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About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 28 February 2023
Manuscript Submission Deadline 30 April 2023

Global Health, a field of study, research and practice defined in 2009 with precursors in international health and development, is currently reckoning with itself. The field has well-intended goals emphasizing collaboration and dialogue between population health, public health, clinical care, and other disciplines to address socioeconomic determinants of health, and employing interdisciplinary approaches to address health inequities wherever they exist. Despite these lofty ideals, there are concerns that the field itself has historically served to reinforce rather than deconstruct colonialism and power imbalances. At this point in time, the field has evolved toward a vision of a community of practice between institutions across the income spectrum (HIC, LMIC, LIC) working in bidirectional and multidirectional ways to develop staff, stuff, space, systems and strategies to eliminate health disparities. However, with deeply rooted colonial assumptions, racism, elitism, and other forms of bias underlying institutions and individuals, initiatives operating under the auspices of Global Health are all too often antithetical to the pursuit itself.

To confront and challenge these biases, this Research Topic seeks to dive deeply into the beliefs and practices in global health education to explore and address these historically reinforced ideologies, as well as the performative nature of global health at academic institutions. The benefit of a more uniform definition for global health is in providing a framework for an increased understanding of the goals, purpose, accountability, and responsibility of global health education at academic institutions. Additionally, this article collection seeks to analyze the metrics and frameworks used to interpret the impact of ethical frameworks of ethical frameworks utilized within global health.

This collection aims at ensuring all voices are honored and respected in an equitable and inclusive manner. We seek to explore questions such as whether academic institutions engaged in global health education are promoting capacity-building and local solutions to problems rather than providing short term charity solutions in the form of people or funds, encouraging human rights rather than charity, recognizing their obligation to be held socially accountable, and determining the role of higher education in teaching students about global health. We are interested in contributions that concentrate on practices, pedagogies, and research that advocate for institutions that enable the work, focus on accountability, encourage outcomes that align with output, and provide transformative learning that is not exploitative.

This Research Topic seeks to further examine the history of global health education and how the field can entrench colonial/supremacist biases or continue to evolve toward a practice that aligns with the definition. Possible subjects of inquiry include (but are not limited to):

- Asset-Based Frameworks in Global Health Education
- Successful models of centering the power, perspective, expertise, ownership of less resourced or traditionally disempowered stakeholders
- Frameworks for anti-colonial and anti-racist Global Health
- Initiatives achieving improvements of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Global Health educational resources/programs
- Contemporizing language, definitions, and narratives
- Failures to increase DEI in global health educational activities
- Evaluations of efforts to decolonize global health

Keywords: Global Health Education, Decolonization, Framework, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Power


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Global Health, a field of study, research and practice defined in 2009 with precursors in international health and development, is currently reckoning with itself. The field has well-intended goals emphasizing collaboration and dialogue between population health, public health, clinical care, and other disciplines to address socioeconomic determinants of health, and employing interdisciplinary approaches to address health inequities wherever they exist. Despite these lofty ideals, there are concerns that the field itself has historically served to reinforce rather than deconstruct colonialism and power imbalances. At this point in time, the field has evolved toward a vision of a community of practice between institutions across the income spectrum (HIC, LMIC, LIC) working in bidirectional and multidirectional ways to develop staff, stuff, space, systems and strategies to eliminate health disparities. However, with deeply rooted colonial assumptions, racism, elitism, and other forms of bias underlying institutions and individuals, initiatives operating under the auspices of Global Health are all too often antithetical to the pursuit itself.

To confront and challenge these biases, this Research Topic seeks to dive deeply into the beliefs and practices in global health education to explore and address these historically reinforced ideologies, as well as the performative nature of global health at academic institutions. The benefit of a more uniform definition for global health is in providing a framework for an increased understanding of the goals, purpose, accountability, and responsibility of global health education at academic institutions. Additionally, this article collection seeks to analyze the metrics and frameworks used to interpret the impact of ethical frameworks of ethical frameworks utilized within global health.

This collection aims at ensuring all voices are honored and respected in an equitable and inclusive manner. We seek to explore questions such as whether academic institutions engaged in global health education are promoting capacity-building and local solutions to problems rather than providing short term charity solutions in the form of people or funds, encouraging human rights rather than charity, recognizing their obligation to be held socially accountable, and determining the role of higher education in teaching students about global health. We are interested in contributions that concentrate on practices, pedagogies, and research that advocate for institutions that enable the work, focus on accountability, encourage outcomes that align with output, and provide transformative learning that is not exploitative.

This Research Topic seeks to further examine the history of global health education and how the field can entrench colonial/supremacist biases or continue to evolve toward a practice that aligns with the definition. Possible subjects of inquiry include (but are not limited to):

- Asset-Based Frameworks in Global Health Education
- Successful models of centering the power, perspective, expertise, ownership of less resourced or traditionally disempowered stakeholders
- Frameworks for anti-colonial and anti-racist Global Health
- Initiatives achieving improvements of diversity, equity, and inclusion for Global Health educational resources/programs
- Contemporizing language, definitions, and narratives
- Failures to increase DEI in global health educational activities
- Evaluations of efforts to decolonize global health

Keywords: Global Health Education, Decolonization, Framework, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Power


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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