The mission of the Global Center for Applied Health Research is to design, implement, and test evidence-based and culturally appropriate interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of children/youth and families around the world through equitable research collaborations between transnational teams of researchers and community partners. This mission will be achieved through two main activities: 1) facilitating collaborative and culturally appropriate research studies and 2) strengthening research training and capacity building across borders.

Statement of Need

Globalization, social and cultural dislocation, and resulting social inequality can adversely affect the wellbeing of children and families around the world.  Institutions of higher education such as ASU are generating scientific knowledge and evidence-based solutions that can mitigate and eventually address the root causes of unfolding social and health crises.  Efficacious and effective prevention and treatment programs, however, rarely reach the intended communities and local innovators often lack the capacity to adapt imported interventions to the local environment or sustain them over time.  Through transnational research partnerships, GCAHR serves as a bridge between ASU and universities and communities in other countries to increase their capacity to apply science-based solutions to pressing health and social problems.

GCAHR is a twin center of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC).  Health solutions research that was developed initially at SIRC generated interest in other countries.  As an established Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) research center, GCAHR is home for broader transnational research initiatives. SIRC maintains its regional USA focus. 

Action Plan

GCAHR has an ambitious action plan in collaboration with its research partners in Latin America Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania and Asia. 

The nations of Latin America and Spain are priority countries during the first phase of development of the center.  Mexico is the country with the largest research portfolio of externally funded studies by the National Institutes of Health, followed by demonstration projects in Guatemala, Uruguay and Spain.  GCAHR is implementing additional pilot studies in collaboration with partners in Kenya, China, Taiwan, Burundi, and Tanzania.  Pilot projects are being planned with partners in Australia and Israel. 

GCAHR’s International Research Fellowship program is fully operational.  Pre- and postdoctoral investigators and faculty members from institutions in China, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, and Switzerland have participated in the research fellowship program.  Most fellows become GCAHR’s research partners in their own countries and provide scientific leadership in joint research initiatives. 

The Solution

Through transnational research partnerships, GCAHR serves as a bridge between ASU and international universities and communities to increase their capacity to apply evidence-based interventions to solve pressing health and social problems in Mexico, Central America and other countries and regions of the world.

GCAHR captures the capacity of ASU by leveraging transdisciplinary knowledge—from social work, sociology, nursing, medicine, global health, anthropology, psychology, communications, biodesign, sustainability, education, criminal justice and public policy—to advance health equity globally.

We support the capacity of local communities in the partnering countries to adapt, implement and evaluate evidence-based solutions to social and health problems by:

  • Enhancing the research capacity of global partners through ongoing training in country and at ASU
  • Disseminating existing research findings to international communities, NGOs and governments
  • Facilitating the translation/application of efficacious interventions in clinical and community settings
  • Strengthening the capacity of international local communities to evaluate their own indigenous health promotion practices
  • Supporting the communities’ capacity to advance indigenous interventions to evidence- based status
  • Increasing the impact of efficacious interventions developed in the USA for use in other countries through rigorous cultural program adaptation
  • Designing and evaluating innovative efficacious interventions in partnership with communities
  • Informing policy makers to assure the sustainability of efficacious interventions that can improve the wellbeing of children and youth