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Global Health Foresighting Research Assistant, RAY

Global Health Foresighting Research Assistant, RAY


Published on September 5, 2018

Research at York (RAY)
Project Title: Scoping study on the application of impact bonds for global health

Nature of the research project: In this RAY project, an undergraduate student will support the Director of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research (DIGHR), Professor James Orbinski, as well as the DIGHR Fellow in Global Health Foresighting, Dr. Aria Ilyad Ahmad, in conducting a literature review and case study analysis on the application of impact bonds for global health including exploring innovative financing mechanisms, particularly impact bonds, with the goal of advancing global health objectives. The literature review will examine the concept of impact bonds, map its different forms (including social bonds, development impact bonds, and humanitarian impact bonds), and identity metrics and analytics for evaluating their impact. The literature review of both published and grey literature will also examine relevant knowledge gaps and research priorities, including prior experiences, current programs and future directions of applying impact bonds to addressing global health challenges. This activity will be linked to a case study analysis, whereby the student will catalogue precedent examples of impact bond projects that have been issued globally over the last ten years. The case study analysis will include developing a database of impact bond projects (spreadsheet), drafting summaries of the projects, and identifying key findings and lessons learned in the form of a presentation (either Powerpoint or Prezi). The outputs from this project will be valuable in supporting the DIGHR in defining and accelerating innovative financing mechanisms to advance important global health goals, while leveraging the world-leading expertise at the DIGHR and across York University in multiple domains (including health, engineering, environmental studies, business, and law, among others).

Specific research activities the student(s) be engaged in:

  • Performing a literature search or bibliographical compilation
  • Undertaking a case study analysis, including lessons learned
  • Preparing draft presentations, slides and annotated bibliographies
  • Developing compelling research questions and proposals

Type of research experience the student(s) will receive:

  • Literature review and gap analysis
  • Case study analysis
  • Annotated bibliographies and presentations
  • Articulating research questions and proposals

Type of training and support provided to the student(s) in carrying out the research activities:

  • Methodological training on systematic review
  • Subject matter training in global health financing
  • Day-to-day supervision by DIGHR Fellow in Global Health Foresighting, Dr. Aria Ilyad Ahmad
  • Regular status meetings with DIGHR Director, Professor James Orbinski

Supervisors: Dr. James Orbinski & Dr. Aria Ilyad Ahmad


  • Current undergraduate York student (we encourage applicants from diverse programs of study)
  • Demonstrated interest in global health (an interest in development and finance would also be an asset)
  • Experience working with people from a variety of backgrounds/cultures
  • Excellent communication skills: professional email/phone correspondence, public speaking and presentation proficiency
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and familiarity with conducting literature reviews
  • Excellent computer skills (word processing, email, database management, spreadsheets)
  • Demonstrates an eagerness to learn and take on initiative
  • Demonstrates organizational and time management skills
  • Ability and willingness to work both independently and as part of a team with researchers, students, and staff

Position Start Date: September 5, 2018
Approximate Hours Per Week: 10
Job Type: Part-time
Salary Level: $16/hour

Application Deadline: Sep 24, 2018



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