Global Health and Population

World-_Population-Growth_-Lauren-Manning_512-by-300Students in this field of study will be affiliated with the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Department of Global Health and Population seeks to improve global health through education, research, and service from a population-based perspective.  The current landscape of global health is faced with a complex set of demographic patterns, disease burdens, and health policies, which create challenges and provide solutions that are inter-dependent across all societies.  The Department’s approach to these problems combines the analysis of population and health using quantitative and qualitative methods, the investigation of policies that affect health and a concern with the politics and ethics of health and development.

What are the Areas of Specialization within this Field of Study?

Health Systems: this area offers an advanced level of interdisciplinary training in political economy, economics and finance, political science, ethics, and evaluative science, along with a strong foundation of public health skills.  Through coursework and applied research, students learn to integrate theories and methods from various disciplines and apply them to analyze critical health system issues.

Population and Family Health: this area will prepare students for independent research on population and family health issues worldwide. Training in quantitative and qualitative methods encompasses epidemiology, decision sciences, behavioral and experimental economics as well as health economics.  Students will acquire a solid foundation in the essential demographic, epidemiologic, and statistical concepts and methods needed for the study of levels, trends, and differentials in population health and its determinants.

What research competencies and skills will students develop?

Health Systems

  • Examine how changes in health system functions influence performance and achievement of goals;
  • Review multiple types of financing, shaped by different ethical values and varied economic and social conditions;
  • Investigate how payment mechanisms are effective in controlling healthcare costs and improving quality of healthcare services;
  • Explain how political structures and processes affect opportunities for adoption and implementation of health reforms.

Population and Family Health

  • Develop scientifically rigorous and important research questions and associated research plans with a focus on population and family health in low- and middle income countries.
    • Particular research areas may include reproductive maternal, child, and adolescent health and nutrition, and both infectious diseases, such as HIV, TB and malaria, and non-communicable conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health.
  • Apply appropriate analytic tools from different disciplines to translate data into evidence that is salient to identifying and understanding problems, setting priorities, and planning and executing public health programs.
    • Typical data sources include population-based surveys, censuses, and administrative databases.
  • Analyze population-based demographic and health data to investigate causal relationships important to population and family health.
  • Design and implement intervention studies (including randomized controlled trials) to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of public health interventions in low and middle income countries.
  • Analyze patterns and trends in population and health outcomes, including mortality and causes of death, fertility and functional health status.

Who are the faculty in the department associated with this Field of Study?

Information on the faculty in the Department of Global Health and Population.

What are the required courses in this Field of Study?

Required courses in the Global Health and Population Field of Study

Who is the departmental contact from whom more information about doctoral training in this Field of Study may be sought?

Barbara Heil, Global Health and Population, Bldg 1-1108D, 665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115, tel: tel: 617-432-1179

Click here for further information on the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Photo: Lauren Manning