Preparing Leaders for Global Impact

May 1, 2014

Students participating in capstone  experienceThe Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health is preparing the next generation of international development practitioners through an innovative global health policy and practice capstone experience.

The collaborative capstone brought together 19 students from the Texas A&M School of Public Health and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service. In this one-semester course, students conducted a meta-review of health systems and governance in conflict-affected countries with a special emphasis on the West African country of Liberia.

The global health policy and practice capstone reflects interdisciplinary reform efforts currently taking place within the Unites States Agency for International Development (USAID). Public health students learned that global health interventions not only bring assistance to the needy, but are often influenced by the overall foreign policy objectives of a country. Additionally, foreign policy students learned that global health policy made at an abstract level in Washington, D.C. has real consequences in the lives of people in developing countries such as Liberia.

Kristina Beaugh was one of the students who participated in this unique course and enjoyed participating in the cross-sectoral, multi-disciplinary effort to align citizen needs and health service delivery.

According to Beaugh, “Students worked on three areas of the project – one group completed a comparative analysis of health systems in Liberia and other conflict-affected countries; another group used Liberia as a case study for health systems and governance; and the final group prepared a monitoring and evaluation plan to access progress towards health governance goals.

Beaugh is one of the students who will present their findings in person to the USAID cross-sector programs team in Washington, D.C. The presentation will be joined remotely by representatives of the USAID Mission in Monrovia, Liberia, as well as faculty, staff, and students from Texas A&M University.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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