Whose voices should shape global health education? Curriculum codesign and codelivery by people with direct expertise and lived experience
There are contrasting opinions of what global health (GH) curricula should contain and limited discussion on whose voices should shape it. In GH education, those with first-hand expertise of living and working in the contexts discussed in GH classrooms are often absent when designing curricula. To address this, we developed a new model of curriculum codesign called Virtual Roundtable for Collaborative Education Design (ViRCoED). This paper describes the rationale and outputs of the ViRCoED approach in designing a new section of the Global Health Bachelor of Science (BSc) curriculum at Imperial College London, with a focus on healthcare in the Syrian conflict. The team, importantly, involved partners with lived and/or professional experience of the conflict as well as alumni of the course and educators in all stages of design and delivery through to marking and project evaluation. The project experimented with disrupting power dynamics and extending ownership of the curriculum beyond traditional faculty by codesigning and codelivering module contents together with colleagues with direct expertise and experience of the Syrian context. An authentic approach was applied to assessment design using real-time syndromic healthcare data from the Aleppo and Idlib Governorates. We discuss the challenges involved in our collaborative partnership and describe how it may have enhanced the validity of our curriculum with students engaging in a richer representation of key health issues in the conflict. We observed an enhanced self-reflexivity in the students’ approach to quantitative data and its complex interpretation. The dialogic nature of this collaborative design was also a formative process for partners and an opportunity for GH educators to reflect on their own positionality. The project aims to challenge current standards and structures in GH curriculum development and gesture towards a GH education sector eventually led by those with lived experience and expertise to significantly enhance the validity of GH education.
Sbaiti M, Streule MJ, Alhaffar M, et al Whose voices should shape global health education? Curriculum codesign and codelivery by people with direct expertise and lived experience, BMJ Global Health 2021;6:e006262.