Donald C Cole, Suzanne Jackson and Lisa Forman

Schools of Public Health (SPH) have been integral to public health system development at different jurisdictional levels, including global. With different histories, they have adapted to the shifting landscape of globalization, health determinants, research opportunities and public health responses. Informed by literature, web searches and our own experiences, we synthesized four broad approaches to SPH engagement in global health: technical, humanitarian, social justice and entrepreneurial. We describe their nature, common organizational forms, and the research, education and service-practice activities which exemplify each approach. We acknowledge potential heterogeneity within approaches and the difficulties of drawing boundaries between them. For fiscal, operational and historical reasons many SPH often straddle approaches, adopting a portfolio approach to engagement in global health. In the neo-liberal context faced by SPH, pressures to engage through the technical and entrepreneurial approaches may create tensions among members of SPH. Explicitly noting approaches in existing activities and new opportunities, and discussing their implications may inform dialogue as SPH decide on their priorities. We encourage colleagues in SPH globally to share experiences of making decisions on these and other approaches and their consequences for SPH, their faculty, staff, partners and students.

Donald C. Cole, MD MSc. is a Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto

Suzanne Jackson, PhD, is an Associate Professor Emerita at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Editor-in-Chief, Global Health Promotion

Lisa Forman, SJD is the Lupina Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights and Global Health Equity and the Director of the Comparative Program on Health and Society at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto