Table 1

Pragmatic applications of key principles in academic health sciences global health partnerships

Key principleDefinitionPragmatic applications
SolidaritySolidarity entails collaboration with the goal of ensuring mutual benefits characterised by bidirectional investments, gains and learning.
  • Ensure bidirectionality of learner and faculty exchanges

  • Recognise the value of the diverse investments and contributions of all partners (knowledge, human resources, etc)

  • Provide funding to support travel if there is inequity in access to financial resources between partners

Humility, cultural sensitivity and mutual respectTrue partnership begins with a shared sense of humanity, demonstrated in practices of humility and respect among members of diverse populations and partnerships.
  • Make a commitment to ongoing introspection and evaluation of implicit biases and goals

  • Plan for equitable authorship representation among members of the research team, guided by intellectual rather than financial investments of partners45

  • Solve problems using an open-ended, shared exploration of possible strategies and outcomes, rather than assuming a single method or solution is correct

  • Approach partnership understanding that all partners have resources to bring, rather than seeing the relationship as an opportunity address a perceived ‘deficit’ in another

  • Prioritise in all partnership activities the well-being of individual partners and patients, as well as impacted families and communities

  • Learn about power gradients existing in each AHS partner that may impact collaboration

Compliance with applicable laws, ethical standards and codes of conductIdentification and compliance with applicable laws, ethical standards and codes of conduct in all partners’ localities is a pragmatic extension of previous principles related to solidarity, respect and humility.
  • Observe rules and restrictions on scope of clinical practice and licensure in all international exchanges

Sustainability and capacity-buildingConsider how work, once started, will be maintained over the long term. The ideal goals of a global health partnership should be to improve the capacity of all partners, rather than developing short-term solutions.
  • Emphasise capacity-building of all partners involved

  • Redesign models involving short-term learner or faculty placement to use and develop skills of all partners

  • Consider the knowledge and experience that each academic partner can bring towards capacity-building of the other

Shared accountabilityShared accountability involves codevelopment of monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks at the outset of partnership which define the metrics used to identify success and include defined times and approaches for evaluating the partnership by these metrics.
  • Collaboratively develop a monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) framework at the start of the partnership

  • Ensure MEL frameworks clearly identify the overarching goal of the work and outline the objectives, outcomes, activities and indicators used to assess if the goal is met

  • Detail how partnership funds will be used in the partnership plan to ensure equity in distribution of funding and allow for monitoring of resource utilisation during implementation

  • Ensure that partners are aligned on how data used to assess indicators will be collected with what frequency

  • Determine at the start of the partnership with what frequency the success of the partnership will be evaluated, and how the results will be shared and reviewed to inform future activities

  • AHS, academic health science.