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DGH-LSHTM Volunteering Opportunities

DGH-LSHTM ​has six workstreams aimed at tackling racial inequalities within and outside of the School.

In addition to workstream activity, a co-ordinating committee meeting (comprised of workstream focal points) takes place fortnightly.  

If you would like to get involved, but are not too sure where to start, read on to find out more about the workstreams, and all volunteering opportunities.

All staff, student or alumni at LSHTM, MRC Units in The Gambia or Uganda welcome.

Workstream 1: Values and engaging senior leadership​

Core aims and values 

  • To push LSHTM’s leadership to articulate clear values and initiate reforms that will enable more equitable teaching, study, research and careers for all those in global health. 

Volunteers needed

  1. There is a really important opportunity for 1-2 focal points to liaise directly with the Council and shape how we can better hold leadership to account. 
  2. People who can help mobilise us on strategic communication to leadership or the wider community at key points

Skills/knowledge required 

Volunteers will be required to share updates, organise meetings, draft emails, participate in group discussions, and lead arising activities, e.g. stakeholder consultations re: upcoming independent review. 

Time input required and meeting time 

This will vary depending on the role.

We need focal point volunteers who can commit to 1 x meeting per month, approximately.

Workstream 2: Working towards research equity: Building strategic partnerships that are mutually beneficial​

Core aims and values 

  • To identify, highlight and confront racial inequalities and colonial legacies in the design, management, and delivery of research at the School and across its broader collaborations, partnerships, and programmes. 
  • We recognise and expect that the School, its staff and students, and its partners will need to listen rather than lead in many of these conversations and processes.  
  • The workstream aims to support the identification and promotion of sustainable working practices which address the power imbalances experienced throughout the research life cycle.

Volunteers needed

The workstream would benefit from support in the following: 

  1. Coordination – support with managing the convening of the workstream as engagement restarts.
  2. Technical input – support drafting a work stream statement / terms of reference to help re-identify priorities and potential future work areas.
  3. Overseas engagement – involvement from overseas staff and the MRC Unit teams in the Gambia and Uganda.

Skills/knowledge required 

Skills/knowledge below are suggestions to help guide interested volunteers, but are not at all exclusive or mandatory. 

Coordination:

  • Organisation, administration
  • Interest in mobilising the workstream, maintaining a sense of engagement and supporting the progression of ideas/action points

Technical input:

  • Knowledge/experience of LSHTM research partnerships 
  • Knowledge /experience of work to improve research equity
  • Experience with ToRs, activism, engaging senior staff/high-level intuitional teams 

Overseas engagement and agenda-setting:

  • Voices and agenda input from overseas staff and those with first-hand experience working side-by-side with overseas partners
  • Unit staff representation

Time input required and meeting time 

Coordination will involve attendance (on a rota among the coordinating group) at fortnightly DGH coordinator meetings. These take place fortnightly:

  • (Mondays), 11:30-12:30 (BST).
  • June Dates = 7/06 and 21/06. There is some preparation involved, usually taking 30 mins to 1 hour.

Convening workstream meetings can take 1-2 hours per month to prepare agendas in collaboration with volunteers, and send invitations.

Technical input and overseas engagement will involve attendance and discussion at monthly meetings, and further volunteer work on TORs, liaison etc. as agreed, and according to personal capacity.

As with all workstreams, we recognise that our collective effort is voluntary, and we meet and work in a spirit of mutual support. 

Workstream 3: External advocacy

Core aims and values 

  • Building partnerships through the LSHTM community's links with alumni in the field and beyond to decolonise global health from academia through to practice.
  • The workstream is led by: Baijayanta Mukhopadhyay: DTM&H 2017 alum, family doctor in northern Canada, and Meherunissa Hamid (Research Degree student, PHP).
  • Baijayanta: "I want students training at LSHTM to be able to practice decolonising health in the field upon leaving the School."
  • Meherunissa: "As an alumna and current RD student, I would like to see decolonising global health become part of the school ethos and culture."

Skills/knowledge required 

This workstream is not currently actively seeking new volunteers, however if you would like to get involved please get in touch.

Workstream 4: Activities and Events 

Core aims and values 

  1. Instigate a culture of self-reflection and self-awareness 
  2. Bring awareness to how colonialism and imperialism have shaped public/global health practices, policy and research 
  3. Challenge and reflect on existing ideologies and assumptions in public/global health 
  4. In the future we hope to provide a space for open and respectful conversations and inspire people to have these conversations in their own spaces.

Volunteers needed

Ideally two volunteers specifically to coordinate the workstream and engage with the Coordinating Committee. 

Skills/knowledge required 

In addition to supporting the workstream with event idea generation, you will also need to arrange workstream meetings, make initial contact with suggested speakers, and meet with the Coordinating Committee.
You will need to liaise with workstream 6 who will help ensure event hosts, chairs and speakers/participants have all the information they require, and arrange any payment. 

In terms of skills and knowledge; organisation, time management, communication and planning skills take precedence over topic expertise as we are all learning together.

Time input required and meeting time 

Ideally, 1 x workstream focal point will attend 60 minute, bi weekly DGH Coordinator meetings (these take place fortnightly:

  • (Mondays) 11:30-12:30 (BST)
  • June Dates = 7/06 and 21/06).

Workstream meetings occur on an ad-hoc basis as communication is predominately conducted through email. As such Workstream meetings (typically lasting 30 minutes) have occurred every 3 months.

Additional responsibilities typically 1-2 hours per week. This will include planning and/or facilitating events.

Workstream 5a: Staff and student experience (student)

Core aims and values 

Due to workload, and staffing changes, this sub-workstream has not met since Autumn 2020, however plans are in place to resume meetings and action. 

Original aims included: 

  1. Providing a space for students to discuss their own experiences (and potentially organising action) with minimal (or no) staff presence 
  2. Planning initiatives around decolonising work & student experience for next year’s cohort of MSc students (and then trying to find the funding from the School to implement)
  3. Feeding back directly into the School’s Decolonising the Curriculum contingency group
The above may change and will be agreed upon by workstream volunteers. 

 

Volunteers needed

General volunteers needed.

Workstreams are non-hierarchical, though we need at least two volunteers (referred to as “focal points”) to specifically coordinate the workstream and engage with the Coordinating Committee.  This will involve arranging meetings and ensuring they are fair, safe spaces. 

Additionally, we are looking for volunteers to feedback directly into the School’s Decolonising the Curriculum contingency group. 

There may also be some cross-workstream meetings with the ‘Staff experience’ sub-workstream if both groups feel they would be of benefit. (see below) 

Staff are available to provide support/advocate where needed, though ideally this stream will be run by, and for students. 

Skills/knowledge required 

The focal points will need to be organised, and happy facilitating  or chairing discussions (though the latter can be rotated).  

Tasks and actions can and should be delegated to other workstream volunteers, but the focal points will help the group stay on track and also engage with the Coordinating Committee.

As mentioned to the left, staff are available to provide support/advocate where needed, though ideally this stream will be run by, and for students.

Time input required and meet

Ideally, 1 x workstream focal point will attend 60 minute, bi weekly DGH Coordinator meetings. This group, predominantly staff,  understand this environment may be daunting for students, and work to avoid harmful power dynamics (some current members also studied at LSHTM).

Focal points can expect to spend up to 3-4 hours/week on DGH activities.

DGH Coordinator meetings take place fortnightly:

  • (Mondays) 11:30-12:30 (BST)
  • June Dates = 7/06 and 21/06

Volunteers who feed back into the School’s Decolonising the Curriculum contingency group can expect to spend around 2-3 hours on this /week.

Volunteers who are not focal points will not need to attend DGH Coordinator meetings but will probably spend up to 4 hours/month on related work. 

Workstream 5b: Staff and student experience (staff)

Core aims and values 

This sub-workstream is currently inactive. 

Volunteers needed

Workstream 6 (see below) would like to help get this group back up and running. 

Ws6 will soon contact staff who previously attended workstream 5 meetings, though please do get in touch if you would like to be involved in coordinating the group (whether or not you have been previously been involved). 

Skills/knowledge required 

TBC

Time input required and meeting time 

TBC

Workstream 6: Coordination and support  

Core aims and values

The workstream focuses on providing administrative and coordination support to DGH-LSHTM:

  • Working to ensure the group and workstreams are sustainable.
  • Encouraging/facilitating new volunteers where needed. 
  • Governance; to ensure accountability and transparency, we are working on Terms of Reference and a decision making process. We also minute coordinator meetings. 
  • Communication; this workstream looks after the DGH inbox, update newsletters, social media, and maintaining and updating the DGH web and intranet pages, (incl exploring external hosting platforms). 

Volunteers needed

Volunteers could be taking minutes, drafting copy, posting Tweets, helping with governance etc. This could be the workstream for you if you want to get involved but are not sure where to start.  

We are keen to hear from staff (PS, Central Services and academic), students and alumni.

Skills/knowledge required 

We can review the workstream’s long- and short-term goals and assign responsibilities based on your strengths and interest.  

This could be the workstream for you if you want to get involved but are not sure where to start. 

Time input required and meeting time 

This workstream meets for 45-60 minutes biweekly, currently on a Friday afternoon, but this can be changed to suit wider schedules if needed.

Additionally, current workstream volunteers can spend anywhere between 1-2 hours/week on DGH work though at busier times this can increase to 3-4 hours/week.

We support each other and would never ask co-volunteers to take on more than they can. If you can spare an hour a week, this will be respected, and we will find something to suit your availability.  DGH Coordinator meetings take place fortnightly: 

  • (Mondays) 11:30-12:30 (BST)
  • June Dates = 7/06 and 21/06

WS6 meetings take place fortnightly:

  • (Fridays) 15:00-15:45 (BST)
  • June Dates = 4/06 and 18/06