2022 Theme

This year’s GHSYPS aims to provide a platform for emerging global health leaders to explore and address the inequities that exist from local to global, within and between countries. The COVID-19 global pandemic has created new inequities and exacerbated pre-existing disparities. With growing calls to decolonize global health, and increased attention paid to equity, diversity, inclusion and justice, students and young professionals will have to work together in rebuilding global health systems that better serve everyone.

The conference program will be built around the following sub-themes, which you can read more about below!

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Justice

The current model for global health, including the role of Canadian-led global health research and practice, has come under scrutiny in light of mounting efforts to decolonize global health. Across the world, many groups, individuals, and countries have been a focus of study and practice without meaningful representation. Justice can only be achieved when equity, diversity, and inclusion principles are met. These concepts are all intersected and must be considered collectively.

In this sub-theme, we invite discussions that will more precisely interrogate what these dimensions mean. Consider: What is “decolonizing global health,” and how can it be achieved? How can equity and inclusivity be achieved in global health research and practice, and what are the associated outcomes? Do we clearly understand the systemic barriers faced by individuals from underrepresented groups? What measures need to be put in place to overcome these barriers?

Local and International Inequities

Local and global inequalities pose a serious problem for everyone’s personal, social, and economic wellbeing. Inequities may be a significant cause of social, political, and economic instability, leading to significant and protracted conflicts. Inequities between and within countries and a failure to identify and address disparities within and between populations complicate the identification and management of phenomena that negatively impact the health and well-being of populations and increase the gap of inequalities.

This sub-theme will investigate the policies that lead to the inequities between and within countries and those that are succeeding in mitigating their impact. Consider: What actions can the global health community take to build and support these initiatives? What is the evidence base that is needed for this – at the country level and at the community level? Is there a role for implementation science in identifying and redressing these inequities? What are the catalysts and deflators that promote or prevent the development of these initiatives?

Indigenous Health

Despite only making up a small portion of the world’s Indigenous people, most international studies on Indigenous health policies concentrate on the anglo-settler democracies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States). However, Indigenous peoples worldwide experience different histories, cultures, realities, and health considerations. Furthermore, local, national, and international communities have much to learn. Thus, a call for global collaboration, led by Indigenous leaders, for the sharing of knowledge is essential.

This sub-theme invites contributions that interrogate questions such as: What do we need to address and overcome these gaps in health equity for Indigenous peoples globally? How can our inquiries and practices address the historical and ongoing traumas associated with colonization and colonialism? How can we learn from anti-colonial approaches used in Indigenous health research and practice globally to further an agenda for inclusive global health? How can evidence on Indigenous ways of knowing inform a greater emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion in global health?

Local Implementation as Key to Inclusivity

There have been increasing calls for greater autonomy, local ownership, and participation of people in need in global health research. At the same time, there remain significant legal, social, and political barriers that pose challenges to local implementation. There are opportunities to optimize and scale up, if needed, localized work and solutions through frameworks and approaches such as implementation science. The principles of “local level engagement” would require that the needs of communities are addressed and, from the start, provide a mechanism to ensure the application of equity, diversity, and inclusion principles as well as inclusive global health.

This sub-theme asks you to consider: How can local empowerment make a difference and align with district and national efforts and policies? How is empowerment linked to local and district capacity to develop evidence-based planning and equity-oriented resource allocation? How can local implementation serve to operationalize equity, diversity, and inclusion principles and progress an inclusion agenda in global health? How does local implementation empower researchers and practitioners in diverse settings?

Global Health in Times of Crisis

Conflict and fragility impact health systems directly and indirectly: insecurity and conflict result in direct deaths from violence. Still, the indirect effects on population health and health systems are often far more significant.

Further, persistent levels of poverty, food insecurity, and housing and sanitation issues impact the determinants of health, resulting in a higher burden of morbidity and mortality related to non-communicable diseases and even other infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS. Contemporary crises have furthered the strain on already fragile health systems in many parts of the world, where vulnerable groups continue to suffer disproportionately. The response to the pandemic in fragile regions has been characterized by resource shortages, coordination challenges, the spread of inaccurate information, and untimely risk communication at various levels.

In this sub-theme, we will consider: Why do certain crises draw more attention than others? Are populations who are experiencing marginalization less visible than others who have a voice and power on the global stage? How can we highlight and give fair attention to these “other” global crises? How can we maintain or ‘shockproof’ global health systems and global health priorities from ongoing and destabilizing crises? What has been learned from previous crises and how can such learning support planning and recovery efforts?