Working Groups

DUCIGS & Africa Initiative Working Groups

Within this program are a number of thematic working groups that are both interdisciplinary in their membership and student-driven in their design. Meetings are held roughly four times each semester, during which students are encouraged to share their individual perspectives on issues of a global nature. Often selected readings are discussed, and students have the opportunity to share their own research with the group and to receive feedback from a variety of disciplines. DUCIGS & Africa Initiative provide financial support to these groups.

For 2016 - 2017, the Africa Initiative is proud to co-sponsor the following groups:

Corruption and Natural Resources

Contact: Babu Regmi 

Our working group will look into the problems of corruption in three developing countries: Nepal, Ghana and Kenya, and examines the underlying links to natural resources. To omit bias and subjective observations, we will evaluate the issues from multiple perspectives: social, political, environmental, and political. We will bring students from those three countries into the discussion, as well as those from other parts of the world, to provide different perspectives to the issues raised. The working group will be available to present the findings of our intensive research to groups on campus later this academic year.

Foreign Aid & Intervention (DAGPSA)

Contacts: Mercy Asiedu // Davies Odu // James Mukara // Patience Mhlanga 

During this academic year, Foreign Aid and Intervention intends to engage people in a dialogue about the potential advantages of foreign aid intervention in Africa, while also highlighting its dangers - a subject that many people tend to overlook or ignore. We propose to explore variations on the types of foreign aid currently available and their effect on African countries. Synthesizing our research into a collection of ideas will enable us to propose improvements with which African countries can become less dependent on foreign aid, when deemed unadvisable.

Forest Elephant

Contact: Emily Mills 

Relatively little is known about the African forest elephant, which faces serious threats to its continued existence. Research suggests that elephants play a vital but still not fully understood role in maintaining the ecological integrity of Central African forests. Major issues of forest elephant survival are tied in with human development, where conservation goals and human livelihoods often clash on issues of land use. Global trade in ivory further complicates this dynamic by contributing to the poaching of the elephants and in turn, funding terrorist groups, as well as promoting human trafficking and other criminal activity. This interdisciplinary group aims to bring together student researchers to combine ecology, genetics and technology to drive discussion and innovation with regard to the conservation of forest elephants in Gabon, one of the most important strongholds for the species.

Global Mental Health

Contacts: Emily Cherenack // Elsa Friis 

The GMH Working Group aims to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions and collaborations that explore the ecological, social and cultural factors that impact the etiology and treatment of mental health around the world. Activities will examine the current state of global mental health, as well as innovations in mental health care globally, such as new technologies. We strive to facilitate interdisciplinary conversation and engage the broader Duke community in dialogue about global mental health.

Global Migration and Tuberculosis

Contacts: Brittney Sullivan // Hanzhang Xu 

The purpose of this project is to develop an interdisciplinary working team for networking related to global migration and tuberculosis (TB) in order to build future partnerships and collaborations. Additionally, we will assess how global migration affects the prevalence of tuberculosis. Our intended outcome is to write a collaborative manuscript on global migration patterns and TB prevalence.

Navigating Race in Global Health Settings

Contacts: Kony Adewumi // Glenda Dieuveille

The goal of this workshop is to expose students to some of the challenges they may face when working in global spaces impacted by race. We do not purport to have all the answers; however, we do want to provide a space where students can explore the intersection of international work and racial identity. These meetings will engage community dialogue in addition to functioning as workshops in which attendees can leave with a broader understanding of racial equity.

Neurosurgery in East Africa

Contact: Tony Fuller

Duke Global Neurosurgery and Neuroscience (DGNN) was recently established within the Duke Department of Neurosurgery and DGHI. This working group was developed so that students would be able to work together to bring new and innovative ideas to DGNN and help in its mission of improving access to neurosurgical care in East Africa. With this in mind, our working group intends to explore how the current programs can be improved and which areas have yet to be considered in order to develop new ideas.