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Exploring Innovative Ways to Create Globally Accessible, Shared Curricula for Strengthening the Global Health Workforce

November 5, 2018

At the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) in Liverpool, leaders of Schools of Public Health, including Deans and Center Directors, met to discuss the launch of coordinated work across their universities to establish online platforms for students to build capacity around implementation science. This group, which was launched at Consortium of Universities in Global Health (CUGH) Conference 2018 as a Deans’ Roundtable on Implementation Science, has expanded to include Directors of Centers who also focus their work on this important area of public health.

Participants included leaders from Universitas Indonesia, American University of Beirut, University of California, Berkeley and the City University of New York-School of Public Health and Health Policy. While there are many opportunities for partnership, the topic of shared, globally accessible curricula was chosen as the focus for the HSR meeting because of the potential it has to build on the current efforts to support learning for both students and professors. During the roundtable meeting, participants discussed the current work already taking place to create online curricula at their university and how it might be made more systematically available for both pre-service and in-service training.

However, while the notion of shared curriculum is innately exciting-all were aware of the enormous challenges. Participants discussed the cultural challenges of overcoming proprietary interest, the process challenges of competing institutional interests and many logistical and financial challenges. For instance, an example of a logistical challenge is that different universities use different online sharing platforms which are not interoperable.

As a first step in the process of the Implementation Science Roundtable to develop shared work products, participants agreed to create case studies on implementation science. These could then be used across universities and become the framework for a future course-as an achievable first step. Through this online case study work, individuals would begin to establish relationships with colleagues across universities, and explore joint funded efforts which could potentially provide seed money to future expanded efforts of this work. As a nest step, the HEARD partnership will create a proposal for this case study repository to be shared with implementation Science Roundtable members.