The Global Health Delivery Project (GHD) is designed to improve health among impoverished populations worldwide by addressing the significant global health “delivery gap” that, despite unprecedented new financial resources and medical advances, prevents care from consistently reaching patients who need it.

The project was launched in 2007 by Harvard University faculty members Jim Yong Kim, Paul Farmer and Michael Porter. GHD is a collaboration of: the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, and Partners In Health. By linking the expertise of these collaborators with the extensive knowledge and experience of practitioners providing care to patients with complex illnesses across the globe, GHD’s goal is to significantly strengthen health care delivery in poor settings.

The GHD project’s approach is to build an interdisciplinary knowledge base with the potential to quickly expand the understanding of health care delivery, transform practice, and lead to better health outcomes for patients. GHD aims to systematize the study of global health delivery and rapidly diffuse new learning to practitioners. Careful analysis of actual global health delivery efforts will form the basis of new analytic frameworks that can guide the design of care delivery systems. By spurring development of a new field of “global health delivery”, the GHD project seeks to apply both qualitative and quantitative methods to capture the full complexity of cycles of care, the managerial challenges of delivery organizations, and the influence of local context on system design and patient care.

The approach comprises four coordinated initiatives:

  1. Education of current and future health care professionals both in the classroom and in the field, using specially designed curricula based on the proven case study method and the use of business analysis techniques applied to improve delivery practices.
  2. Interdisciplinary research to discover and disseminate successful system design and delivery strategies that achieve positive health outcomes and demonstrate local adaptation of proven interventions.
  3. Partnerships with Centers of Excellence that provide high quality health care in developing countries to serve as living laboratories for research and teaching for faculty, students, practitioners, and other health care professionals.
  4. GHDonline is a custom-designed website where health care implementers share proven practices, connect with colleagues, and find resources they need to improve health outcomes in resource-limited settings.

By creating and sharing a comprehensive knowledge base encompassing the elements of effective design and implementation of health care programs and systems, the Global Health Delivery Project’s goal is to improve the health of populations in resource-poor settings worldwide.