Ethical, Social, and Cultural Programs

The transition from “labs to villages” of life-saving health innovations may be delayed or even prevented if the many ethical, social, and cultural (ESC) issues that arise along the “critical path” from discovery to development to delivery and adoption are not addressed.

The ESC Program works with global health organizations and other partners to anticipate and proactively address major ESC issues, opportunities, and challenges associated with global health and development initiatives. These include, but are not limited to, those that arise in: collecting, using and sharing data and/or biospecimens; engaging with stakeholders and communities; planning and conducting trials; rolling-out potentially disruptive public health interventions; and, partnering (e.g., research consortia, PDPs) for development and delivery of new interventions.

The ESC Program team consists of scholars from Canada, India, South Africa, and the US, who specialize in bioethics, biomedical science, medicine, public health, health policy, philosophy, and law. The team engages in research and analysis of, and devise customized solutions for, a broad range of complex ESC challenges in global health and development. ESC Program outputs and services include: advisory/consultation services; presentations; discussion papers for internal use by clients and/or partners; papers for peer-reviewed publication; and/or direct collaboration with investigators to develop new approaches to address ESC challenges.

**IMPORTANT NOTICE: In April 2014, the Ethical, Social, and Cultural Program moved to St. Michael’s Hospital, for more information please contact Meagan Fowlow: kfowlowm at

Learn more about the Program in this PLOS publication, and read about some past projects below:

PROJECT WORK: Featured Global Health Research

Community EngagementVaccine AdoptionAddressing ESC Issues


Southern Vaccine
Advocacy Challenge
ESC2Program for the Water
Efficient Maize for Africa
(WEMA) Project
                    SVAC - 200  WEMA 200