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The Aristotelian model of friendship and the IU-Kenya Partnership

David Nderitu, Eunice Kamaara

DOI: 10.20529/ IJME.2020.001


Disparity in economic development between high-income countries (HICs) and low- and medium-income countries (LMICs) has necessitated collaborations, some in health-related activities. Globalisation frameworks indicate that, in fair collaborations, the ultimate aim should be to improve the situation in LMICs. In this paper we present the findings of a research study in which we used Aristotle’s concept of friendship among unequal parties as an analytic framework to engage with the issue of inequality in an existing international partnership in health, the Indiana University–Kenya Partnership (IU-Kenya Partnership). This is a collaborative health programme involving a consortium of North American universities and schools of the Moi University College of Health Sciences in Kenya. We carried out in-depth oral interviews and focus group discussions with a sample of 41 partners of various IU–Kenya Partnership programmes. We did a comparison of obtained themes to the Aristotelian pointers of aspects of friendship among unequal parties. We eventually identified good and bad aspects of North–South partnerships as perceived in the IU–Kenya Partnership restricted to the Aristotelian model. Key terms: health research collaborations, HICs-LMICs Partnerships, IU–Kenya Partnership, inequality, good and bad partnership, Aristotelian model.

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