Working Group Determinants of International Health (WG DIH) – “Decolonising global health”

WG DIH is looking for new members. Interested? Contact the coordinator Jasper Thys.


Triggered by two major events, the last year or two have seen an amplification of calls for the decolonisation of global health. On the one hand, the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted the urgent need to come to terms with histories of colonialism and current-day racial disparities. On the other hand, the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated that today’s international relations are still very much defined by neocolonial power dynamics. As an integral part of international relations, the world of global health is faced with the challenge of decolonising the practices, institutions and policies that make up its system. But what do we mean when we speak of decolonising the world of global health? Why is it necessary to decolonise global health? Is it possible to decolonise global health with a series of incremental reforms or do we need a systemic overhaul? And how can the working group Determinants of International Health contribute to the decolonisation of global health? Between September 2021 and January 2022, the working group will look into these questions to delineate the thematic focus of its own work in 2022.

WG DIH• Planning the first workshop
• Expand active membership of the working group
• Small work group develops the content and outline of the workshop
• Share interesting sources/speakers
• Invite relevant actors to join the working group
WorkshopWorkshop: 2 experts explain current-day discussions and different perspectives of “decolonising global health”Introduction to the “decolonisation of global health”:
• Historical perspectives
• Synthesis of current discussions
WG DIHMeeting with the working group
• Evaluation of the workshop
• Welcoming new members
WG DIH• Planning the second workshop
• Follow-up of relevant literature
• What is the relevance of decolonisation for the social determinants of health?
WorkshopWorkshop: exchange on decolonisation between the working groups of Be-Cause Health to collect input for the review of the HC4All-declaration• 10 minute presentation of every working group: what is the relevance of decolonisation for the area of expertise of every working group?
WG DIHMeeting with the working group• Define specific thematic focus for the working group

General objectives

  • Introduce the working group to the field of “decolonisation of global health”
  • Narrow down the thematic focus of the work of the working group for 2022
  • Collect and develop input for the review of the HC4All-declaration of the ITM, Antwerp
  • Increase exchanges between the different working groups of Be-Cause Health and PASS
  • Inspire and motivate a variety of actors to join the working group