Collaboration Advances Standards for Global Health Education

Cross-sector Collaboration Seeks to Advance Standards for Education in Growing Field of Global Health Degrees

Bay Area non-profit and international education leader, Child Family Health International, have joined top universities under the leadership of The Consortium of Universities of Global Health (CUGH) to nurture a community of practice for undergraduate and masters global health programs.  Global Health, a discipline focusing on health equity in underserved communities in all corners of the world, is a growing field that defies traditional silos common to university campuses.  The new initiative will seek to establish standards and serve as a resource for global health degree programs that have thus far been disparate in their content and objectives.

“Demand for quality Global Health programming is at an all-time high,” explains the committee’s co-chair Dr. Ashti Doobay-Persaud of Northwestern University.  “This new CUGH initiative was created to give students and program directors what they need to succeed in their future careers in Global Health.”  Doobay-Persaud is Assistant Director of Global Health Graduate Education and the Faculty Director for the Masters of Science in Global Health at Northwestern University, and is joined at the helm of the new initiative by Dr. Paul Drain, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Global Health, Medicine, and Epidemiology at the University of Washington.  Child Family Health International (CFHI), a leader in the experiential fieldwork component often required by Global Health degrees, emphasizes standards of ethics, safety, and community engagement within the sub-committee’s work.  CFHI Executive Director, Dr. Jessica Evert, points out “We know from missteps within the field that sending students to impoverished communities without close attention to patient safety, cross-cultural effectiveness, humility, and appropriate learning objectives is no longer acceptable.  This sub-committee helps to hold us all to a high standard when students interact with underserved communities at home and abroad.”

The sub-committee creates a place for educators to gather, exchange information and foster collaboration toward best practices, educational rigor, and ethical global engagement. The sub-committee will help further support both the interprofessional and local-global opportunities for students pursuing these degrees.   Dr. Paul Drain of the University of Washington asserts, “The resources available to students of Global Health are not universally consistent.  The work of this sub-committee will bring important standards to the member universities of CUGH.”  CUGH will be splitting this sub-committee in to two different working groups in order to give specific focus to both the undergraduate and master’s level of education.


Child Family Health International (CFHI) provides community-based Global Health Education Programs for students and institutions. Our unique model fosters reciprocal partnerships and empowerment in local communities, transforming perspectives about self, healing and global citizenship. CFHI is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations.

The Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), founded by leading North American university global health programs, aims to:

●      Define the field and discipline of global health;

●      Standardize required curricula and competencies for global health;

●      Define criteria and conditions for student and faculty field placements in host institutions;

●      Provide coordination of projects and initiatives among and between resource-rich universities and less-developed nations and their institutions.

CUGH is dedicated to creating balance in resources and in the exchange of students and faculty between institutions in rich and poor countries, recognizing the importance of equal partnership between the academic institutions in developing nations and their resource-rich counterparts in the planning, implementation, management and impact evaluation of joint projects.

Source: Child Family Health International