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Anti-colonialism in Global Health

What is Anti-colonialism in Global Health? 

Anti-colonialism in global health aims to eliminate the colonial power imbalances that exist inherently in global health work and the subsequent iniquities that stem from the asymmetric power dynamics related to both the history and conception of the field as well as current inequities that place institutions and practitioners in the “global North” above those in the “global South” (1). These inequities result in unequal partnerships where expertise, experience, and decision-making power are more readily assigned to those in the global North.

Decolonization of global health is an intentional effort that focuses on deconstructing and rebuilding the global health system, including "the role of donors and journals, addressing racism, decolonising the mind, and ensuring adequate working conditions for staff in low-income and middle-income countries” (2)  among other efforts. 

Our commitment

The Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health is committed to decolonization of the global health field and to taking and encouraging an anti-colonialism approach in our work to ensure equity and justice in global health activities. The Center will also encourage and support all of our international partners towards the end of achieving anti-colonialism. 

Relevant Literature 

(1) Anti-Racism and Anti-Colonialism Praxis in Global Health-Reflection and Action for Practitioners in US Academic Medical Centers
Daffé ZN, Guillaume Y, Ivers LC.  Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Jul 19;105(3):557-560. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.21-0187. PMID: 34280137; PMCID: PMC8592354.

(2) Navigating the violent process of decolonisation in global health research: a guideline.
 Rasheed, M. A. (2021).  The Lancet Global Health, 9(12), e1640-e1641.

(3) What Do Global Health Practitioners Think about Decolonizing Global Health?
Finkel ML, Temmermann M, Suleman F, Barry M, Salm M, Binagwaho A, et al. Annals of Global Health. 2022;88(1):61. DOI:

(4) Eliminating the White Supremacy Mindset from Global Health Education
 Binagwaho A, Ngarambe B, Mathewos K.  Ann Glob Health. 2022 May 17;88(1):32. doi: 10.5334/aogh.3578. PMID: 35646611; PMCID: PMC9122008.

(5) Lancet Global Health: What is wrong with Global Health? Series