Volume 12, Issue 6, November 2020
Decolonising global health: transnational research partnerships under the spotlight
David S Lawrence, Lioba A Hirsch
International Health, Volume 12, Issue 6, November 2020, Pages 518–523, https://doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihaa073
There are increasing calls to decolonise aspects of science, and global health is no exception. The decolonising global health movement acknowledges that global health research perpetuates existing power imbalances and aims to identify concrete ways in which global health teaching and research can overcome its colonial past and present. Using the context of clinical trials implemented through transnational research partnerships (TRPs) as a case study, this narrative review brings together perspectives from clinical research and social science to lay out specific ways in which TRPs build on and perpetuate colonial power relations. We will explore three core components of TRPs: participant experience, expertise and infrastructure, and authorship. By combining a critical perspective with recently published literature we will recommend specific ways in which TRPs can be decolonised. We conclude by discussing decolonising global health as a potential practice and object of research. By doing this we intend to frame the decolonising global health movement as one that is accessible to everyone and within which we can all play an active role.