Welcome to [re]think aid, an online space designed to critically examine health and development aid practices and explore alternative options in a rapidly changing global landscape. We link students and professionals around the globe to start conversations and share ideas. We aim to explore the state of global health aid, broaden our understanding of health, and prioritize community involvement, both globally and locally.
It is our hope that the next generation of health care workers will take the time to step back from interventions which prioritize donor-driven, technical approaches and instead [re]discover the valuable knowledge of local communities in addressing health.
Although we are an English language blog, we encourage posts in local languages with translations or interviews with community members that are then transcribed by English-speaking partners.
At [re]think aid, we believe aid should be channeled into integrated healthcare systems with community-based input and delivery, working towards permanent and sustainable improvements to overall health care and outcomes. These are our focus areas:
1) [re]defining: health
The [re]think aid initiative seeks to broaden our understanding of health to include the economic, social, environmental, and political determinants of health. These determinants include poverty, education, empowerment of women, girls, and communities, food security, nutrition, water, and sanitation.
2) [re]discovering: community
Communities and host-countries must be brought into the conversation. We believe that local health workers in developing countries should lead major health initiatives and projects in their communities. These individuals are the agents for sustainable change because they possess local insight into their communities.
We advocate for horizontal, holistic initiatives. Horizontal initiatives use an integrated health systems approach, where primary care is prioritized, community-centered knowledge is privileged, and south-south exchanges (exchanges between developing countries) are fostered.
3) [re]thinking: aid
Sharing each other’s experiences and opinions provides multifaceted insight into ways in which global health and development aid both works and fails. Not only do we want to criticize current aid practices, but also propose ways to improve them. We strive to be an alternative voice in global development.