Engineering, global health, and inclusive innovation: focus on partnership, system strengthening, and local impact for SDGs

Article English OPEN
Clifford, Katie L. ; Zaman, Muhammad H. (2016)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Global Health Action (issn: 1654-9880, vol: 9)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC4720687, doi: 10.3402/gha.v9.30175, doi: 10.3402/gha.v%v.30175
  • Subject: global health technology | international partnerships | Sustainable Development Goals | Public Health; Global Health; Education | higher education | RA440-440.87 | Sustainable Development Goals; STEM; higher education; international partnerships; engineering research; global health technology | Capacity Building | STEM | engineering research

The recent drafting of the Sustainable Development Goals challenges the research community to rethink the traditional approach to global health and provides the opportunity for science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) disciplines, particularly engineering, to demonstrate their benefit to the field. Higher education offers a platform for engineering to intersect with global health research through interdisciplinary partnerships among international universities that provide excellence in education, attract nontraditional STEM students, and foster a sense of innovation. However, a traditional lack of engineering–global health collaborations, as well as limited faculty and inadequate STEM research funding in low-income countries, has stifled progress. Still, the impact of higher education on development efforts holds great potential. This value will be realized in low-income countries through strengthening local capacity, supporting innovation through educational initiatives, and encouraging the inclusion of women and minorities in STEM programs. Current international university-level partnerships are working towards integrating engineering into global health research and strengthening STEM innovation among universities in low-income countries, but more can be done. Global health research informs sustainable development, and through integrating engineering into research efforts through university partnerships, we can accelerate progress and work towards a healthier future for all.Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals; STEM; higher education; international partnerships; engineering research; global health technology(Published: 19 January 2016)Citation: Glob Health Action 2016, 9: 30175 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v9.30175
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