Challenges and Opportunities of US and Arab Collaborations in Health Services Research: A Case Study from Qatar

  •  Maya Hammoud    
  •  Maha Elnashar    
  •  Huda Abdelrahim    
  •  Amal Khidir    
  •  Heather Elliott    
  •  Amal Killawi    
  •  Aasim Padela    
  •  Abdul Latif Al Khal    
  •  Abdulbari Bener    
  •  Michael Fetters    


Economic globalization and advances in technology have made it more feasible and even necessary to develop international research collaborations in global public health. Historically, collaborations in global research described in the literature have been mostly “North-South” collaborations in which the more developed “North” country works together with a developing “South” country to conduct research in the latter. This type of collaboration has for the most part, represented unequal partnership and rarely left behind a lasting impact. Recently, the opportunity for a new kind of international research partnership has emerged in which the host country has significant financial resources, but relatively limited expertise in research methodology or techniques and research implementation.  This type of collaboration features a relative equalization of power between the international partners. The purpose of this paper is to describe the process of building a successful research collaboration between a team in the United States and a team in Qatar, a rich Arabic nation in Gulf. We present a case study that provides an overview of our own project focused on the development of a culturally and linguistically adapted health care quality instrument for Qatar, discussing many of the benefits and challenges we encountered during each phase of instrument development. We present recommendations for researchers seeking sustainable and equitable partnerships with the Arab World.

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