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April 2015


Wednesday 25 March 2015 (5.30pm - 7.30pm)

The open evening is an informal event allowing you to drop in at a time that suits you.

The open evening is suitable for anyone interested in finding out more about:





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QMU Open Evening

IIHD offers the following Postgraduate Level courses. Please click on the course name to read more about the course.

Queen Margaret University, Tuesday 24th February 3.15 – 4.45 Room 0050

IIHD Seminar: Dr Sheena Crawford  Harmful Traditional Practices: gender, rights and social change.

Seminar Tuesday 24 th February, 15.15 to 16.45 room 50, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh  EH21 6UU  Phone: +44 (0)131 474 0000

Harmful practices, including early marriage, early childbearing, female genital mutilation/cutting, and gender-based violence, play a substantial role in undermining reproductive health, especially among young women. They are however particularly difficult to change due to the strong gendered social norms that ensure they are embedded in cultural, religious and traditional belief systems. This talk will draw on examples form practice to highlight some of the key health issues linked to these practices and the importance of including  a gendered and rights based approach into interventions for change. 

Dr Sheena Crawford is an anthropologist and an independent social development consultant who hascarried out over 50 major consultancies for international aid agencies. Recent work includes working on DFID programmes to ‘End Child Marriage Programme’ in Ethiopia and eliminate FGM in Somalia.

Please Note: If you cannot make it to the venue, these lectures will be livestreamed.

If you are interested in tuning in online on the day, simply click on . The virtual room will be open 15 minutes before the start of the lecture and you will have an option to sign in as a guest.

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Queen Margaret University, Thursday 29th January 4.15 – 5.45 Room 3165

Spain for choice - The Gender, Rights ANd Development [GRAND] Network and the Institute for International Health and Development   (IIHD) at Queen Margaret University welcome you to a film screening and panel discussion documenting the fight for reproductive rights in Spain during 2014 when thousands marched in anger at proposals by the Spanish government to restrict access to abortion which would have resulted in banning an estimated 90% of abortions.

Chair Dr Anuj Kapiashrami, lecturer in global sexual and reproductive rights,  activist in women’s rights and founder of the UK People’s Health Movement

Panel members: Iciar Bollein the renowned  Spanish woman film director, winner of multiple Goya awards – films include  Te Doy mis Ojos, (Take my eyes) Tambien la Lluvia (Even the Rain) nominated as Spain’s entry for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Oonagh O’Brien , lecturer in International health, activist in Spanish Abortion Support Group SWASG during the 1980s, 

Carolina Cancanilla and Angela, activists in the Edinburgh campaign.

Background:  In late 2013 the conservative led Spanish Government proposed a change to existing law, to dramatically restrict access to abortion in the country.  The reaction to the proposed changes took many by surprise as huge demonstrations took place across Spain and Europe to protest at these proposals.  A collective of key women film directors who were against the proposed changes came together to form a collective and filmed the protests, resulting in the film :  El Tren de la Libertad  (The Freedom Train)

The film quickly went viral on the internet and as the campaign gathered momentum the Spanish government dropped the majority of the proposed changes resulting in the resignation of the Justice Minister who had staked his career on implementation of the changes.

We will show the film with English Subtitles (42 mins) and follow the showing with a Panel discussion with Q&A from the audience of how the film was made, the background to reproductive rights in Spain and the impact the campaign has had on mobilising young women and men across Spain and diaspora communities such as the large Spanish community in Edinburgh who had taken these rights for granted.

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Grand Challenges in Global Health & Development

IIHD Public Lecture Series 2014/15

Copyright F Cataldo

Painter in Zomba, Malawi (Photo: F. Cataldo)


Delivered by experts in their respective fields, the lectures will provide critical, state-of the-art discussion of key questions facing global health practitioners and policy-makers. Lectures are hosted by IIHD and take part in Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Please join us for drinks and refreshments after the lecture!

How to find us

Please Note: If you cannot make it to the venue, these lectures will be livestreamed.

If you are interested in tuning in online on the day, simply click on The virtual room will be open 15 minutes before the start of the lecture and you will have an option to sign in as a guest.


16 Sep 2014

16:15 -17:30









'Achieving Universal Health Coverage'

Debates regarding how to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) have been raging since the late 1960s, with successive cases being made for publicly financed primary health care, greater involvement of private sector financing, the implementation of ‘essential health packages’ and social health insurance.   In this lecture, Professor McPake traces the history of these debates before considering how selected country case study  ‘models’ for achieving UHC might inform efforts in countries that are far from meeting this target.

Barbara McPake is Professor and Professor and Director, Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia and Reasearch Director for ReBUILD, IIHD, Queen Margaret University

Presentation pdf

Presentation Livestream Recording (please note that we were unsuccessful in livestreaming on this occasion but we have uploaded a previous recording of this lecture)

QMU, Edinburgh

Room 3090










26 Nov 2014

15:15 – 16:30











‘Saving Lives is Not Enough: Strengthening Humanitarian Response through Community Engagement in Health Systems'

Violent and protracted conflicts and rapid onset catastrophic events as well as state fragility lead to the decay and destruction of health systems. The long-term impact of different forms of fragility on health systems cannot be fully remedied in the six to twelve months response time currently used by donor agencies and humanitarian organisations. The failure to link humanitarian responses with an analysis of the fragility context, including the specific dynamics of the emerging political settlements, can result in an inappropriate aid timeframe and the use of the wrong aid instruments. This can fuel existing tensions, impede or even undermine development of health and other systems and exacerbate a vicious circle of conflict and other manifestations of fragility. This talk will examine the mechanics of this repeated failure and consider some examples of positive deviance - where humanitarian intervention builds health systems while saving lives and protecting health. 

Allison Beattie is a health sector specialist who has worked extensively with the UK Department for International Development (DfID), most recently as Health Services Team Leader in DfiD's Human Development Department. Allison is also an IIHD Associate.


QMU, Edinburgh

Room 3090













21 Jan 2015

15:15 - 16:30









'Towards a More Nuanced Global Mental Health’

There is growing consensus that mental health services are failing to adequately engage with large sections of the global population. Critics have suggested that the mental health evidence-base is heavily skewed toward research conducted in high-income countries (HIC) and that this evidence cannot therefore be assumed to be valid for LMIC. This talk will highlight the importance of developing bottom-up, culturally sensitive forms of support for individuals and communities. The importance of addressing social determinants of mental health difficulties (e.g. marginality, gender-based violence, conflict, substance abuse etc.) will be explored. Emphasis will also be placed on the benefits that can be gained from empowering local people to take a leading role in promoting mental health in their communities.

Ross White is Senior Lecturer and Director of the MSc Global Mental Health programme at the Institute of Health and Well-being, University of Glasgow.

PDF Presentation (to follow)

Livestream Presentation

QMU, Edinburgh

Room 3091











10 March 2015

15:15 - 16:30




















'Beyond MDG5: priorities and prospects for maternal health'

With less than a year left to the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, this lecture will examine progress towards MDG 5 on maternal mortality.  An historical perspective will be taken to reflect on the drivers of the significant declines in maternal deaths during the 20 th century in high and middle-income countries, and on the old and new challenges still faced in resource-poor settings.  The focus will then shift to exploring the prospects for the future. The current debates on sustainable development goals and new targets are taking place alongside renewed calls to complete the unfinished agenda for maternal survival.  At national and international levels, the emerging narrative is around accelerating progress and the need for a new paradigm focused on maternal healthy lives and on ending preventable maternal deaths.

Wendy Graham is Professor of Obstetric Epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She trained at Sheffield and then Oxford universities, & has specialist interests in the reduction and the measurement of maternal and newborn mortality. Professor Graham has undertaken collaborative research in many countries, with partnerships currently in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. From 2002 to May 2013, she led IMMPACT - the international research group co-ordinated by the University of Aberdeen to strengthen the evidence-base for reducing maternal and newborn mortality ( ).  Focus areas for Professor Graham’s current work are infection prevention at birth ( ), quality improvement of maternity services, maternal death surveillance, & strengthening the translation of research evidence into policy & practice. She has served on expert panels and committees for many international organisations, partnerships and initiatives, and has recently completed a four-year secondment with the UK Department for International Development.

Please Note: If you cannot make it to the venue, these lectures will be livestreamed.

If you are interested in tuning in online on the day, simply click on The virtual room will be open 15 minutes before the start of the lecture and you will have an option to sign in as a guest.

QMU, Edinburgh

Room 3091





















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