CUGH Global Health Education Competencies Tool Kit

March 30, 2017

The Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) is a membership organization for institutions involved in higher education and global health – including education, research, and practice. The CUGH Competency Sub-Committee of the Education Committee has been instrumental in defining competencies for global health education and professional development, as well as exploring ongoing conversations and controversies around global health competencies and careers. In 2015, the Competency Sub-Committee and collaborators published a seminal article in the Annals of Global Health defining levels of proficiency, as well as desirable competencies for two levels- the global citizen level and the basic operational program oriented level.

What follows is a tool kit that provides learning objects and curricular content to support the competencies for those proficiency/trainee levels. The tool kit went through several iterations of peer review, however its contributors acknowledge that it is a work-in progress and starting point, rather than a definitive, comprehensive resource. We are currently publishing it in PDF format, with efforts underway to place the tool kit on a platform that will allow for comments and additional content from a diverse online community. In the meantime, please direct any questions or comments to Jessica Evert, CUGH Competency Sub-Committee Chair, at Thank you for your interest in this tool and global health education.

Below is an overview of the competencies addressed in the tool kit. Click here to view the entire tool kit.

Competency 1a: Describe the major causes of morbidity and mortality around the world, and how the risk of disease varies with regions.

Competency 1b: Describe major public health efforts to reduce disparities in global health (such as Millennium Development Goals and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria).

Competency 1c: Validate the health status of populations using available data (e.g., public health surveillance data, vital statistics, registries, surveys, electronic health records and health plan claims data).

Competency 2a: Describe different national models or health systems for provision of healthcare and their respective effects on health and healthcare expenditure.

Competency 2b: Describe how global trends in healthcare practice, commerce and culture, multinational agreements and multinational organizations contribute to the quality and availability of health and healthcare locally and internationally.

Competency 2c: Describe how travel and trade contribution to the spread of communicable and chronic diseases

Competency 2d: Describe general trends and influences in the global availability and movement of health care workers.

Competency 3a: Describe how cultural context influences perceptions of health and disease.

Competency 3b: List major social and economic determinants of health and their impacts on the access to and quality of health services and on differences in morbidity and mortality between and within countries.

Competency 3c: Describe the relationship between access to and quality of water, sanitation, food and air on individual and population health.

Competency 4a: Collaborate with a host or partner organization to assess the organization’s operational capacity.

Competency 4b: Co-create strategies with the community to strengthen community capabilities and contribute to reduction in health disparities and improvement of community health.

Competency 4c: Integrate community assets and resources to improve the health of individuals and populations.

Competency 5a: Include representatives of diverse constituencies in community partnerships and foster interactive learning with these partners.

Competency 5b: Demonstrate diplomacy and build trust with community partners.

Competency 5c: Communicate joint lessons learned to community partners and global constituencies.

Competency 5d: Exhibit interprofessional values and communication skills that demonstrate respect for, and awareness of, the unique cultures, values, roles/responsibilities and expertise represented by other professionals and groups that work in global health.

Competency 5e: Acknowledge one’s limitations in skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Competency 5f: Apply leadership practices that support collaborative practice and team effectiveness.

Competency 6a: Demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to resolve common ethical issues and challenges that arise in working within diverse economic, political and cultural contexts as well as working with vulnerable populations in low resource settings to address global health issues.

Competency 6b: Demonstrate an awareness of local and national codes of ethics relevant to one’s working environment.

Competency 6c: Apply the fundamental principles of international standards for the protection of human subjects in diverse cultural settings.

Competency 7a: Demonstrate integrity, regard and respect for others in all aspects of professional practice.

Competency 7b: Articulate barriers to health and healthcare in low-resource settings locally and internationally.

Competency 7c: Demonstrate the ability to adapt clinical or discipline-specific skills and practice in a resource-constrained setting.

Competency 8a: Apply social justice and human rights principles in addressing global health problems.

Competency 8b: Implement strategies to engage marginalized and vulnerable populations in making decisions that affect their health and well-being.

Competency 8c: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the relationship between health, human rights, and global inequities.

Competency 8d: Describe role of WHO in linking health and human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research involving Human Subjects.

Competency 8e: Demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility.

Competency 8f: Develop understanding and awareness of the health care workforce crisis in the developing world, the factors that contribute to this, and strategies to address this problem.

Competency 9a: Plan, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based program.

Competency 9b: Apply project management techniques throughout program planning, implementation and evaluation.

Competency 10a: Describe the roles and relationships of the major entities influencing global health and development.

Competency 11a: Identify how demographic and other major factors can influence patterns of morbidity, mortality, and disability in a defined population.

Competency 11b: Conduct a community health needs assessment.

Competency 11d: Design context specific-health interventions based upon situation analysis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • update-img-new

    Get updates on what's new in the Campus Compact Network