Skip to main content

Call for papers - Decolonizing global health

Guest Editors:
Robert Kaba Alhassan: University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana 
Nafissatou Diop: Canadian Association for Global Health & Health Systems Global, Canada 
Henry Zakumumpa: Makerere University, Uganda

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 15 April 2024


BMC Health Services Research is calling for submissions to its collection on Decolonization of global health. This term describes a movement that emerged from a critical post-colonial reflection within the global health community and uncovers and challenges systems of dominance in the field of global health, an area of research whose ultimate goal is to improve the health of populations. Recognizing the imbalances in global health and identifying the underlying recurring patterns and distortions is necessary to trigger change, to learn key lessons, to dismantle unjust and predatory networks, and to develop strategic approaches to restructuring the current global health architecture. Only through a more widespread and structured review of the affected health systems dynamics as well as of the concrete measures and initiatives undertaken in this context will we be able to understand how to redesign the future of global health in a timely manner. 

Meet the Guest Editors

Back to top

Robert Kaba Alhassan:  University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana 

Dr Robert Kaba Alhassan is a Senior Research Fellow and acting Dean of International Programmes at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana. His research interests and expertise include healthcare policy and planning, global health, health systems strengthening, patient safety, healthcare financing and community engagement in health. He is an advocate for global health decolonisation in resource limited settings and a certified good clinical practice researcher.

Nafissatou Diop: Canadian Association for Global Health & Health Systems Global, Canada 

Dr Nafissatou Diop is the Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Global Health and the Health Systems Global. She previously led the flagship Initiative Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA), co-funded by three agencies of the Government of Canada. In 2018, Nafissatou was listed as a Francophone Woman Leader in Global Health.


Henry Zakumumpa: Makerere University, Uganda

Dr Henry Zakumumpa is a Health Systems Researcher whose PhD research was jointly supervised by Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University. His research focus is on the sustainability of HIV treatment programs in Uganda. He has been Principal and Co- Investigator on research projects funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, WHO and Wellcome Trust (UK). He is a two-time fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service.

About the collection

BMC Health Services Research is calling for submissions to its collection on Decolonization of global health. This term describes a movement that emerged from a critical post-colonial reflection within the global health community and uncovers and challenges systems of dominance in the field of global health, an area of research whose ultimate goal is to improve the health of populations. Recognizing the imbalances in global health and identifying the underlying recurring patterns and distortions is necessary to trigger change, to learn key lessons, to dismantle unjust and predatory networks, and to develop strategic approaches to restructuring the current global health architecture. 

This process can only start by facing the multifaceted realities of the legacy of colonization in health systems, health research and health services. Currently, worldwide efforts are being made to untangle these processes and promote a balanced global health ecosystem and authenticate the term global health with its rightful components of justice, equity but also efficiency. 

However, only through a more widespread and structured review of the affected health systems dynamics as well as of the concrete measures and initiatives undertaken in this context will we be able to understand how to redesign the future of global health in a timely manner. 

Therefore, we would particularly welcome submissions that:           

  • Describe health systems landscapes affected by inequities and colonial legacies and how this affects their ability to address local healthcare challenges.
  • Outline strategies, projects, partnerships, and initiatives to eliminate inequalities globally and to empower local academic, governmental, health systems and research organizations. We are particularly interested in innovative initiatives to create diversified local health systems and self-sufficient health services in low-resource settings.
  • Evaluate the persisting means of colonization and dominance, such as funding, jobs, positions, and training opportunities, for current research on health systems and health services provided by agencies and organizations to Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) and the Global South. This includes works that examine resources allocation within global health partnerships.
  • Present programs that aim at stopping the perpetuation of colonial practice in global health education e.g. innovative training programs for the local health workforce.
  • Promote health services and improve healthcare delivery to indigenous populations.
  • Encourage post-colonial reflection about inequities in health systems.
  • Present actions taken to call for health reforms, governance and political transformation aimed at promoting global health decolonization and health systems equity.
  • Report initiatives promoting or guaranteeing health services research data sovereignty.
  • Synthesize scientific evidence on global health decolonizing efforts and illustrate lessons learnt to inform policy discourse and commitments in LMIC and the Global South. 
  • Present clear solutions to end the rhetoric on global health decolonization and chart a practical course that is relevant to the context of sovereign nations and their health systems.


Image credit: © FilippoBacci / Getty Images / iStock

  1. Qualitative social research has made valuable contributions to understanding technology-based interventions in global health. However, we have little evidence of who is carrying out this research, where, how, ...

    Authors: Janet Perkins, Sarah Nelson, Emma Birley, Emilie Mcswiggan, Marshall Dozier, Anna McCarthy, Nadege Atkins, Eldad Agyei-Manu, Jasmin Rostron, Koichi Kameda, Ann Kelly, Clare Chandler and Alice Street
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2024 24:172
  2. This editorial outlines the background to the BMC Health Services Research collection on decolonizing global health. The discourse on decolonizing global health is gaining increasing momentum. These persistent...

    Authors: Henry Zakumumpa, Nafissatou Diop and Robert Kaba Alhassan
    Citation: BMC Health Services Research 2023 23:832

Submission Guidelines

Back to top

This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Decolonizing global health" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.