The Conference: Student-Led Interventions

The New York University Abu Dhabi Public Health Think Tank is a collaborative, interdisciplinary and locally engaged initiative, designed to catalyze public health innovation in and beyond the United Arab Emirates.

At PHTT 2016, delegates will work in teams to devise interventions that aim to reduce the number of road traffic incidents in the UAE. Teams will be tasked with creating a public health intervention that they believe will contribute effectively towards reducing traffic incidents, ideally taking a holistic, feasible, economical, evidence-based, and locally oriented approach. Each team will be supported by a facilitator, and participants will partake in workshop and talks by leading public health experts prior to developing their interventions. The proposed intervention may take almost any form – perhaps a public health policy draft, a health education program, a computer program, or a public space. By the end of the two-day conference, each team must have devised an action plan for implementing their obesity intervention, and must be prepared to present their proposal to the delegation and panel of judges. The winning team will receive an award and may additionally have their proposal submitted to local public health authorities for official review.

Tackling this massive public health issue will be an inter-university endeavor. The conference targets students from all higher education institutions in the UAE and seeks to improve the local awareness of ways of reducing traffic incidents and the participants’ ability to generate ideas and critically reflect on public health issues. Each team will be comprised of 4-6 students from different universities with complementary academic backgrounds and skillsets. The conference relies on active brainstorming and proposal-driven preparation sessions, along with public health seminars, skill-building workshops, and presentations of each team’s proposal.

The 2016 Public Health Think Tank conference aims to increase public health awareness in the UAE and to unite local university students in solving a problem of great societal importance. This year’s conference is an expansion of successful conferences taking place in 2015 and 2014, and it aspires to become a lighthouse for public health innovation throughout the Gulf region.