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.
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.
Articles, Opinions and Editorials
Authorship and academic writing
- How (not) to write about Global Health – Desmond T Jumbam (This tongue-in-cheek article holds a mirror up to the way we write about our work)
- The foreign gaze – authorship in academic global health – Seye Abimbola
- Using scientific authorship criteria as a tool for equitable inclusion in global health research – Nadia Adjoa Sam-Agudu and Seye Abimbola
Power imbalance and local ownership
- Country ownership in global health – Abdisalan Mohamed Noor
- Navigating fundamental tensions towards a decolonial relational vision of planetary health – The Lancet Planetary Health – Rhys Jones et al
- It’s Time to Decolonize the Decolonization Movement – Ijeoma Nnodim Opara
Time to Decolonise Aid links
- “Time to Decolonise Aid” 2021 Peace Direct report
- “Race, Power & Peacebuilding” 2022 Peace Direct report
- “Localisation & Decolonisation” 2022 Peace Direct discussion paper
- The RINGO Project: Reimagining the INGO & the role of Global Civil Society
- Stopping as Success: Locally Led Transitions in Development
- “Building a road to recovery for subtle racism in conservation” article
- “The danger of a single story” TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme Resources
Please let us know of any suggestions, broken links, etc. at ScottishGHCU@gov.scot