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OASP 2055 - Global Health Policy & International Health Cooperation

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Historically, the main driving force behind international cooperation in health has been controlling infectious diseases. Most experts concur that formalized international cooperation in health dates from the 1851 International Sanitary Conference. It can be argued that the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals evidence the continued global commitment to international cooperation in health. In recent years, international cooperation in health has been justified and explained by referring to different rationales: charity (the donor/recipient paradigm), health security, economic, and cosmopolitan values (the right to health paradigm). Each of these motives can be used to explain or legitimize global health diplomacy efforts, but they do not necessarily lead to the same impact of the health systems in countries where global health programs are implemented. The 2014-2015 Ebola crisis in West Africa is one of many recent epidemics and has highlighted the continuing importance of international cooperation in health. It also highlighted the many failings of current cooperation and the flaws in global health governance structures even more in current times when humanitarian needs and fragile, under- governed, contexts expand. More-over, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, as well as global environmental health challenges, including the impact of Climate Change, have become of more prominent issue in global health policy and its governance. In this course, we will examine the impact of these different motives for international cooperation in health on three essential 'building blocks' of health systems: financial resources, human resources, and medicines. At the end of the course, participants are expected to be able to use the different motives for engaging in international cooperation in health to brief a country delegation on how to advance its interests at the next World Health Assembly.


  • VAN BELLE, Sara (Post-doctoral research fellow, political scientist and anthropologist)
  • VAN DE PAS, Remco (Medical doctor and research fellow)

Pedagogical format

Interactive seminars.

Course validation

The assessment will be based on three criteria: - Class participation (15%). - Health systems and governance analysis of a given country (essay 40%). - Policy briefing for country delegation to World Health Assembly (paper 45%). The first deliverable will be due mid-way through the class and the student will be required to present their findings to the group. The second deliverable will be due after the last class.


Students will be expected to have read the required readings and to participate in class discussions. Supplemental, non-required readings will be provided so students can explore areas of interest in greater depth.

Required reading

See the Syllabus