series event

​​A view from the underbelly: childhood diarrhea and the hidden power dynamics of global health ​

Examining how global health programs perpetuate power imbalances through the lived experiences of Guatemalan communities.

Maya Guatemalan community members gather at a local health post

This lecture, which is co-hosted by the Anthropology and the Environmental Health Group, will examine how global health programs perpetuate power imbalances through the lived experiences of Guatemalan communities in the delivery of programming to curb childhood diarrhea. Based on fieldwork spanning more than 15 years, this lecture raises questions of power and agency through the examples of Mayan families who attempt to seek healthcare for sick children in an exclusionary neoliberal care landscape.  Through the lens of childhood diarrheal disease, this lecture will explore the pathways of power from the global health experts and the wealthy nations and donors who fund them through to the people who must navigate among the offerings delivered in communities. Co-design is proposed as one tool needed to build a more equitable global health. The lecture is drawn from the newly published monograph, Underbelly: Childhood Diarrhea and the Hidden Local Realities of Global Health (MIT Press).


Rachel Hall-Clifford

Rachel Hall-Clifford, PhD, MPH, MSc, is Associate Professor in the Center for the Study of Human Health and the Departments of Sociology and Global Health at Emory University. She is a medical anthropologist who applies social science approaches to global health research and implementation. Her research areas include accessible health care for marginalized populations, health systems strengthening in post-genocide contexts, and global health fieldwork ethics. She leads the Emory Co-Design Lab for Health Equity, which centers community-led design and implementation of global health programs, and is Co-Founder of the perinatal monitoring toolkit safe+natal

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