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Harvard VPAL

Global Health Delivery

Global Health Delivery online short course
Sep 4—Nov 13, 2019
USD 2200

How it works


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The greatest constraint to improving global healthcare delivery? Not availability, but access.

Full use of existing interventions would cut the 10 million annual child deaths that occur globally by more than 60%, as well as a high proportion of the half-million annual maternal deaths that could also be prevented by interventions of known efficacy.*

Esteemed Harvard faculty, including Paul Farmer and Arthur Kleinman, effectively address the delivery gap through a nuanced, biosocial approach — which led them to create the HarvardX Massive Open Online Course, Global Health Case Studies from a Biosocial Perspective, to share their research with the world.

While a popular tool for those who are curious in exploring important ideas, health practitioners and leaders, such as yourself, require more. You need to create and receive feedback, to share and discuss in small groups. A busy life means you also need support while you learn, to stay on track and achieve your objectives. This online short course from Harvard's Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL), in association with HarvardX, recognizes the necessity for transformative impact.

Join a global health community as they analyze how power structures shape the response to disease, and the approaches taken all over the world in the fight against Ebola, HIV/AIDS, MDR-TB, and the burden of mental health. Make meaningful connections with peers while creating your own intervention ready for action.

What will set you apart

How you’ll grow your global impact through this course:

  • Design a global health intervention for real-world implementation as the final outcome of the ongoing course project
  • Socially engage around the groundbreaking textbook, Reimagining Global Health (provided)
  • Interact and professionally network with a peer group of global health change-makers in classwide forums and graded small-group discussions
  • Experience a leadership and change management process that affords you the space and confidence to rethink conventional approaches
  • Acquire a premier certificate from Harvard’s VPAL, in association with HarvardX
  • Share your digital portfolio of evidence, created while you go, as proof of your commitment to an evolving, interdisciplinary field

Course curriculum

Once completed, you’ll have engaged in over 90 hours of learning time, with over two thirds of that spent on interactive activities. And the impact will be felt. Theory U, a development model that encourages new perspectives has been embedded into the design of this course, which has proven to foster transformational change.

  • Orientation Module: Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Course Module 1: Introduction to the biosocial
  • Course Module 2: Why ideas matter: Social theory in global health
  • Course Module 3: The history of global health and colonial legacy
  • Course Module 4: Political economy and foreign aid
  • Course Module 5: The global AIDS movement
  • Course Module 6: Challenges in healthcare delivery: Lessons from Liberia and Haiti
  • Course Module 7: Building an effective rural health delivery model in Rwanda
  • Course Module 8: Critical perspectives on metrics of disease
  • Course Module 9: The unique challenges of mental health
  • Course Module 10: Values and global health


Paul Farmer, medical anthropologist and physician, has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world's poorest people. Dr. Farmer holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he is the Kolokotrones University Professor and the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Soc...
Anne E. Becker, MD, PhD, SM is the Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School she also serves as a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program. An anthropologist and psychiatrist, Dr. Becker has been lead investigator ...
Kleinman’s numerous publications have included works on social suffering, mental health, stigma, moral experience, and caregiving. Most recently, he co-edited a textbook on global health (Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction. 2013, UC Press), co-authored a book on moral life in China with h...
Dr. Keshavjee’s research spans four areas: (1) multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) treatment and policy; (2) health-sector reform and access to health care and medical technology in transitional societies, with a special focus on countries of the former Soviet Union (Central Asia and the R...

Next dates

Sep 4—Nov 13, 2019
USD 2200

How it works

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