Global Health Delivery online short course

Course starts 8 April 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
31 March 2020
Course Starts:
8 April 2020
10 weeks online
8 - 12 hours per week
USD $2,200
Payment Options
Harvard's VPAL
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The greatest constraint to improving global healthcare delivery? Not availability, but access.

Full use of existing interventions would cut the 10 million annual child deaths that occur globally by more than 60%, as well as a high proportion of the half-million annual maternal deaths that could also be prevented by interventions of known efficacy.*

Esteemed Harvard faculty, including Paul Farmer and Arthur Kleinman, effectively address the delivery gap through a nuanced, biosocial approach — which led them to create the HarvardX Massive Open Online Course, Global Health Case Studies from a Biosocial Perspective, to share their research with the world.

While a popular tool for those who are curious in exploring important ideas, health practitioners and leaders, such as yourself, require more. You need to create and receive feedback, to share and discuss in small groups. A busy life means you also need support while you learn, to stay on track and achieve your objectives. This online short course from Harvard's Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL), in association with HarvardX, recognizes the necessity for transformative impact.

Join a global health community as they analyze how power structures shape the response to disease, and the approaches taken all over the world in the fight against Ebola, HIV/AIDS, MDR-TB, and the burden of mental health. Make meaningful connections with peers while creating your own intervention ready for action.


*Course Trailer

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

How you’ll grow your global impact through this course:

  • Design a global health intervention for real-world implementation as the final outcome of the ongoing course project
  • Socially engage around the groundbreaking textbook, Reimagining Global Health (provided)
  • Interact and professionally network with a peer group of global health change-makers in classwide forums and graded small-group discussions
  • Experience a leadership and change management process that affords you the space and confidence to rethink conventional approaches
  • Acquire a premier certificate from Harvard’s VPAL, in association with HarvardX  
  • Share your digital portfolio of evidence, created while you go, as proof of your commitment to an evolving, interdisciplinary field

Course curriculum

Once completed, you’ll have engaged in over 90 hours of learning time, with over two thirds of that spent on interactive activities. And the impact will be felt. Theory U, a development model that encourages new perspectives has been embedded into the design of this course, which has proven to foster transformational change.

  • Orientation Module: Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Course Module 1: Introduction to the biosocial
  • Course Module 2: Why ideas matter: Social theory in global health
  • Course Module 3: The history of global health and colonial legacy
  • Course Module 4: Political economy and foreign aid
  • Course Module 5: The global AIDS movement
  • Course Module 6: Challenges in healthcare delivery: Lessons from Liberia and Haiti
  • Course Module 7: Building an effective rural health delivery model in Rwanda
  • Course Module 8: Critical perspectives on metrics of disease
  • Course Module 9: The unique challenges of mental health
  • Course Module 10: Values and global health

Course founders and instructors:

Anne Becker


Maude and Lillian Presley Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University

Arthur Kleinman


Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor, Anthropology Department, Harvard University

Paul Farmer


Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University

Salmaan Keshavjee


Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard University

Hear from other expert guest instructors, including:

Reginald Fils-Aime


Physician supervisor for the Zanmi Lasante Department of Mental Health

Didi Bertrand-Farmer


Senior Advisor for Community Health for Partners In Health

Rebecca Weintraub


Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in the Division of Global Health Equity, Faculty Director of the Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University, and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School

Raj Panjabi


Co-Founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, TIME 100 most influential people, 2017 TED Prize Winner, Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston

Pere Eddy Eustache


Ordained Catholic priest, psychologist and pioneer of a community-based model for mental healthcare

Luke Messac


M.D./Ph.D. student in the History and Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania

Emily Harrison


Doctoral candidate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University

Catherine Mugeni


Director of the Community Health unit in the Ministry of Health in Rwanda

Christine Mutaganzwa


District Clinical Director for Partners in Health in Kayonza, Rwanda

Isabelle Kamariza


President of Solid Africa, an NGO that helps vulnerable patients in public health facilities

Agnes Binagwaho


Senior lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Minister of Health of Rwanda (2011-2016)

David Jones


The A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine, a joint position between Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine

Anatole Manzi


Rwandan nurse with over a decade of experience working in rural primary care. Director of the Mentoring and Enhanced Supervision at Health Centers Quality Improvement (MESH-QI) program and has worked with Partners In Health since 2005

Peter Drobac


Executive Director of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda. An instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Drobac served as the Executive Director of Partners in Health in Rwanda, IMB

Earn your premier certificate

“Having certificates that accurately document how you have evolved over time, I feel, will be invaluable over the course of a career” — Prof. Robert A. Lue, Faculty Director of HarvardX

This premier certificate is awarded by Harvard University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, in association with HarvardX. All certificate costs, including packaging and international delivery, are included in the course fee.
Disclaimer: The visual representation of the certificate here serves as an exemplar, and may be subject to change at the discretion of the University.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 8 April 2020.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with a Course Consultant here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Manager who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Manager, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.

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