Hoping to Help - Responsible Volunteering in Global Health

Des Moines, IA US
March 6, 2019


There is no cost to attend but registration is requested. Lunch is available for the first 50 people. 

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Presented by the Des Moines University Global Health Department.

The debate over the value of short-term medical volunteer trips to poor countries is heating up. Some believe they are a wonderful opportunity for the privileged to learn while providing life-saving service to the poor; others believe they are a colonial venture with many possible harms to both parties. I embarked on the research for this book with the twin goals of obtaining mostly absent empirical evidence about this growing enterprise and magnifying the voices and preferences of host communities in the debate. This research—surveys, interviews, and participant observation in several countries—led me to delineate nine principles for maximizing the benefits of short-term volunteering, principles that can be applied to other fields besides health, and to domestic experiences as well. The following excerpts focus on two of those principles: the centrality of mutuality and of evaluation. —Judith Lasker

More information.

Target Audience

This course is open to all individuals interested in global health.


  • Recognize the benefits and harms of short-term global health activities in low and middle income countries.
  • Summarize the characteristics of most effective and ethical programs.
  • Analyze and evaluate existing programs for adherence to best practice guidelines.


Judith N. Lasker, PhD
Professor Emerita, Sociology and Health Medicine and Society, Lehigh University

Relevant to the content of this educational activity, Dr. Lasker is an author and receives royalties from her book. 

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
03/06/2019 - 12:00pm CST
Event ends: 
03/06/2019 - 1:00pm CST
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Student Education Center Auditorium
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States
+1 (515) 271-1596

Des Moines University is located on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. Just west of downtown on Grand Avenue, the University is located in one of Des Moines' most prestigious neighborhoods. The campus is in a historic neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes and businesses. Its central location makes it easy to access the rest of the city and outlying communities. The campus is close to the Des Moines International Airport, located on the bus line and just blocks from local shopping and downtown Des Moines.


Available Credit

  • 1.00 CE Contact Hour(s)


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