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Global Health Policy

Course Number
4000 (Doctor of Public Health)
Course Instructor(s)
Erica Di Ruggiero, Suzanne Sicchia

Course Description

This course will explore the global health policy landscape, including how policy is developed, implemented and governed, and which critical policy agendas and issues (e.g. Sustainable Development Goals) shape this policy arena. Students will also learn about the roles and power dynamics (i.e. global health governance) between global state and non-state actors, as well as international agencies, non-governmental organizations and foundations. Through the use of specific policy issues, students will learn how to apply policy theories and policy analysis tools to assess contested and polarizing policy debates, including their impacts on health and/or health equity. Upon completion, students will understand the sociocultural, environmental and political factors that influence global health policy, and by extension, competing global health objectives.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically discuss key concepts and features of global health systems and institutions;
  2. Examine the political, sociocultural, and commercial determinants of global health, including key global actors who shape the policy arena and the power dynamics and asymmetries between them;
  3. Understand how global health policy is developed, implemented and governed;
  4. Apply critical thinking to conceptualize and analyze the sociocultural, environmental and political factors and actors that influence policy at the global level and the implications for health and health equity;
  5. Identify, critically appraise and apply relevant theories, frameworks, and methods to study and analyze specific global health policy challenges.

Methods of Assessment

Short reflection paper 20%
Op-ed or blog on a global health policy issue of the student’s choice 30%
Final assignment (term paper) 40%
Participation 10%

General Requirements

There are no prerequisites for this course. Previous coursework in global health is an asset.