Maternal Health

Jan 2021 Field Experience in Maternal Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on maternal health, with shortages in healthcare providers, reluctance of mothers to visit health facilities, reductions in breastfeeding practices, and other emerging issues. It is now more important than ever for public health researchers and practitioners to support maternal health organizations and the work that they do to protect the lives of women and girls.

For the first time, GHP 547 Field Experience in Maternal Health will be offered through a fully remote format. This course will provide students with an opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge to maternal health issues in low-income countries (such as Bangladesh, India, Peru, Uganda, and others) through remote placements with Women & Health Initiative partner organizations. Students are matched with host organizations based on their background and interests as well as the needs of the host organization. Each student’s experience is individually co-designed in the fall by students and the host organization to meet the needs of both parties. In January, students will spend three weeks working remotely at a host institution under qualified supervision. The work may involve designing data collection tools for upcoming studies, actively participating in ongoing data collection and analysis efforts (e.g. collecting online data, conducting remote interviews), preparing draft manuscripts for publication, and conducting needs assessments. Any student who thinks s/he may be engaged in research involving human subjects, such as focus groups, individual interviews and similar activities, must apply to the Human Subjects Committee for appropriate authorization during Fall 2.

Students will be required to attend 2-3 pre-course sessions in Fall 2 to learn more about maternal health and the particular challenges in the countries where host organizations are located. During the winter session term, students are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week on the project that they develop with their host organization. In addition, students and the teaching team will meet weekly to hear updates from students and to discuss salient topics in maternal health. At the conclusion of the winter session term, students will present their final product to the class. The teaching team will assign grades based on these products and will share them with the students’ host institutions.

Please note: Interested students should email a brief statement on why you’re interested in enrolling as well as a copy of your CV to alanger@hsph.harvard.edu and noramiller@g.harvard.edu by October 15, 2020.

Course capacity for 2021: A maximum of 6 students