A Proposal to Develop the Ethiopia-Michigan Platform for Advancing Collaborative Engagement (EM-PACE)

Countries in the Global South face urgent, interrelated problems that warrant sustainable solutions. While universities are often equipped to prepare students to address these problems, models for effective global partnerships that are truly collaborative, sustainable, and based on mutual benefit are rare.  The goal of this proposal is to capitalize on a unique relationship with the government of Ethiopia to develop a new transformative platform for collaboration with a 5-year plan that will address some of the most pressing problems that have been identified by country leadership.  Specifically, innovative structures, practices, and protocols for collaboration will be developed that also benefit U-M through three interdisciplinary workgroups to tackle complex challenges associated with health, the environment (e.g. clean water), and the provision of science-focused higher education that could then be extended into other topic areas.  A deliberate focus on the “science of collaboration” will advance a U-M model to serve as an exemplar for others seeking to benefit from solutions to problems in society that can be addressed by an academic community.

The three primary aims are as follows: Aim 1 is to codify the elements of collaboration that set U-M apart with regard to working collectively on complex problems in low-resource settings (i.e. the ‘Michigan Difference’ in global collaboration).  Aim 2 is to establish mechanisms for setting a common agenda among stakeholders in Ethiopia and U-M and identify priority areas with pilot projects that build on existing health-related initiatives to include initiatives pertaining to the environment and science education. Aim 3 is to develop a 5-year strategic plan for EM-PACE that strengthens collaborations, develops new interdisciplinary partnerships, and establishes the value proposition to Ethiopia and to the U-M for a new collaborative structure that sets a new standard by which the relevancy of universities in addressing pressing problems in society can be demonstrated.

Project Team:

Joseph Kolars, Medical School
Lori Isom, Medical School
Nancy Love, College of Engineering
Prashant Yadav, Ross School of Business and School of Public Health
Senait Fisseha, Medical School
John Godfrey, Rackham Graduate School
G. Allen Burton, School of Natural Resources and the Environment and College of Literature, Science and the Arts
Kathleen Sienko, College of Engineering