Understanding the Global Development of Community Public Health

Opportunity to help collect data and/or use qualitative, quantitative or mixed-method analysis to better understand the international development of the applied research discipline of community-level public health in any or all of 97 countries (including all nations of 10 million population or more), with the opportunity to add new countries of special interest. The purpose of the larger project of which this is a part is to develop frameworks for predicting the international growth of indigenous applied community-based research (CBR) disciplines aiming to link local knowledge generation with community development and social change. In addition to public health, those disciplines include community psychology, community development, community sociology, community social work, applied/development anthropology, development economics, urban/regional planning/geography, public administration/policy studies, popular/adult education/literacy for community development, liberation theology/religious studies in community action, and interdisciplinary community research and action. Estimates of disciplinary strength are based on internet search and review of training courses and programs, published articles and journals, and professional organizations and conferences in each country. The existing database also includes country-level population, social and economic indicators and survey data on past nonviolent grassroots activism, and civil liberties. Qualitative case study analyses of specific nations or regions are are also possible, including consideration other historical, sociopolitical, cultural, and geographic factors for explaining the development of community public health and the other fields.

Douglas Perkins [Email]
Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development 

On VU campus [Nashville, TN, USA] or can be done anywhere with internet access 

Contacts N/A
Program Type


Funding Type



Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands, Central and South America, Europe, Middle East, North America

Global Health Topics

Biostatistics, Education, Environmental Health, Health Systems, Policy, Public Health, Poverty


Undergraduate students; Graduate students (non-clinical); Post-doctoral students, residents, or trainees; Faculty members

Program Length

6 to 12 months; 1 year or more; Flexible, depending on the individuals interests and needs

VU Affiliation

The program is affiliated with Vanderbilt.


The program has a language requirement (almost any foreign language is helpful as the project is global).