Decolonising Global Health

What is decolonisation? The UN International Institute for Global Health, the designated UN think tank on global health describes it as “a process that positively shifts power and encourages forms of global health practice that are better tailored to the needs and contexts of low and middle-incomes countries and marginalised population groups everywhere.”

High-income country partners in global partnerships can unintentionally perpetuate some of these issues, so it is essential that we all learn more about the legacy of colonialism and work collectively to ensure that these harms are not sustained.

Below are some resources which you may find of interest:

Where to start

Prof Madhukar Pai’s work is a great place to start

He is a Professor of Global Health at McGill University in Canada, and talks really well about the main issues. This talk is titled “Global health research needs a makeover“, but the issues are relevant to all other areas of global health.

There are many articles on the subject, but this one “Will global health survive its decolonisation?” by Seye Abimbola and Madhu Pai summarises the issues and provides references to other reading.

Other videos

Radi-Aid challenging perceptions of poverty and development – Radi-Aid turns aid on its head – definitely worth a watch!

This recent talk by Dylan Matthews from Peace Direct, called “Time to Decolonise Aid” also provides a great overview, and provides an extensive reading list which is detailed below.

If you want to explore these issues in your partnership and with your colleagues, please see our resource on Power and Partnership PowerPoint as part of our Active Global Citizenship resources.

Articles, Opinions and Editorials

Authorship and academic writing

Power imbalance and local ownership

Planetary Health


Time to Decolonise Aid links

NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme Resources

Please let us know of any suggestions, broken links, etc. at