Public Health Institutions

Numerous international, national, and sub-national institutions play a critical role in public health. However, relatively little research has been conducted on these institutions, and few existing studies draw on the rich body of insights from political science, public administration, and international relations. Similarly, the existing literature on public health policy does not typically integrate concepts and theories from political science and, in particular, the rapidly growing body of research on the complex role of scientific evidence in policy making.  

Through bridging public health and political science, we advise governments around the world on how to design public health institutions that are capable of addressing tomorrow’s challenges.

Featured Projects

Public Health and Political Science: Bridging the Divide

Although public health is inherently political, the tools and insights of political science are seldom integrated into public health research and analysis. Building bridges between these disciplines can contribute to a more effective and actionable understanding of the role of science and politics in public health policymaking. This project bridges disciplinary divides to show how a political science with public health is both desirable and possible.

Understanding the Role of Senior Public Health Leadership 

In many countries, the COVID-19 pandemic thrust Chief Medical Officers of Health (CMOHs) into the spotlight and revealed key misunderstandings in public discourse about the roles of senior public health officials. Despite their critical role in providing information and influencing public behavior during emergencies, little is known about how CMOHs balance competing scientific and political priorities in their work. 

Improving Organ Donation and Transplantation Governance to Meet Patient Needs

In Canada, the demand for organ transplantation far exceeds the donated supply. A critical part of addressing this problem is to enhance inter-jurisdictional cooperation and organ sharing. To address some of the challenges associated with achieving these goals, GSL’s Public Health Institutions team participated in a multi-year process with Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative. Working with colleagues in the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics, we engaged with stakeholders and government representatives to develop a series of options for an improved ODT governance structure in Canada.