In 2018 CUGH secured a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to work with the US academic community to increase support for US leadership and funding for global health. To achieve this objective, CUGH collaborated with its members, and CEPH-accredited institutions, to inform Congresspersons and State legislators as well as the general public on the value of global health to their state and the nation. As part of this project, CUGH connected elected officials with academics from their district in their areas of interest. This initiative highlighted the return on investment to the local and national economy as well as international security.
This initiative had four objectives within this two-year grant:
1. To cultivate global health champions in Congress and State Legislatures. In order to cultivate champions within government, it is important that elected officials meet with their constituents who are directly impacted by US leadership in global health.
2. To establish a Network of Academic Advisors (NAA) as well as the State Technical Advisory Team (STAT). The NAA serves to inform federal legislators on a variety of global health topics, while the STAT focuses on doing this at the state level. If an elected official is interested in crafting legislation on a certain topic then the NAA and STAT would be a valuable local resource to assist them on this effort.
3. Seek new US support for Global Health initiatives in the US and internationally. With a rise in global health outbreaks, this initiative also seeks to increase elected officials and the general public’s support for global health initiatives. Through the two aforementioned Capitol Hill Days as well as through direct contact with offices and via CUGH’s communications platform, academics will be able to promote global health initiatives to their own Member of Congress and his or her respective staff.
4. Strengthen advocacy and communication capabilities among faculty and students in US academic institutions. Strong communication is essential to ensuring that an academic’s voice is most effectively heard in government. As part of this initiative, CUGH will host communication workshops and post online, free of cost trainings to our website, where academics will be able to strengthen their communication capabilities.
Overall, this initiative aimed to increase awareness and support for global health programs among legislators and the broader public as well as increase the implementation of policies backed by evidence. CUGH collaborated with like-minded organizations in these efforts, by sharing work and including them in a committee. We worked with the broad global health community and interested parties and highlighted how these investments improve the well being of people (including health and environmental outcomes).
October 2018 to April 2021
Dalal Najjar, Deputy Director