Against the hegemony of the ‘International Trainer’: Transforming learning to decolonize global health

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break. When the levee breaks, I’ll have no place to stay. – Led Zeppelin

While the International Trainer lands at the airport, is chauffeured to her hotel, and dutifully reviews her slides and prepares her materials, a literally and figuratively captive audience has been herded at great cost to that same hotel, lured in by a perverse combination of incentives. The costs are mostly related to the incidentals of travel and accommodation, but the stakes are significant. Never mind that the outcomes are unlikely to be evaluated in any meaningful way. The symbolism of such ‘learning theater’ is well-rehearsed. Its funding is seldom questioned. In any case, questioning its value does not seem to slow down expenditure, much less lead to meaningful change in practice. 

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