often in collaboration or with assistance from high-income countries. But, for many higher education institutions (HEI) in middle-income countries, such as those in the Eastern Europe-Central Asia (EECA) region, a lack of domestic funding and limited access to international support has hindered their ability to establish this new academic field.
The resulting lack of GH capacity across the EECA region poses both national and international health risks. For example, EECA has the highest rate of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis in the world and is the largest exporter of this disease to Western Europe. EECA countries need GH technical and research capacity to protect their own population's health and to actively contribute to international health cooperation across national borders.
The Erasmus+ project, Building Academic Capacity in Global Health in the Eastern Europe-Central Asia Region (BACE), was developed to help promote the establishment of GH as an academic discipline in EECA to equip the next generation of EECA health practitioners and researchers with necessary technical knowledge in this field. BACE will enable the partner institutions to develop capacity for GH curricula development. The project will use a multi-strand approach to support partner HEIs, both assisting with technical and research knowledge development, and developing of pedagogical and methodological approaches.
Aims and Objectives
The project’s over-arching aim is to enable 3 EECA countries – Georgia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan – to build capacity and integrate GH into their HEI academic programmes. This will be achieved through development of technical knowledge in priority GH topics and GH-relevant research methods, capacity building of academic staff in pedagogical and methodological approaches to design/deliver new curricula, jointly developing GH courses, and to forge/reinforce collaborations between HEIs and non-academic organisations in Partner and Programme countries.
Specifically BACE will:
- Develop curricula and deliver accredited courses on priority GH topics: 6 accredited courses on major GH topics will be developed collaboratively by groups comprising representatives from Partner HEIs and mentors from Heidelberg University GH Institute. The EECA Regional GH Academy will be developed.
- Develop curricula and deliver accredited courses on GH research methods: 3 accredited GH research methods courses will be developed collaboratively by working groups comprising representatives from Partner HEIs and mentors from University of Tromsø.
- Establish the EECA Regional Alliance for Global Health which will serve as an institutional mechanism for regional collaboration, knowledge exchange, training and research on priority GH issues.