Fostering global health policy leadership through World Health Assembly simulations: Debating climate change and health

Myron Anthony Godinho, Shruti Murthy, Ciraj Ali Mohammed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The South Asian region is predicted to be among the most severely affected by the health impacts of climate change and warrants regional health policy leadership to tackle the same. Model World Health Organization (WHO) simulations offer the academic opportunity to build this leadership. This study describes the conceptualization and conduct of the 'Manipal Model World Health Organization' 2018 debate simulation, where a multi-professional group of students at an Indian university deliberated approaches to address the regional health impacts of climate change in South Asia. We contextualized the Model WHO debate model for a multi-professional classroom. Multi-sectoral stakeholders were engaged to draw participants from health and non-health disciplines. Participants were trained in health research literacy, policy politics, bloc politics, writing and public speaking for Model WHO. Mock sessions provided training in navigating parliamentary procedures. The debate event consisted of 22 participants and a four-member panel from diverse academic disciplines who independently assessed the deliberations. All delegations demonstrated competent written and verbal contributions. Content analysis of resolutions reaffirmed international agreements and addressed the Climate Change Health Risk Framework, and objectives of the WHO Secretariat Action Plan. Besides presenting a stratified typology of academic health policy debate simulations in global, regional, and subnational contexts, we also propose a 'theory of change', illustrating how academic policy discourse platforms can nurture critical thinking, research/policy literacy and leadership skills. Such initiatives help build the health policy leadership required for addressing global health challenges such as climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-740
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-06-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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