The Uses of Knowledge in Global Health

Wed June 2nd 2021, 4:00 - 5:00pm

As a field of practice and inquiry, "global health" seeks to achieve equity in (the circumstances that create) health within and between countries. Global health often requires international or global solidarity. Equity is political. But the global health literature is often not aligned to this reality about what it takes to achieve equity, partly due to its colonial and biomedical origins. It proceeds as though the knowledge needed to achieve equity consists primarily in knowledge about discrete, episodic, tangible technological solutions. This status quo reflects a pervasive misordering of value. This talk will propose the principle of subsidiarity, as a potential basis on which efforts to reform academic global health and its literature may be constructed. This is partly in response to growing calls to “decolonise” global health so that its knowledge systems and platforms are more aligned to its equity mission, built on the knowledge needs of and held by proximate/local (rather than distant/foreign) in their day-to-day efforts to promote equity.

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About the Speaker

Dr. Ṣẹ̀yẹ Abímbọ́lá is a health systems researcher and a global health scholar. He has worked as a health care practitioner and/or researcher in Nigeria where he completed his medical training at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; in Australia where completed an MPhil in Public Health and PhD in health systems research at the University of Sydney, and in the United Kingdom where he was a Sidney Sax Overseas Early Career Fellow at the University of Oxford. Dr Abimbola studies community engagement in governance, decentralised governance, and the role of governance in the adoption and scale up of health system innovations. He is currently (2020-22) the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, a senior lecturer in global health at the University of Sydney in Australia, and the editor in chief of BMJ Global Health.