Center for Global Health

Center Projects

In addition to individual faculty research projects, we have a core set of ongoing signature (test bed) and transformative projects designed to improve and advance global health practices and outcomes.

Signature (Test Bed) Projects

Our signature projects highlight our approach to global health, advancing new knowledge through research, creating opportunities for global health students to learn by doing, and reaching out to support community partners.  These projects are run in an annual cycle every year, designed to test-bed and complete proof-of-concept for emergent innovative research ideas in the spaces we are best able to support. In all of these we partner with an array of scholars, practitioners, and communities within and beyond ASU. 

Global Ethnohydrology Study (GES)
The Global Ethnohydrology Study is a transdisciplinary multi-year, multi-site program of research that engages water scarcity and poor water quality as major threats to human health and well-being. Using cross-cultural analysis, this study examines local water knowledge and management across sites that represent a diverse range of climates, institutional arrangements, and cultures.  Each year we roll out (as proof on concept) a new topic and a new lead, allowing us to test out very different innovations in both theory and method. These are then spun off subsequently as new faculty-led research projects.  One other goal of the GES is to help a diversity of students begin to learn the ins-and-outs of social research relevant to global health. Students participate in the GES through joining the Culture, Health, and Environment Laboratory. Faculty interested in leading a round of the GES can contact us directly. 

Contact: Amber Wutich 

Citizen Social Science in Global Health (C-SIGH) 
We are innovating new approaches to doing citizen social science, and testing how these can scale to support better understanding of the human dimensions of global health. Citizen social scientists are local community members who are partners in our community-based projects examining the social dimensions of health. They help finalize project designs, collect data, and return study findings to the community. They make our global health research better, stronger, and more relevant. Citizen Science has been successfully deployed in many projects in the natural and biological sciences, including projects related to global health. But there are currently few models for how to deploy social science research with citizens. CSIGH is an effort to do just that – test new approaches and figure out what works best under what conditions. Each year we team with different collaborators inside and outside ASU to design, implement, and test new approaches to doing citizen social science in global health, together building over time what we hope is a better tool kit for all.

Contact: Cindi SturtzSreetharan

Transformative Projects

We also have a set of ongoing activities that are designed to be structurally transformative. That is, these are organized to change for the better the basic ways that global health gets done. These reach beyond any single faculty-led research project, leveraging the broad set of knowledge that our Center faculty are producing as they work with many different communities across the globe.

The Global Impact Collaboratory (GIC) 
The focus of the Global Impact Collaboratory is to figure out how we know when international development projects are actually “working” from the perspectives of the people on the ground they are meant to be helping. We partner with development contractor Chemonics International to innovate new ways to build social research and community perspectives into large-scale development activities. 

Contact: Alexandra Brewis

Anti-Stigma Action for Global Health (A-SAG)
There is growing evidence that much Global Health practice – however well-intentioned --  may actually worsen stigma faced within communities, especially for those already living in poverty or otherwise socially or economically vulnerable. Much relevant research has been produced by CGH faculty. We continue to develop and share guidelines for health practitioners on how to reduce and address stigma. But we have found it is difficult to explain how stigma works and why it matters to medical professionals and the public more widely. both academic and lay readers how stigma works and why it matters. Also, anyone can complete our anti-stigma training course for free via our collaboration with Western Region Public Health Training Center.

Contact: Alexandra Brewis 

Better Understanding Structure through Innovative Teaching (BUST-IT)
Most major global health challenges are based in issues of structure – of institutions that work unfairly or improperly, constraining the options for health care. Working with multiple colleagues in and outside the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, we are designing and testing how carefully arranged social science interventions can improve structural competency in the health and other allied professions. We focus particularly on designing and testing the best ways to help pre-health undergraduates grow in their capability to recognize and then challenge the structural barriers that so often create disease and impede healing. We test interventions of many types in many modalities – through internships, in the regular and online classroom, through experiential education like study abroad or service learning. Which work best to increase students capacities, why, and how we can scale good solutions are the questions we are working to answer. 

Contact: Alissa Ruth

Community Health through Participatory Methods (CHaMP)
Success in global health efforts can be measured in many ways. But projects are rarely successful at all if they fail to meaningfully and substantively engage and support the communities that they intend to serve. Participatory methods center on revealing and supporting such community needs, concerns, and goals at all stages of global health research, from conception through application and dissemination. Many very good models for participatory research exist, but they have often developed ad hoc with the goal of being applicable only in one single community. We work with an array of experts and diverse communities to identify and test new methods that can better help meet the goals of all research stakeholders, and especially those that may work better at scale. We also lead national trainings in participatory, co-production, and community-led methodologies, sharing what we are learning with the wider academic community. 

Contact: Amber Wutich

Human Water insecurity Experiences (HWISE)
The CGH is a key partner in the HWISE Research Coordination Network (RCN), bringing together scholars and practitioners from across the globe to create sustainable and socially equitable water policy and interventions through the robust evaluation of key water security problems. The collaboration gives explicit attention to the causes and outcomes of household water insecurity and translates research outcomes into meaningful and useful products for practitioners, communities, and decision-makers. The CGH is involved in advancing several aspects of water insecurity as part of this initiative: how water insecurity affects mental health, how systems of local water sharing affects the struggles of households to get enough safe water, and how gender inequities interact with the production of water-related harms.

Contact: Amber Wutich