Working to Advance Health Equity in Africa


Education and training for advancing health

Over the past 15 years, we have built a global reputation in leading applied research, bringing together interdisciplinary teams to solve complex health problems and to train the next generation of leaders in African health policy and research. Our educational programmes cross disciplines, geographic borders, and levels of learners; emphasise problem-based and experiential learning methodologies; and explore innovation transfer within the global south, as well as north-south and south-north knowledge exchange.

Individual states and the international community are facing health challenges of an ever-increasing scale and complexity. Effective and progressive national health governance demands the commitment of generations of exceptional individuals with raw talent, intellectual sophistication and discerning management skills, but above all, the vision and the wisdom to lead. Equally, the successful delivery of health programmes requires technically trained and socially sensitised health practitioners to provide competent, non-discriminatory diagnosis, treatment and care. HEARD’s PhD programme and Learning Centre workshops offer information and training to support the professional development of health leaders and practitioners in Africa.

Community involvement in health has been recognised over the past thirty years as central for primary health care and accepted as an essential element in many public health interventions, notably in addressing the HIV epidemic. Community involvement can include a number of social and technical responsibilities, not least adoption of behaviour to prevent and treat diseases; participation in disease control activities; contribution to the design, implementation and monitoring of health programmes; and provision of resources for health. HEARD seeks to support community involvement through building capacity to empower communities to take on both social and technical responsibilities. HEARD’s Learning Centre provides information and guidance to community-based organisations involved in health and offers workshops to support capacity development.

Professor Jim Whitman

Professorial fellow and Co-director of HEARD's PhD Scholarship Programme