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Global Health Services Research in Brazil

GPH-GU 2900, 3 credits

Please note that this course is not being offered in 2014.

Location: Salvador, Brazil at Universidad Federal da Bahia (UFBA)

Eligibility: The course is open to NYU graduate students, upper-level undergraduate students, as well as those outside of NYU. Please refer to the registration information below.

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MPH Capstone Project in Brazil


This course provides an introduction to health services and systems research in a global context. It will examine ways to measure the performance of healthcare systems and will focus on applications within Brazil, while drawing on other relevant countries experience such as the USA. 

The course will provide students with knowledge on defining and measuring the essential functions of health systems and skills in conducting health services research. The goal is to understand how history and politics, inputs and technology, financing mechanisms, organizational processes and structures, and individual behaviors act separately and together to affect the development of national health systems and their characteristics. The course will also introduce students to several essential data sources and provide hands-on training on ways to use real data to develop health services research projects.

The course is a joint activity of the NYU MPH program and the Collective Health Institute (ISC) at UFBA - a leading public health school in Brazil. Brazilian and US-based students and faculty will participate in all activities and all instruction will be conducted in English.

Prerequisites: At least one semester of training in statistics (social statistics, biostatistics, econometrics) is required. Recommended - an introductory course in epidemiology and/or research methods. Ability to speak Portuguese is NOT required. 

Note: this course may count as a concentration course for NYU MPH students in the Global Health Leadership concentration.


Field visits are an integral part of the course and will allow students to interact with researchers, health workers and managers, and policymakers in Brazil to understand how data are generated and used in decision-making and clinical care delivery within the country. Activities include a tour of family health program clinics,discussions with leading researchers about workforce development programs in Brazil, a visit to the main public hospital in Salvador to examine questions of access and quality of care, interviews and group discussions with municipal health authorities to discuss how they use different kinds of evidence to help make decisions, and a round table discussion with leading Brazilian researchers on health services research challenges.

The course will immerse students in Salvador's unique culture and history and will include some free time for optional visits to local museums, beaches, and cultural activities.


Participants will stay at the Hotel Paraguacu in Salvador, Brazil.  All rooms include private bathrooms, free internet, air conditioning, refrigerators, telephones and safes. The hotel also includes several common areas and courtyards for small group meetings, 24 hour security, a business center, laundry service and free traditional Bahian breakfasts.  Rooms are double-occupancy. A private van will transport participants to/from the hotel to the classroom and group activities. Click here for a map of the hotel.

The activities fee includes housing costs, ground transportation related to the course, a closing dinner, breakfast each day, and on-site administrative support and services. Students will be responsible for the lunch and dinner meals.

For more information about Salvador, Brazil, visit Wikitravel, the NY Times Travel Guide, and Frommers. All participants will receive a detailed guide prior to travel.


Flight: Participants must book and pay for their own flights, and should do so as early as possible. Students are also responsible to book and pay for ground transportation to/from the airport in Brazil and in the US.

Passport: All program participants are required to have a valid passport, which must be valid for up to 6 months after course date, not before.

Tourist Visa: See the Brazil Consulate-General of New York's website for directions on how to apply for a "tourist" (not "student" or "business") visa.

Travel Handbook and Pre-departure Sessions: All participants will receive a travel handbook with further information and resources to prepare to travel to Brazil. All participants will be required to attend two pre-departure sessions (see course information above).



Tuition: $4,101 (3 credits), plus registration and support fees. Click here for more information on NYU MPH tuition and fees.

Non-refundable program and activities fee: $1300. The activities fee includes housing costs, ground transportation related to the course, pre-departure orientations, a closing dinner, breakfast each day, and on-site administrative support and services. Students will be responsible for the lunch and dinner meals. The fee is due October 19 (credit-card only), and serves as the deposit for your participation.

Please note that the activity fees are subject to change based on revised rates, to be determined later this fall. The final cost to the participant may increase or decrease by a maximum of $100.00-$200.00.


Please note this course will not be offered in 2014.
image by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

Course Instructors

Dr. Inês Dourado is an associate professor and researcher at the Health Collective Institute (Instituto de Saúde Coletiva) of the Federal University of Bahia, Northeast Brazil. She is a physician, with masters in public health from University of Massachusetts, and a PhD in epidemiology from the School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has been a visiting scholar at NYU's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health during the Fall 2010. In the past (2003-2006), she was the Director of the graduate program in public health (Master and Doctoral degrees) of the Institute. Dr Dourado teaches epidemiology to undergraduates as well as graduate-level courses in Epidemiological Methods. Her research is on epidemiology of infectious diseases and she has been deeply involved in the study of human retrovirus (HIV and HTLV) epidemiology and prevention in Brazil. Major current research interests include the rates of HIV and syphilis infection in Salvador, Northeast Brazil and late access to care among people living with HIV/AIDS. She has published innumerous peer-reviewed scientific studies. More recently she has becoming involved with health policy research projects.

James Macinko, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Public Health and Health Policy in NYU's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is a global health services researcher with field experience in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and Sub-Saharan Africa. His current work focuses on the evaluation of primary health care programs and policies within Latin America and the Caribbean and the analysis of health inequalities. Macinko's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pan American Health Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank. He earned his PhD in health and social policy in 2002 at the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Information Session

Please join us during our upcoming information session to meet the faculty, learn more about the courses, the application process, and Salvador.

Friday, September 14, 2012
5:30 - 7:30pm

NYU Silver Center, Room 414

Click here to RSVP

Contact Information

For questions regarding the course, please contact:

Lisa Kroin
Academic Administrator

Institutions, Governance and International Development: Salvador, Brazil

Students who participate in GPH-GU 2900 will also have a unique opportunity to interact with US and Brazilian students enrolled in PADM-GP 2201Institutions, Governance and International Development: Salvador, Brazil. This NYU Wagner - UFBA course will be offered during the same dates and participants in both courses will stay in the same hotel and network through select joint activities and receptions. Click on the link above to learn more.

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