The International Working Group for Health Systems Strengthening (IWG)
Towards a world where emerging voices are included and empowered to re-imagine health systems that work for all
The IWG is a community of action. It convenes emerging changemakers and catalyzes efforts towards local and global health systems strengthening.
The IWG catalyzes action across six regional hubs and across the world through three main pillars of action: Advocacy, Knowledge Generation and Sharing, and Capacity Strengthening
Our Origin Story
The group was initially conceptualized by students at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Health Systems Division, but has since evolved into an independent global collective of emerging public health professionals across the world. These innovators and strategic thinkers have built this organization up with unparalleled dedication and passion to the shared goal they all hold close to heart. Through global and regional collaborations, the IWG works to rally the next generation of public health thinkers toward strengthening health systems at different levels of action.
Who do we understand to be a ‘changemaker’? Simply put, the IWG understands a changemaker to be someone taking creative action to solve health systems challenges. We envision the IWG to be an inclusive space not just for individuals with formal training in public health, but for anyone who self identifies as an emerging voice interested in strengthening health systems and is committed to impact. As such, we move away from traditional notions of who can partake in public health efforts, and we invite all who share our vision of a world where emerging voices are included and feel empowered to re-imagine health systems that work for all.
We started by convening students and emerging public health professionals from six public health institutions across the six WHO regional hubs. We continue to be structured regionally through our six regional hubs, but have expanded way beyond our initial six institutions — African Region (AFR), Region of Americas (AMR), Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), European Region (EUR), South East Asia Region (SEAR), and Western Pacific Region (WPR). These six regional hubs are connected by a global governance hub which includes the IWG Board and the IWG Executive Committee. Further, we have various thematic and organisational working groups that run within and across regions relevant to global and local health systems strengthening.
March 2020 | A few students at JHSPH get together to present an idea at a Pitch-It Competition
March, 2020 | The idea gets chosen as the best pitch of the competition
May, 2020 | Connections are made at 5 other institutions in each of the 6 WHO regions
June, 2020 | Students from each of these regions come together for the first IWG meeting
July 2020 | The IWG’s core vision, mision, values, and goals are co-developed
Present | The IWG continues the magic of our mission
Learn More about Us
For more information about the IWG, explore the IWG Information Guide linked here.