Learner Milestones to Guide Decolonial Global Health Education

Leah Ratner*, Shela Sridhar, Samantha L. Rosman, Jean Junior, Lydia Gyan-Kesse, Jeffrey Edwards, Christiana M. Russ

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The current movement to ‘decolonize’ global health aims to both dismantle colonial frameworks that perpetuate inequity and racism, as well as to rebuild and uplift structures and systems that celebrate indigeneity. However, it is critical to recognize that teaching decoloniality within global health education is more than just the acknowledgement that there are key paradigms missing from current global health education. It is imperative to have a methodology to hold ourselves and our learners accountable to progress in practices and ideals that promote equity-based praxis. In this paper, we propose the creation of a tool to assess learner levels and their progression over time in both recognizing the impacts of colonialism and acting to transform their own global health praxis towards equity and decoloniality. We developed a model to illustrate an increasing scope and impact of decolonial and global health equity praxis. We hypothesize through this model that the way in which learners engage with power dynamics and structural advocacy at each level is essential to describing learner stages. Based on extensive literature review, existing curricular frameworks, global partner discussion(s), feedback on our pilot curriculum, and adaptation of philosophical theory, these learner milestones were conceptualized. We discuss the inherent challenges in assessment of the complex mix of knowledge, attitude and skills described in these milestones with the understanding that any such assessment would always be formative, as we all continue learning how to do better. We hope these milestones can be utilized to promote critical transformational change in the field of global health. This requires deep self-reflection and examination of existing structures of oppression followed by intentional reparative actions to embody decoloniality in our praxis and advocacy and reimagine global health based on equity and local leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number99
JournalAnnals of global health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Decoloniality
  • Learning Milestones
  • Medical Education
  • Social Medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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