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Zoe Jordan, Alan Pearson

Healthcare, health research, and improved health outcomes are of international interest and efforts to achieve better health for the global community have been high on the agenda for some years. Calls to improve strategies for international linkages, particularly between developed and developing or low-income economies, are not new, but there is currently no model for how to effectively achieve this.

With the advent of faster international travel; more frequent, more advanced communications technology; and opportunities for the generation and sharing of knowledge, it is little wonder that those who work in the field of health research seek to collaborate both locally and with others around the world. International collaboration presents attractive and seductive opportunities for collegial interaction that have potential benefits for individuals and the broader community with regard to resolving global health issues.

Beyond the tangible benefits of knowledge sharing and capacity building are intangible issues surrounding opposing goals. Linguistically, and most commonly, collaboration is understood as being undertaken by two relatively equal partners who work together for mutual benefit. However, more often than not this is not the case.

Although there are no commonly accepted models for international collaboration, particularly within the field of health research, there are several principles that should be addressed. These include the meaning of the collaboration itself, the auspices under which collaboration is convened, the implications, complexity and discursive power constructs involved in the collaborative process, and the relationship between the organizations involved and their collective interests. This book examines these issues and is based on the work of Jordan (2011).