course overview

by Anjali Sastry on October 18, 2008

Global Entrepreneurship Lab: Global Health Delivery
MIT Sloan School of Management

Simon Johnson, Anjali Sastry 15.389 C 12 units Graduate
Fall ’08 H2 MW 4:00 – 5:30 E51-145, continues through IAP ’09 and Spring ’09 H1

Global Entrepreneurship Lab, MIT Sloan’s flagship international project-based class, pairs students with real-world enterprises wrestling with management challenges across the globe. The new GHD version of G-Lab tackles practical constraints to delivering health care in resource-poor settings in Africa. In it, graduate student teams apply professional management skills, tools, and approaches to pressing real-world problems that their hosts define, drawing on their classroom learning to work on the ground to create effective improvements that provide patients with the healthcare they need.

Why global health delivery? Too often, health care fails to reach the neediest. Systems for delivering health care in resource-poor settings can be fragmented and under-developed. Information management, logistics, process design, business development, and workforce management may be inappropriate. Knowledge about effective approaches may fail to spread.

What’s the course like? In late October, we start with a broad introduction to global health delivery and Africa. Tailored lectures, readings, and case discussions continue as student teams are matched with project hosts (clinics, NGOs, and other organizations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone), then quickly begin collaborating in design, planning, and research. January is in Africa, where the intensive 3- to 4-week on-site team project internship culminates in students’ presentation to senior management. Back at MIT from early February through mid-March, students complete their projects and learn from their own and others’ experiences via interactive exercises and conversations with experts in the field to explore the implications for global health delivery, creating materials that distill their learning, insights, and work on the ground, to benefit other students—and the wider community.

What about the projects? Our practical, operational projects address the development, growth, or improvement of the enterprise. Areas of focus include planning for scale-up, improving hospital efficiency, redesigning practices or processes to improve hospital or clinic efficiency, designing growth strategies, and exploring potential business opportunities.

How will students learn what they need to know? A partnership with Harvard University’s Global Health Delivery Project makes this course possible. Dr. Jim Kim and his colleagues aim to transform health outcomes in developing countries by developing effective approaches to delivering health care in resource-poor settings worldwide and sharing the resulting knowledge widely. Our collaboration offers invaluable expertise, resources, teaching materials, field experience and networks. G-Lab GHD also draws on tools and approaches from across MIT. And students bring their own skills and experience.

Who takes the class? MIT MBA and other graduate students apply by bid; we maintain a waitlist to accommodate as many as possible. Students must commit to all three course segments.

G-Lab: Global Health Delivery is a unique opportunity to connect classroom learning with tractable, intellectually stimulating, and professionally relevant real-world projects. Students learn by doing, while faculty gain insight into current challenges, effective practice, and new opportunities. And our conversation can help to define the emerging field of global health delivery.

PDF of this one-page overview of G-Lab GHD

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