Health Provider Perspectives: Interrelationships of the public, private, and philanthropic sectors within the Guatemalan health system

Faculty:  Caitlin Baird, PhD, MA


Project Objectives
  • To understand the challenges that health providers face in their clinical roles and within their institutional context
  • To gain health provider perspectives of the barriers to and potential facilitators for health systems strengthening in Guatemala
  • To understand the roles of various providers and organizations across public, private, and philanthropic sectors in the provision of essential health services in Guatemala
  • To query the impacts of global health and development paradigms on Guatemalan health system structures and policies
  • To develop provider-level occupational perspectives and analyses on the challenges of implementing health as a human right in Guatemala
 Project Activities

The post-civil war Constitution of Guatemala acknowledges health as a human right for all Guatemalan citizens.  However, the resource scarcity and entrenched inequalities within Guatemalan society make delivering on that promise, which should include affordable, accessible, available, and high quality care, difficult.  In the absence of adequate government resources to meet the health care needs of the population, the roles of the private and philanthropic sectors are vital to the provision of care.  However, the complexities of a pluralistic medical landscape create distinct challenges for patients and the health providers who serve them.

The Health Provider Perspectives group will investigate the experiences and perspectives of health providers within the Antigua valley and central highlands of Guatemala.  The group will work with providers to identify points-of-entry for improved collaboration across sectors of the health system.

Key competencies gained will include:  instrument development, in-depth interviewing, ethnographic observation, qualitative data analysis, and executive report writing. Readings and group discussions will explore the role of public-private-philanthropic partnerships for health care in resource-constrained environments, health systems strengthening paradigms, and global health approaches to health as a human right.

NOTE: Students’ willingness to contribute to the report in the 2-4 weeks following the field school end date is requested, in order to complete the writing, editing, and/or posting of the report.