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Education Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 603270, 7 pages
Review Article

Evidence of Reciprocity in Reports on International Partnerships

1Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 699 Riley Hospital Drive, RR 208, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
2Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1050 Wishard Boulevard RG 5120, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

Received 19 November 2011; Revised 29 January 2012; Accepted 29 January 2012

Academic Editor: Eric Z. F. Liu

Copyright © 2012 Rachel A. Umoren et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The increase in global health opportunities in medical education has been accompanied by calls for ethical and reciprocal institutional partnerships. The Working Group on Ethics Guidelines in Global Health Training (WEIGHT) guidelines were developed in 2010 and are widely accepted by the global health community. We reviewed 43 articles on international partnerships from 1970 to 2010 for eight principles of reciprocity derived from the WEIGHT guidelines. The results showed that, while few articles reflected all principles, there was a trend to increasing consideration of the international partner’s local needs, pre-departure cultural training, and collaborative authorship. However, learner supervision and consideration of local cost/benefit ratios decreased over the same time period. Partnerships with only one international partner or with institutional partners in Africa had lower reciprocity scores than those with two or more partners and institutional partners in Asia and South America. We recommend that a new focus on ethics in global health partnerships leads to the inclusion of the principles of reciprocity in model program descriptions in order to enable and encourage ethical, sustainable, and mutually beneficial institutional partnerships.