UW-Madison Global Health Institute (GHI) Partnership Task Force Guiding Principles for GHI Global Partnerships March 25, 2009
The following draft principles reflect the collective inputs of the following members of the GHI Partnership Task Force (Charles Dufresne, Lisa Fernandez, Bernard Micke, Curt Johnson, and Christopher Olsen).
1. GHI partnerships should promote cross-cultural understanding, mutual learning and respect for diversity. Likewise, partnerships should reflect respect for laws of the foreign country, including laws related to health professional licensure; conduct that is professional, ethical and culturally sensitive; and the right of partners to limit invasions of privacy at personal and institutional levels. When research is carried out, it must conform to all applicable human subjects regulations and requirements for participant training and protocol approval, as well as animal care and use approval and training for research involving animals, and results should be shared with partners and communities involved.
2. GHI partnerships must strive to build a partnership based on mutual trust, transparency, honesty and mutual accountability. Each partner should be viewed as equally important to the development and implementation of the relationship. However, that equality should not obviate social justice obligations and imperatives. Our partnerships and our individual actions as participants should prioritize the needs of the poor and we should vigilantly strive to develop mechanisms to address health inequities.
3. GHI partnerships will be built on the principle of reciprocity. This implies that partners share ideas, receive mutual benefits (that are clearly definable and measurable) and are involved in decisions that affect the partnership. This also implies that UW-Madison’s program not be a drain on already limited resources at a partnership site. However, the benefits that each partner derives from the partnership may be dissimilar. For example, while the UW-Madison may obtain access to a foreign institution and/or community for purposes of UW student education and/or research, the global partner may gain credibility or visibility nationally or internationally and/or may benefit from effort, knowledge or training that UW-Madison can share with it. Examples might include:
- Enhanced medical knowledge or skills obtained through short GHI educational seminars or trainings in the global partner country on topics of interest to the partners;
- Collaboration on joint proposals, grants, projects or articles with partners (especially academic partner institutions);
- Opportunities to work with GHI on joint research and/or developing knowledge on a problem or issue of common interest;
- Access to needed medical equipment and supplies donated as a part of the partnership or through the GHI network;
- Physical labor and/or technical expertise by GHI program participants towards a needed community project;
- Some percentage of funds, or help with fund raising, to support partner institution medical research, medical/health services, and/or training;
- An international exchange where their medical professionals or students come to UW-Madison to train and conduct research to return and improve their health systems or address their health problems. (Such training must be conducted in accordance with laws, regulations and licensing rules applicable in Wisconsin and UW-Madison.)
4. When appropriate and sustainable, GHI partnerships should promote a model of service learning in which UW-Madison students (and faculty/staff) traveling to a partner site will combine field research or coursework with service that is meaningful to the partner. This service might consist of enhancing partner skills or knowledge, informing their human/animal/public health practices, and/or strengthening the local health system capacity (e.g., bullet points above).
5. GHI partnerships must strive for sustainable collaborations and projects that will have lasting impacts with its global partners. Faculty and students returning from the field must share their knowledge upon returning with other UW students and faculty/staff so as to ensure an effective “hand-off” to new participants involved in the future.
6. Partnerships may focus on one area, but would ideally be strengthened by engagement across more than one form of endeavor, e.g., education, research, community service. In addition, it should be recognized that a minimum period of commitment to new partnerships may be necessary for assessment of potential success and sustainability of projects undertaken. Finally, the GHI must encourage overseas program participants to use what they have witnessed as a stimulus to advocate for health promotion here at home.
7. A lead faculty member or team will be designated for each country/partnership. At the beginning of a new partnership, and periodically thereafter, the GHI should discuss the status of the relationship with its global partner, to include consideration of what is working and what is not, to ensure that the GHI’s presence is not inadvertently harming the partnership site, to determine what each partner can do better and what new areas of endeavor each wishes to pursue, and to elucidate what each expects as benefits accruing from the partnership over a defined next period of time. While not necessary nor potentially appropriate in all cases, memoranda of understanding/cooperation may facilitate partnership relationships and minimize ambiguities/misunderstandings.