Developing a tool to measure the reciprocal benefits that accrue to health professionals involved in global health

Jannah Margaret Wigle, Nadia Akseer, Sarah Carbone, Raluca Barac, Melanie Barwick, Stanley Zlotkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research to date on global health collaborations has typically focused on documenting improvements in the health outcomes of low/middle-income countries. Recent discourse has characterised these collaborations with the notion of 'reciprocal value', namely, that the benefits go beyond strengthening local health systems and that both partners have something to learn and gain from the relationship. We explored a method for assessing this reciprocal value by developing a robust framework for measuring changes in individual competencies resulting from participation in global health work. The validated survey and evidence-based framework were developed from a comprehensive review of the literature on global health competencies and reciprocal value. Statistical analysis including factor analysis, evaluation of internal consistency of domains and measurement of floor and ceiling effects were conducted to explore global health competencies among diverse health professionals at a tertiary paediatric health facility in Toronto, Canada. Factor analysis identified eight unique domains of competencies for health professionals and their institutions resulting from participation in global health work. Seven domains related to individual-level competencies and one emphasised institutional capacity strengthening. The resulting Global Health Competency Model and validated survey represent useful approaches to measuring the reciprocal value of global health work among diverse health professionals and settings. Insights gained through application of the model and survey may challenge the dominant belief that capacity strengthening for this work primarily benefits the recipient individuals and institutions in low/middle-income settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000792
JournalBMJ Global Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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