International Health Policy

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International Health Policy PHE5IPO

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Key details

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International health Policy (PHE5IPO) runs Semester 2, 2014 on the La Trobe University City Campus (Franklin Street, Melbourne). Subject Coordinator is Dr. Evelyne de Leeuw. For students enrolled at la Trobe University, please consult LMS for assignment submission details.  

Subject Details

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Subject Code: PHE5IPO Subject Title: International Health Policy Teaching Period: Semester 2 Location(s): City Campus Credit Points: 15 Mode: Blended Level: 5 Students are expected to access subject materials through the La Trobe Learning Management System. This subject guide is also available through This site further serves as the access portal and repository of lectures and associated material for the subject.

Enrolment requirements

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  • Prerequisites: Public Health Policy and/or health political science (If you need to catch up or refresh your proficiency in this area click here)
  • Co-requisites: None
  • Assumed Skills & Knowledge: Postgraduate level of analysis and comprehension
  • Special Study Requirements: For online learning: internet connection and laptop/tablet

Staff contact

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Subject Coordinator: Dr. Evelyne de Leeuw


Tel: +61 3 94795800

Location:Office 326, Franklin Street City Campus

Subject description

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In this subject, students learn about institutions and frameworks for international health policy, national health development and global health governance, improving health services, making and implementing policies in a global context, and health policy changes and challenges.

Subject intended learning outcomes (SILOS)

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Upon successful completion of this subject, you should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the tensions and debates in international health policy and how they influence present course of policy development
  2. apply the capacity for critical assessment of contemporary trends and developments in international health policy
  3. know how to engage with health policy making at the international level

Learning activities

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Note that the subject is offered in blended mode, allowing for studies on-line. On-site attendance is required for international students, others may opt for the online presence. ‘Blended mode’ means that some lectures will be made available on-line, allowing for informed discussions in-class and on-line. These lectures are indicated in green font below. All students are required to monitor their La Trobe email for subject communications.


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Time Topic Activity Lead Readings
Monday 18 August By 17:00 Hurdle Book review to be nominated and agreed: e-mail EdL/DL PHE5IPO Subject Guide
Monday 15 September 09:00 Submit book review Through LMS EdL your book
Monday 15 September 9:30-12:30 Public Health policy review In class review EdL Clavier, C. & E. de Leeuw, eds. (2013) Health Promotion and the Policy Process. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Tuesday 16 September 09:30-10:30 Introduction Introduction to the subject; overview of rationale, content, assessment. Student introductions DL Chapter 4 (Political economy of health and development) from BPH; Ch 15 (Global Health Governance) from BHD
Tuesday 16 September 10:30-11:30 Global Institutions and Global Governance Lecture: Global health, globalisation and global health governance: an historical reflection DL Ch 3 (Mapping Global Health Architecture) from BHD
Tuesday 16 September 11:45-12:30 Place of WHO Lecture: History and evolution of WHO in global health policy and global health architecture DL Ch 1(Historical origins of modern international health) from BPH; Ch 2 (Historical dimensions of global health governance) from BHD
Tuesday 16 September 14:00-16:00 Book reviews Students discuss book reviews in small groups and then summaries of discussion and key debates reported back to full group DL/EdL -
Tuesday 16 September 16:00-16:30 Planning for group work Discussions EdL -
Wednesday 17 September 09:30-10:30 Macroeconomics and health Lecture: growth and health - growth and health DL Chs 11 (health economics and the economics of health) from BPH as well as chs 4 and 9
Wednesday 17 September 10:45-11:30 Trade and Health Lecture: Implications of TRIPS; trade agreements; agreement on agriculture DL Ch 9 (Globalisation, trade, work and health) from BPH; Ch 7 & 8 (AIDS and access to medicines; International trade and health) from BHD
Wednesday 17 September 11:30-12:30 Models for health systems development Lecture: PHC, HSS, SDH, UHC DL Ch 12 (Understanding and organizing health care systems) from BPH
Wednesday 17 September 14:30-16:30 Group work and individual consultations - EdL -
Monday 22 September 09:30-10:30 The politics of discourse Lecture: Words, words, words: international, transnational and/or global health EdL de Leeuw, E., B. Townsend, E. Martin, C. M. Jones & C. Carole Clavier (2013) Emerging theoretical frameworks for global health governance. Chapter 6 in: Clavier, C. & E. de Leeuw, eds. (2013) Health Promotion and the Policy Process. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Monday 22 September 11:15-12:30 Development assistance and health Lecture: Histories, structures, principles, debates of official development assistance – and with people DL Ch 12 (Global Health Partnerships) from BHD; Ch 4 from BPH; Ch 14 (AIDS) from BHD; Ch 13 (Governance of Chronic diseases) from BHD; Ch 14 (Doing International Health) from BPH
Monday 22 September 13:30-16:00 Group work Individual essay planning EdL -
Tuesday 23 September 09:30-10:45 Case study TPPA: Policy advocacy in trade agreements and health (Deb Gleeson) DB Ch 5 (Governance Norms in Global Health) from BHD; Ch 10 (Civil Society, its organizations and Global Health Governance) from BHD
Tuesday 23 September 11:15-12:30 Case study FCTC and tobacco control (Alexandra Jones) AJ Ch 5 (Governance Norms in Global Health) from BHD; Ch 10 (Civil Society, its organizations and Global Health Governance) from BHD
Tuesday 23 September 13:30-16:00 Individual essay planning Finalise group work EdL -
Wednesday 24 September 09:30-12:30 Presentations - EdL/DL -
Wednesday 24 September 14:00-14:30 Evaluation and feedback - - -
Wednesday 24 September 14:30-15:30 Individual essay planning - EdL -
Monday 3 November 09:00 Final essay submission through LMS EdL -


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Assessment task Due date % Comments
1000 word book review and class presentation Monday 15 September, 09:00 am, through LMS 25% see details below
15 minute small group presentation + discussion Wednesday 24 September 25% See details below
2500 word essay Monday 3 November, 09:00 amd, through LMS 50% see details below

Book review

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book review
book review

Due on 15 September, for presentation in class on 16 September.

Prior to attendance at the study block, students will prepare a 1000-word book review, chosen from the selected range of books or reports which are asterisked in the recommended reading list, or otherwise negotiated with the subject coordinator. Students should advise the subject coordinator of the choice of book, to ensure that no publication is reviewed by more than one student, no later than Monday August 18. Book reviews are to be submitted electronically through LMS by Monday Sept 15 by 9am.

All students will make brief (10-minute) presentations to a class mini-conference on the first day of the study block (ie Tuesday Sept 16), discussing its main points and their significance, as well as offering a critique. Powerpoint is not to be used. Specific questions to consider include:

  • What does the book cover?
  • What is the line of argument?
  • What information is used and what information is left out by the author?
  • What is the political context out of which this publication was produced?
  • What is the author trying to achieve with this publication?
  • What is the advocacy perspective embedded in the publication?

Marking will be based on quality of analysis and making your findings accessible to others in the class. Marks will be reduced for students who are not ready to present their book reviews at the scheduled time.

Small group presentation

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In class, on Wednesday 24 September.

Students will be assigned to work in small groups to select a key international declaration or policy proposal and summarise the role of WHO and critique progress toward implementation of the declaration/proposal in a global context.

The analysis will be written up in a Word document and uploaded (instructions in class, 15 September). Groups will then present their summary analysis and critique in class on 24 September. Each group will have 15 minutes, followed by a 5 minute plenary discussion. The order of presentations is determined randomly.

The material will be selected from the following list.


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Due Monday 3 November 09:00

The major essay is the main opportunity for you to apply policy analysis and policy development or advocacy skills to an international/global health topic of interest to you. You are expected to produce a paper of publishable quality, such as for the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, Globalisation and Health, or similar internationally oriented journals. It is suggested that you focus on global policies and strategies for specific health issues, where you consider the current and potential institutional players and roles, possible policy instruments, and strategies which are likely to be effective. Topics should be agreed with the subject coordinator during the study block, with the following being an initial list: 

  • Access to medicines
  • Maternal mortality
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Hunger
  • Non-communicable diseases or associated risk factors
  • Injury
  • Mental Health
  • Blindness
  • Disability
  • Disaster management
  • Emerging diseases
  • Climate change and health
  • Energy and health
  • Health impacts of free trade agreements

Further submission details

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For students enrolled with La Trobe University the main submission platform is its Learning Management System. Always check whether submissions have been uploaded - you will receive an email confirmation.

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An extension to assignment due date will only be given for exceptional circumstances which have affected the student’s ability to complete the work by the due date. Requests for extension must be made in writing and agreed to in writing.

Applications for extension must be made no less than 24 hours before the due date. You may be asked to produce the work in progress.

Late submissions
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Any assignment submitted late, without authorised extension, will be penalised at the rate of 5% of the assigned mark per working day late. Assignments handed in more than one week late, without authorised extension, will NOT be marked and an automatic fail grade for that piece of assessment will be recorded.

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For all assignments an assessment rubric will be made available in the 15 September 2014 workshop and online.

Learning resources

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Book list available here

Lectures and lecture notes

Prescribed reading

  • Buse K, Hein W, and Drager N. (Eds). (2009). Making Sense of Global Health Governance: A Policy Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. Where there is a chapter relevant to a session, the recommended chapter is the first reading listed (as BHD).
  • Birn A, Pillay Y, and Holtz T. (2009). Textbook of International Health: Global Health in a Dynamic World. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press, New York. Where there is a chapter relevant to a session, the recommended chapter is the first or second reading listed (as in BPH).

Useful journals

  • American Journal of Public Health
  • International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics
  • Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health
  • International Journal of Health Planning and Management
  • Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
  • International Journal of Health Services
  • Australian Health Review
  • Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
  • British Medical Journal Journal of International Development
  • Globalization and Health
  • Journal of Health Economics
  • Global Health Governance
  • Journal of Public Health Policy
  • Global Health Promotion
  • Lancet
  • Health Economics, Policy, Law
  • Public Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health Ethics
  • Health Policy and Planning
  • Social Science and Medicine
  • Health Promotion International
  • Third World Quarterly
  • International Journal for Equity in Health
  • World Health Bulletin

Useful websites

  • African Development Bank –
  • Oxfam –
  • Aid Watch –
  • People’s Health Movement –
  • Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research –
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community –
  • Asian Development Bank –
  • The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria –
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations –
  • Third World Network –
  • AusAID –
  • Transnational Institute –
  • Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health –
  • WHO Watch –
  • Center for Global Development –
  • World Bank –
  • Consumers International –
  • World Federation of Public Health Associations –
  • Global Development Network –
  • World Health Organization –
  • Global Forum for Health Research –
  • UK Dept for International Development –
  • Global Policy Forum –
  • UK Partnership for Global Health –
  • Global Health Council –
  • United Nations Development Programme –
  • Global Health Watch –
  • UN Commission on Human Rights –
  • Institute for Development Studies –
  • UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific –
  • Institute of Medicine, Board on Global Health –
  • UN Environment Programme –
  • Inter-American Development Bank –
  • UN Population Fund –
  • International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations –
  • UN Research Institute for Social Development –
  • International Association of Health Policy –
  • UNAIDS –
  • International Labour Organization –
  • UNICEF –
  • International Monetary Fund –
  • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) –
  • International Development Research Centre –
  • USAID –
  • International Union for Health Promotion and Education –
  • World Economic Forum –
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development –
  • World Trade Organization –
  • Overseas Development Institute –
  • World Watch Institute –

Student feedback

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The Student Feedback on Subjects (SFS) Survey is part of the quality assurance process that occurs across the university. In this survey you are invited to tell us about your learning experiences in this subject. We want you to tell us of your experience in this subject. Your views will be taken seriously and will assist us to enhance this subject for the next group of students. Your feedback will also contribute to the text for ‘Summary of Previous Student Feedback’ below so please take the time to tell us your views. The surveys are anonymous and will be distributed prior to the end of the teaching period. Summary of SFS Feedback from Last Year Student feedback from previous iterations of PHE5IPO has not been made available to the subject coordinator. Rest assured, however, that we take continuous student feedback very much seriously. In order to make this subject as enjoyable, scholarly, responsive and suited to individual needs as possible we welcome comments throughout the semester.

Academic integrity

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Academic integrity means being honest in academic work and taking responsibility for learning the conventions of scholarship. La Trobe University views this seriously as evidenced by the following extract: Academic honesty is a fundamental principle in teaching, learning, research and scholarship. The University requires its academic staff and students to observe the highest ethical standards in all aspects of academic work and it demonstrates its commitment to these values by awarding due credit for honestly conducted scholarly work, and by penalising academic misconduct and all forms of cheating. Academic Integrity Procedures (2010, p. 1 of 6) Academic misconduct includes poor referencing, plagiarism, copying and cheating. You should familiarise yourself with your responsibilities in relation to Academic Integrity and if you have any questions, direct them to your Course Coordinator. Information can be found on the website at:

See also

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