The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) is a multi-disciplinary centre for research and postgraduate education that addresses contemporary health and development challenges in low and middle income countries and their connection to global systems and trends.
Our approach is marked by a commitment to critical thinking, practice engagement, and social justice. Critical thinking means we bring fresh insight and perspectives to situations, with our work frequently involving innovative methodologies and approaches.
Practice engagement means that we are committed to work directly with Ministries of Health, international and national organisations and local communities to develop real solutions to problems. Social justice means that we are always particularly mindful of the needs of the most disadvantaged and ways of improving their health and well-being.
The Institute for Global Health and Development applies social science to understanding and impacting the health and development of vulnerable and marginalised populations globally.
IGHD builds upon a long-standing track-record of engagement in the field of global health and development at Queen Margaret University (QMU), with an emphasis on supporting the development of policy and systems in the context of community engagement.
QMU was selected as a focus for supporting capacity development in primary healthcare in the wake of the Alma Ata Declaration through the establishment of a Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Health Care in the 1980s. It led a major programme of strengthening nursing services in Bangladesh in the 1990s and was a founder member of the TropEdEurop network on the establishment of the Centre for International Health Studies in 1993.
Our work is characterised by:
• a multidisciplinary approach rooted within the social sciences
• a commitment to research which provides both a critical perspective on issues and points towards tangible actions to address them
• a concern to address the health and well-being of those in greatest need, whether that be vulnerable populations in Scotland or those recovering from civil conflict overseas
Established as an Institute in 2004, IGHD has grown to be a focus for research of significant policy and practice impact. Our research on user fees made a significant contribution to how these were removed for all, or for selected populations, in 28 out of 50 countries with the largest maternal and child health mortality rates.
Our work across Ethiopia, Indonesia and Kenya was recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as demonstrating that community-based practitioners that operate within an integrated team supported by the health system provide a cost-effective means to deliver essential health interventions.
Our research on the issue of refugee integration has significantly shaped the Scottish Government Refugee Integration Strategy ‘New Scots’ and impacted policies more widely in Europe, Australia and the USA.
Focussing research for maximum impact
Research is focused in areas where the Institute has a track record and ongoing capacity for world leadership.
We structure initiatives within research clusters that maximise synergies between the work of academic staff , researchers and doctoral students. Research clusters evolve over time reflecting emerging opportunities for collaboration and impact.
Currently, our clusters are focused on work on health systems, particularly in fragile and low-income settings, and studies on the themes of psychosocial well-being, protection and integration.
Our team is heavily engaged with the UK Department for International Development-funded ReBUILD consortium. ReBUILD’s work is focused in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cambodia. Other recent and ongoing health systems work has been funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Medical Research Council (MRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH), addressing issues ranging from human resources for health in Africa, to analysis of systems resilience in the Middle-East
and strategies supporting poverty alleviation in Asia. Doctoral students contribute to the work of the Institute significantly in this thematic area, with recent and ongoing research in Ghana, India, China and Peru.
Psychosocial Well-being, Protection and Integration
Work on this theme involves studies across diverse settings, with a consistent focus on refugee and other vulnerable or marginalised communities. This includes work in both humanitarian situations (for example, in Nepal, in Malawi post-floods, in the Middle-East) and in contexts of refugee resettlement (including the current settlement of Syrian refugees in Scotland).
Our work in this area is not only supported by research funders but also typically by inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental partners (such as UNICEF and World Vision). An increasing number of doctoral students contribute to a coherent, impactful research agenda in this area, including part-time research students with ongoing employment with the United Nations (UN) and international NGOs.
The Institute for Global Health and Development is a multi-disciplinary centre for postgraduate education and research addressing contemporary health and development in low and middle income countries .
Our research clusters are focused on work on health systems, particularly in fragile settings; and studies on the themes of psychosocial well-being, protection and integration.
Our team is heavily engaged with the UK DFID-funded ReBUILD consortium in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cambodia.
Other recent and ongoing health systems work has been funded by:
• The World Health Organisation (WHO)
• Medical Research Council (MRC)
• Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
• National Institutes for Health (NIH)
This work addresses issues ranging from human resources for health in Africa, to analysis of systems resilience in the Middle-East and strategies supporting stroke survivors in China. Our psychosocial and related research has a consistent focus on refugee and other vulnerable or marginalized communities.
This includes work in both humanitarian situations (for example, in Nepal and Iraq) and in contexts of refugee resettlement (including the current settlement of Syrian refugees in Scotland).
We welcome applications for full or part-time doctoral study in these areas.
We particularly welcome students who have recent or ongoing employment with Ministries of Health, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisations.