Students must take five courses to complete the certificate.
Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution is a growing area of importance in global health considering the pace and volume of global transactions. The ease of global communication using technology, the abundance of cheaper transportation costs, and the frequency of businesses using cross-border talent is fostering millions of interactions a day between people of different cultures. In this course, students will examine how the process of communication can be further complicated during interactions between people of different cultures. The topics of stereotypes, generalizations, communication styles, communication strategies, and communication orientations will be explored.
There is a need to challenge the status quo in global health theory and practice. In a world in which complex challenges are ever emerging, there is a growing demand for new system-wide approaches. New knowledge and technologies are a gateway of opportunities for innovation. This course will introduce students to the concepts, theory, and practice of complexity science. It will allow students to approach global health as a complex adaptive system and understand how this is useful to solve some of the most challenging issues faced by practitioners when trying to create lasting social change in an effective and ethical way.
Students will learn to understand the nature of complex global health issues and how can they better identify potential avenues to generate social innovations and system-level change. The lectures will be co-facilitated by CISG staff and thought leaders and experts in a wide range of fields, including economics, business, public health, social entrepreneurship, political economy, human rights, ethics, gender, sustainability, and sociology.
By participating in this course, students will acquire knowledge, practical tools, and experiences to approach global health through a “complexity lens,” learn about the challenges and opportunities for change agents and systems entrepreneurs in the field, and better prepare them to become global health leaders.
A detailed examination and understanding of modern health systems and their multi-layered structures is needed to achieve the goals set out by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda. This course will provide students an introduction to health systems and how the historical, cultural, political and economic context impacts their funding, design and performance. The students will acquire the knowledge and skills to think critically on how health systems operate in middle and low-income countries and how to address the particular determinants of health of these settings.
Special emphasis will be given to the case of Costa Rica and how it developed its social security system and one of the most effective primary health care systems in the world. Focus points will be on innovations for equity in health access, healthier communities through health promotion and the use of IT in health care. The students will participate in discussions with an interdisciplinary faculty and with policymakers involved in the design and development of the health system in Costa Rica.
The year 2009 marked the year in which, for the first time in the Earth's history, more people lived in urban settings than in rural settings. It is estimated that by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in an urban environment. This course brings an interdisciplinary approach to provide students the knowledge and skills to address the global health challenges in rapid urbanizing regions of middle and low-income countries. Urban areas present particular health risk factors and complex interactions of issues such as climate change, migration, infectious and chronic diseases, and mental health, which requires practitioners to develop cross-sector collaborations and innovative approaches to public policy.
The course will allow students to understand how the social gradient affects populations in urban settings and how to develop health-related interventions that are sensible to the human rights, social and gender disparities in such environments.
Students will have the opportunity to learn from representatives of local governments and non-governmental organizations on how projects to improve urban health indicators are designed, executed and evaluated.
This course provides students the opportunity to integrate theory and practice to address real world challenges faced by policymakers and communities looking to create lasting change in the global health area. It will provide students the possibility to engage and support public, private and non-governmental organizations to solve complex issues related to global health in Costa Rica, a developing country with unique demographic, epidemiological and urbanization conditions.
After completing their foundational course requirements, students will have their practicum experience either in the southern region of Costa Rica or in San José and its vicinities. Students will be partnered mainly with non-governmental organizations, although opportunities exist for partnerships with other stakeholders, such as government institutions.
Potential partner organizations facilitated by CISG include:
● La Casona’s bicultural clinic
● Houses of Joy
● Rio Sereno Border Crossing
● Hands for Health Oral Health Protection Program
● ASCONA National and Environmental Service Association
● Comprehensive development association of Rincon de Osa and Playa Blanca
● Comprehensive development association of Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre
● Las Cruces Biological Station
● Municipality of Curridabat
● Instituto Mixto de Ayuda Social (IMAS)Ca
● Municipalidad de Coto Brus
● Patronato Nacional de la Infancia
● Hogar de Ancianos
The student’s practicum will be based on the student’s specific interest expressed during the initial didactic portion of the certificate. During the practicum, students will conduct a case study to evaluate the innovative work of the organization (or a specific component/initiative of the organization), the process that led to the innovation, the iteration cycles to reach impact, and the product/initiative’s sustainability.