GlobalHealth Lab takes on practical challenges at the front lines of health care delivery. By blending classroom learning with carefully designed action-based field projects in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, students learn by doing. Teams of students collaborate with partner organizations to address specific factors that limit the delivery of health care to the people who most need it. Since 2008, dozens of projects have put students to work with innovative frontline organizations in Kenya, Uganda, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Botswana. The settings vary, but the projects all take on issues that our partners agree are crucial for improving health care delivery by doing more with fewer resources.
Every year, the GlobalHealth Lab staff starts by building a portfolio of projects designed to tap into MIT Sloan students’ strengths. Then each team of MBA, Master’s, and PhD students starts their work on campus. With guidance and input from faculty, domain experts, and the leaders and staff in the partner enterprise, teams refine plans, conduct research, develop topical briefings, and plan their field work to make the most of every day they are on the ground in Africa or Asia. The intensive on-site portion of the project puts students to work inside the enterprise alongside its staff. Students live with and participate in the community, with their faculty mentors joining for a mid-project visit. In the final segment of the course, teams return to the classroom to finalize their projects and distill the lessons learned in the field. Drawing on the thought leadership abundant in the MIT community, students share resources with hosts, reflect on their experiences and define needs in the emerging field of global health delivery studies.
The aspiration for all GlobalHealth Lab projects is to go beyond offering observations by enabling lasting change. To deliver practical improvements, projects are designed to spark systematic efforts to improve health in underserved communities. Dozens of clinics, hospitals, community organizations, and startups have worked with GlobalHealth Lab student teams to tackle pressing constraints or make the most of existing or new opportunities.
We’ve included some introductory information for prospective hosts and students. The GlobalHealth Lab website offers a wealth of information on the course and past projects, including several videos about the process of partnering with us, the student experience, and the value of the course.
To reach the host application, click on My GlobalHealth Lab.