Systems Thinking for Capacity in Health

We believe that systems thinking and complexity science can be transformational in global health by increasing local capacity and shared learning, and minimizing unintended consequences.

Call to Action to be Published Soon! (and Help Wanted)

The Call to Action, we recently learned, will soon be published in a leading global health journal, the Lancet. Stay tuned for details. We will open the “sign-on” page on this blog close to the publication date (it is now password protected).

In the meantime, there is much work to be done. While this is an idea that has tremendous interest and momentum on many levels globally, a number of questions have not been satisfactorily answered: How does one define a health system? What are its various components? What indicators might one use to measure the strength of the health system? How should HSIAs be structured? What do we know about HSIAs that have already been performed?

As such, I am looking for at least 5 research assistants to work on a number of academic papers, and 2 volunteers to help with communication logistics over the next 6 to 12 months. Please keep in mind the following as you consider potential candidates:

1. These will not be paid positions. There will be no financial incentives whatsoever, unless the candidate arranges them on her/his own. This is a global, grass-roots movement that has no institutional affiliation.

2. This work will be demanding, rigorous, and (perhaps) tedious. The research will almost certainly lead to publication, and, I am convinced, contribute significantly to the global public health knowledge base (and, hopefully, improve practice!).

3. While a candidate’s experience and advanced degrees will be taken into consideration, I am much more interested in a personal, long-term (months to years) commitment to this idea. Candidates must be reliable and a very independent worker and thinker. I cannot emphasize this point enough: I would rather work alone than work with someone that I cannot count on.

4. Most of the research will involve reviewing evidence, and conceptual writing. Research assistants must have access to full-text, primary scientific articles (though exceptions may rarely be made). While international travel may be helpful, it will not be required.

5. Both the research and volunteer opportunities will involve collaborating with leading global health professionals.

6. While there will be deadlines and expectations, the timing of the actual work will be quite flexible, and internet based.

Right now, I am ready to start on (at least) one of the papers, and need a research assistant soon. The paper will explore the need to consider the household/family as part of the health system, and the implications of that consideration on tools such as HSIAs. I will probably be ready for the volunteers in 1-3 months, and the other research assistants in the coming months.

If you or someone you know might be interested in this opportunity, please send the following to me by email (

1. CV
2. 2 references
3. A statement of how much time the candidate can commit (hours per week) over the next 6 months.
4. A BRIEF (less than one paragraph) personal statement about global health interests and plans (optional).

Please forward this email to any interested parties.

2 comments on “Call to Action to be Published Soon! (and Help Wanted)

  1. Pingback: Research Assistant and Volunteer Opportunities « Utah Valley Global Health Group

  2. Sharron Knopp
    February 10, 2010

    I was checking if you have the link to the article?

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This entry was posted on May 16, 2009 by in Uncategorized.
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