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Examples of ways in which organisations have structured themselves to achieve co-ordinated multidisciplinary working 


London International Development Centre

CORBIS - Sussex Global Health

King's Centre for Global Health and Health Partnerships

WALES - The International Co-ordinating Centre 

SCOTLAND - The Scottish Global Health Collaborative 

ENGLAND - The International Health Group

Global Health Exchange (HEE)

Addenbrooke's Abroad 



What is the LIDC? : Started in 2007, the LIDC brings together social and natural scientists from across the University of London's Bloomsbury Colleges : Birkbeck, UCL Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Royal Vetinary College and SOAS. It received a large grant from the Health Education Funding Council for England to help it do this. About 60 international development specialists from LIDC Colleges are now based in the building that was bought.

Why did they collaborate? : Because the Colleges understood that their contribution would be more effective if they were better engaged with relevant development expertise in other areas. Therefore, they pooled their resources to create LIDC - a facilitative, collaborative environment to generate novel, cross-College initiatives in development and to support improvements in development policy.

What does it do? : The LIDC facilitates interdisciplinary research and training to tackle complex problems in international development. Its objectives are

  • Create opportunities and skills for interdisciplinary collaboration amongst academics and postgraduate students and in the broader global development community.
  • Facilitate development and funding of interdisciplinary research programmes which generate published research outputs of high international significance and impacts
  • Facilitate the design and delivery of new learning and training activities which support interdisciplinary approaches to global development challenges
  • Improve international development policy and practice by facilitating academic engagement with governments, civil society, the private sector and international organisations.
  • Build effective and equitable international, interdisciplinary partnerships in research, training the related activities.

How does this work out in practice? : LIDC membership currently comprises more than 3,000 individuals: staff, alumni and students from across the Bloomsbury Colleges. It

  • Has a members database that includes staff only, accessible by Moodle
  • Provides a chat room for members via Moodle
  • Sends our daily and/or weekly media bulletins,
  • Runs events (workshops, seminars, conferences and social events).
  • Sends out a monthly newsletter on LIDC's work, development news from Bloomsbury Colleges and external opportunities, including events, grants, vacancies and calls for papers.
  • Uses various social networking sites.
  • Provides opportunities for student interns to gain work experience.

How is it organised? : In order to engage academics, LIDC was established as a membership organisation that staff, and subsequently students and alumni were eligible to join.

  • Its work is overseen by a committee of the Heads of Bloomsbury Colleges.
  • A  Strategy Group advises on LIDC’s work programme. (Strategy Group members represent and promote LIDC in their Colleges and advise the LIDC Director on their College’s interests in cross-College programmes, as well as help with the development of these programmes.)
  • The Director of LIDC provides day-to-day leadership and strategic direction. The director is assisted by a team of four people responsible for research, communications, administration, facilities and finance.



What is Corbis - Sussex Global Health? : It is a multi-disciplinary consortium of global health academics, research and practitioners based at the University of Sussex. It was formed following the success of the inaugural Global Health and Development Conference at the University of Sussex in April 2016.

What does it hope to do? : Corbis acts to bring those involved in global health matters together, fostering an engaging, forward-thinking global health community in Brighton. They hope to continue to build an accessible platform for the development of individuals at fledgling stages of their global health careers.

Who is involved? : The group comprises undergraduate and postgraduate students from medical, international development, politics, law and global studies academic backgrounds. It has the support of

  • the faculty at the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex,
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS)
  • the Institute of Development Studies,
  • The Centre for Global Health Policy,
  • Centre for Cultures of Reproduction,
  • Health and Technologies (CORTH)
  • the Wellcome Trust Centre for Global Health Research at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

 What other organisations are involved? : Partner organisations include

  • Development Society, University of Sussex
  • Friends of MSF
  • University of Sussex, Global Studies
  • University of Sussex, Centre for Global Health Policy
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Institute of Development Studies
  • University of Sussex Students Union

How is it funded? : It operates through a generous array of funding grants and supporters.

Who runs it? : It has a team of people running it that includes

  • Director
  • Media and Press Manager
  • Secretary
  • Finance Manager
  • Conference Manager
  • Deputy Conference Manager
  • Impact Officer
  • Branding Officer
  • Marketing Officer
  • Social Media Officer

 What are its priorities? : Its priorities are to

  • host the Global Health and Development Conference at the University of Sussex on an annual basis, showcasing the leading contemporary thinking, approaches and best practice in tackling global health and development challenges.
  • foster a more cohesive, multi-disciplinary, student-staff Global Health Community at the University of Sussex, BSMS and Brighton area engaging with partners in the wider health and development sector.
  • contribute towards practical change in the Global Health and Development fields and thus encouraging and providing opportunities for professional and career development for undergraduate and postgraduate students with Global Health interests.



 What is The King’s Centre for Global Health and Health Partnerships? : It is a joint centre for King’s College London and King’s Health Partners, bringing together people working and studying at the university and Guy’s and St. Thomas’, King’s College Hospital, and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts. 

What does it do? : It has two key functions -

  • to promote collaboration in global health across the wider King’s community - all 9 Schools within King’s College London and all 21 Clinical Academic Groups within King’s Health Partners
  • to develop a clear focus of activities across global health education, research, health partnerships and global surgery. 

In doing this, it believes that it will help strengthen connections between medicine, clinical practice, social sciences and the humanities in the field of global health. Its approach to global health prioritises

  • inclusivity and collaboration e.g. collaborative projects and teaching in global health between professionals, students, academics and institutions
  • student engagement (e.g. Medsin, Agoon Mental Health Project (a local project linked to Somaliland), Project Zimbabwe and Friends of Medecins Sans Frontieres),
  • mutuality with partners round the world (it has 3 main capacity building partnerships - with Somaliland, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo) and
  • global citizenship acknowledging and supporting ways that individuals and groups can get involved in tackling the profound inequities in health and wellbeing within and between high and low income countries.

What else does it do? : It runs undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and a summer school. And it has a research agenda that is directly linked to its work on health partnerships, global surgery and health in post conflict situations

How is it run? : Lead by a director, there is a small team of staff who lead and co-ordinate its global health education, research and capacity building activities. They are supported by a wide range of affiliated staff from across King’s College, London and King’ Health Partners.



What is the International Health Co-ordinating Centre? : The IHCC is a focal point for information sharing, knowledge exchange, collaboration and networking for Wales across the UK, Europe and the world. The IHCC works to promote, facilitate and support opportunities for international collaboration, partnership building and income generation in order to maximise potential gains for Wales and to reduce the duplication of efforts and resources.

It has a national remit to give a stronger structure and support in the way in which the NHS in Wales organises its global health activity, to build a healthier, happier and fairer Wales by advancing the way they work both within and beyond their borders.

How is it structured? : The Welsh Government established an International Co-ordination Centre as a clearing house for knowledge, support and resources relating to international health engagement in Wales. It was established in 2015 and lies within the Policy, Research and International Directorate, Public Health Wales. It has a core team of five people.

How is it supported? : The International Health Co-ordinating Centre is supported by an Advisory Group. A separate group has been established to oversee the implementation of the Charter for International Health Partnerships.

What is the Charter for International Health Partnerships? : This Charter is intended to establish a standard level of partnership working that ensures that the broader principles and values of the NHS are reflected in its international health activity. It reflects Wales’s commitment to evidence-based practice, shared learning and partnership based on equality and the pursuit of mutual, tangible benefits extends to international activity.

Does it provide any services? : Two of the services provided by the Centre are

  • Hub Cymru Africa : This is a collaboration bringing together the work of Wales Africa Community Links, the Wales for Africa Health Links Network, the Sub Sahara Advisory Panel, Fair Trade Wales and the Wales International Development Hub. It is hosted by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.
  • Welsh Centre for International Affairs : The Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) is a registered charity that enables the people of Wales to understand and act on global issues.



What is the Scottish Global Health Collaborative (SGHC)? :  It is an inclusive multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral group of Scottish organisations actively involved in global health that is chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. It has a wide membership, which includes NHS Boards, departments and clinics; professional bodies; charities and NGOs; and academic institutions and departments see website .

 It is purely a coordination network. Membership of the SGHC comes with no formal rights or entitlement. No members of the SGHC speak for the Collaborative, the Scottish Government or any other SGHC member.

Why has it been set up? : It has been established to work with the Scottish Government and partners in the wider health community (including NHS Boards, royal colleges, third sector and academic institutions), to promote greater coherence, co-ordination, collaboration and communication in Scotland’s global health activities.

What are the principles underpinning how it works? : the SGHC aims to work to the following principles :

  • Emphasis on the mutual benefit to Scotland and the host country.
  • No detriment to the workforce of the NHSScotland
  • Work based on the need identified by the host country.
  • Work through partnerships.
  • Sharing of information, knowledge, experience and opportunities.
  • Work focussed on geographical and technical areas that maximise the impact. 
  • Work within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Health) and 17 
  • (Partnership). 
  • Linkages with other Devolved Administrations and NHS England will be maintained for mutual benefit

What is it currently doing? : In 2016/17 it set itself three core objectives

  • Mapping Scotland’s Global Health Work
  • Consulting on a Scottish Global Health Framework
  • Developing its communications

How is it organised? : The Collaborative does not have any dedicated staff and is reliant on volunteers working in the sector to offer capacity and expertise.



What is the International Health Group? : Established in the period of the NHS when there were Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs), its purpose was to provide a meeting point between representatives from the NHS, Department for International Development (DfID), the International Division of the Department of Health and certain charitable groups e.g. Tropical Health Education Trust to exchange information about what they were doing in relation to global health.

What happened when SHAs were abolished? : The group continued to meet as the pathways for communication were felt to be useful. It meets about four times a year at DfID.

What are its current objectives? : Current objectives are to

  • raise awareness of current health sector activity in international development
  • promote effective health sector involvement in international development
  • support the continuing development and use of the framework for voluntary engagement in global health by the UK health sector

How is it supported? : The International Division of the Department of Health provides the secretariat. The chairing arrangements are shared between the NHS and the International Division of the Department of Health.



What is the Global Health Exchange? : GHE is a group that has been set up by Health Education England in the North West.

Why is Health Education England (HEE) involved? : HEE has been given the mandate to develop the right people with the right skills and the right values to deliver high quality, effective and compassionate care. It recognises that those in UK training can learn from experience abroad and also contribute to health abroad. Leadership by the North West has been key to its development.

What is its vision? : Its vision is to improve the quality and volume of the NHS workforce through global learning and exchanges and as a consequence build health education capacity in low and middle income countries.

What are its objectives? : Its objectives are to

  • Create opportunities for global education and training for NHS current and future workforce
  • Promote general overseas volunteering
  • Participate in the development and delivery of collaborative international projects to address current workforce shortages


It does this by providing international experience through volunteering/exchanges/ structured placements and by creating better, innovative and novel training environments that build and develop international best practice and promote life-long learning.

The net effect of this should be improved high quality and effective services leading to more compassionate care in all settings.

How is it structured? : It has a

  • Strategic Advisory Board
  • Programme Management Group
  • Core Team (Chair of the programme board, chief operating officer, programme manager, programme office lead, programme support, project support)

What is it currently working on? : Current projects include

  • On line learning for public health
  • Tracking the progress of the Uganda UK Health Alliance
  • Education transformation : looking at the presence of the global healthcare content of existing curricula in Higher Education and working with providers to encourage global learning.

It is also collating resources around leadership.



What is Addenbrooke’s Abroad? : It is a global health charitable programme set up by Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) in 2007 to manage health partnerships between Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) and hospitals, governments and health organisations in low- middle-income countries.

What does it aim to do? : It promotes mutual learning, collaboration and co-development to enable sustainable change in global health. It promotes overseas volunteering among CUH staff, because it believes that volunteering abroad is an invaluable experience through which staff and students learn and develop new skills as well as making a positive impact in global health.

In what partnerships is it involved? : It currently manages health partnerships with hospitals in

Botswana : where it has programmes in eye health, maxillofacial surgery, newborn health, emergency medical services

El Salvador : where it focuses on improvements in care for mothers and babies

Myanmar : where it has developed a clinical skills unit

What management arrangements does it have? : In 2009 it became a programme of the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and it now has a programme director and a programme officer to organise its programmes.









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