Individual Managerial Briefing

Managerial Briefing on a Selected Global Health Need

Assignment 1 is designed to get you thinking about some key facts from a managerial perspective. You’ll synthesize research from online sources to develop a picture of a critical disease or healthcare need.

Why this Assignment?

As we consider a variety of health care enterprises in the weeks ahead, it will be useful to have some basic knowledge of relevant diseases and healthcare needs. In particular, understanding more about how the disease is detected and treated, the progression of the disease or condition, affected populations, and care requirements will equip us to assess the effectiveness of each enterprise with respect to the healthcare needs it addresses. In the class sessions to come, you'll draw on this work.

Your Task

Choose one disease or medical need, and develop a cogent briefing on the key facts that would be relevant to a manager, investor, or consultant working with a global health organization in that domain. Your briefing should fit onto two pages, so it will need to be high-level. Please use effective formatting to convey the key points, choosing a layout that maximizes the information content. Short paragraphs with informative headings are likely to be useful, and you may also use bullet points or some other method to communicate essential information cogently.

Choose from the following:

  • Malaria
  • Maternal and neonatal health
  • Eye disease
  • Primary care
  • Surgical services, including cardiac
  • Tuberculosis
  • Another disease or condition

What to Include in your Assignment?

Create a stand-alone word document to upload. Your briefing should include:

  • Your name.
  • A title that refers to the disease, condition, or care domain.
  • A one-sentence definition of the disease or condition.
  • How the disease is contracted and how it develops over time. Mention co-morbidities. Overview or map the main steps in the progression of the disease or condition.
  • Who is affected: numbers, proportion, and other demographic or market information?
  • Available treatment and prevention options. Mention the effects of not getting appropriate treatment.
  • Differences in incidence and care in across settings, including inequities.
  • What inputs are most needed to prevent, treat, or manage this disease or condition? Identify key requirements for a patient’s care, mentioning needed services, knowledge, medication, and supplies that are essential for reducing the negative impacts of this disease or condition.
  • To wrap up, highlight what you’ve gleaned about timing, costs, and complexity of care delivery.

List your sources: consult the This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.ASA style sheet (PDF) for formatting advice. Make sure to include urls that work (click on each to check, once you’ve pasted into your document).

Limit your entire document (excluding references) to two pages. Single-spaced text and narrow margins are fine.

Key Starting Points for your Research

The Disease Control Priorities Project is an ongoing effort to assess disease control priorities and produce evidence-based analysis and resource materials to inform health policymaking in developing countries.

The World Health Organization's Factsheets collection provides overviews of dozens of diseases. The WHO offers many other resources, of course, which you may find by exploring the website.

BIO Ventures for Global Health is a non-profit organization which aims to accelerate the development of novel drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics coming from the biotechnology industry that address the unmet medical needs of the developing world. Their Global Health Primer is designed to inform industry research and development to spur innovations that are desperately needed for neglected tropical diseases.

Kaiser Family Foundation's US Global Health Policy portal offers the latest data and information on the US role in global health along with useful background information and overviews.

The United States Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Global Affairs promotes the health and well-being of Americans and of the world's population by advancing global strategies and partnerships and working with US agencies in the coordination of global health policy. Look for links to non-communicable diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as maternal and child health.

The United Nations' starting point on global health provides a good introductory overview.

The United States Centers for Disease Control works with international organizations in more than 60 countries on a variety of focus areas; look for information on focal diseases and medical conditions via their programs and topics page

The SciDev.Net website is a good source for news related to science and development. Use the "Health" dropdown to research the latest news on specific disease areas.

Student Examples: Fall 2013

The following table contains examples of the managerial briefing assignment, courtesy of MIT students.