Global Health and Education

Georgetown University has made a deep commitment to develop its role as a global university with particular attention to social justice issues in keeping with its strong Jesuit tradition. The global efforts of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD) form an important component of this agenda. The center is deeply engaged with initiatives that assure education for all children; promote literacy for adults; and address health and mental health issues that seriously affect children and families, such as HIV AIDS.

The Center is home to the US Afghan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership whose mission is to mobilize the public and private sector to empower Afghan women. The Council focuses on economic empowerment; education and literacy; political leadership; legal awareness; access to health care; and a special children’s initiative, Ayenda.

Working closely with the United Nations Scientific, Educational, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the center has developed a major initiative on global education and literacy to support

  • UNESCO’s Education For All (EFA) agenda—assuring that all children receive a basic education as well as improving literacy outcomes throughout the world, and
  • the related goals of the Literacy Initiative For Empowerment (LIFE) of the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD)—empowering learners through country-led practice, informed by evidence-based research in 35 countries with a literacy rate of less than 50% or population of more than 10 million without literacy competencies.

The Center Director holds a UNESCO Chair that supports the UNESCO Education for All initiative and serves as a vehicle for the research and training activities of the United Nations Literacy Decade.

Additionally, he GUCCHD has been actively involved in global training initiatives to promote the well-being of children and families. Beginning in 2004, the GUCCHD established a relationship with East China Normal University, College of Pre-school Education and Special Education to foster faculty exchanges, student fellowships, research, and training opportunities, as well as to develop a training and research agenda between the two universities. The GUCCHD continues to partner with Baku State University in Azerbaijan to establish a pediatric track in the developing occupational therapy program.

The GUCCHD also plays a leadership role in the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) whose mission is to provide an international infrastructure to identify and exchange information about effective leadership, management, and operational practices in the delivery of mental health services and “matches” leaders from different countries to share information on an ongoing basis.

The global initiatives of the GUCCHD span all regions of the world with a particular emphasis on working with developing countries and emerging democracies. Center faculty serve on a range of advisory groups and support a range of international organizations including the World Bank, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations (UN). Much of the center’s work is in partnership with other programs within Georgetown University.