It’s been just over a month since we launched our new website and our Gathering Perspectives project, yet we’ve already been fortunate enough to engage with hundreds of people who share a common passion for global health research. Much of this engagement came in response to a recent guest blog post, “A Call to Fire”, in which Sandy Campbell made a passionate call for a global health research (GHR) manifesto that can inspire the next generation of global health researchers. Building on this call, last week’s post by Francisco Becerra-Posada called for a future approach to GHR that not only espouses local perspectives, but truly respects them.
An Energetic Response
Envisioned as a way to fuel a larger dialogue on Canada’s role in global health research, we’ve invited Sandy, Francisco, and others to get our collective conversation started by providing their own unique vision for future change. Engaging in a variety of conversations with people over the past few weeks—both face-to-face and via our website, Facebook, and Twitter—the responses to Sandy’s “Call to Fire” and Francisco’s “Who Has the Right to Guide Global Health Research?” have provided us with some insights as to how this conversation is taking shape.
For example, regarding “Call to Fire”, Sandy’s poignant thoughts on the current state of GHR hit the nail on the head with respect to the current world we live in and where we should be heading. On the other hand, we’ve also heard some reservations from colleagues who disagree with Sandy’s outlook. Though some may agree with Sandy where others differ, this wide spectrum of responses is OK. In fact, this type of discussion and deliberation is exactly what our Gathering Perspectives project is all about.
“What I want for the global health research community is what I want for my own children: where a sound awareness of our origins and communities sprouts into something rich and full, a true spirit of connection, of genuine globalism, of working towards and sharing a world in which we all share the same opportunities.” – Sandy Campbell
A project with the stated goal of gathering perspectives on Canada’s future role in global health research will inevitably shed light on differing opinions and viewpoints. Such differences should not be shied away from, but rather embraced as a sign of a healthy dialogue.
Did Sandy’s “Call to Fire” inspire a fire within you? Do you agree with Francisco’s point that LMICs are too often used as “research fields” rather than research partners? If you disagreed with Sandy’s views, what do you think was missing that would be included in your own vision for Canada’s future role in GHR? If you agreed and were inspired by either of these posts, what points hit home with you the most and why? What is your own unique vision for our shared future?
“If GHR continues as most of the ‘international health research’ has been doing until now, using LMICs as ‘research fields’ and not as research partners, a real global partnership and change will not happen. Canada can lead that change and start doing things differently.” – Francisco Becerra-Posada
An Invitation to Engage
Rather than having you simply read these questions aloud and move on with your day, we truly want you to add your voice to this growing conversation. Our online engagement form (available below) asks you to tell us your own unique vision for Canada’s role in global health research. What are your hopes for the future? What have been some of your best experiences in GHR? What might have to be done to achieve your vision? Tell us as much or as little as you’d like, we’d love to hear from you!
If this first month of dialogue is any indication, there’s no shortage of ideas, thoughts, and visions to share. In fact, the most exciting part about our Gathering Perspectives project is that we are starting to have an important conversation about our shared future—a conversation that from the perspective of many is long overdue. Please, join us.
Interested in contributing your voice to our Gathering Perspectives study? Click on the following link to tell us your vision for Canad’s role in global health research! Tell Us Your Vision.
To learn more about the Gathering Perspectives project, click here.