Global problems require innovative solutions that in turn require the expertise and collaboration of multiple disciplines and institutions for effective and sustainable implementation. The overarching goal of this proposal is to develop a new generation of innovative leaders in global health (GH) capable of working collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams of colleagues from the south and north to frame problems and develop solutions through research. We propose to meet this goal through refining, expanding and institutionalizing our experience with the Frameworks for Global Health Program and the ARRA-funded Frameworks Signature Program Award, which included e-learning activities with faculty and students from the University of Washington (UW) and the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) and mentored interdisciplinary projects.
The specific aims of this proposal are to: 1) provide interdisciplinary research training in innovations in global health and establish a curriculum program that addresses global health leadership, design thinking, business models, policy analysis and implementation science;2) engage and integrate young US and Peruvian professionals and mentors from diverse disciplines to collaborate in the development of innovative GH interventions, processes, policies, business models and products appropriate for developing countries;3) fund interdisciplinary mentored team projects to bring innovative ideas to the field; and 4) create an enabling environment to encourage meaningful innovation in global health.
We aim to establish the Kuskaya (which in Quechua means "gathering together") Center for Innovations in GH at the UPCH. This Center will be located within the remodeled UPCH School of Public Health building and developed with the assistance of matching funds provided by the UW Department of GH (see letter of support from Dr. King Holmes). One of the greatest strengths of this proposal is the mature history of collaboration between the UPCH and UW (more than 20 years), the experience developed in the past years by UPCH in implementation research and innovation, recently bolstered through a Canadian Grand Challenges grant, and the diversity of collaborators, schools, colleges and universities (including the National University of Engineering of Peru and the Consortium of Peruvian Universities) that will synergize Program activities.
Global problems require multiple disciplines to create innovative solutions. However, opportunities for interdisciplinary training in GH are lacking for professionals in the global North and South. We propose to create an opportunity for interdisciplinary training through the Kuskaya Training Program (from the Quechua word meaning working together), that would offer an bilateral, multi-institutional, cross-cultural, problem-solving based research experience to encourage the development of a new generation of innovative leaders in GH and integrate knowledge for the advancement of solutions for global health problems.