Lisa Forman

Lisa Forman recognized with Connaught Global Challenge Award

International human rights scholar Lisa Forman has received a Connaught Global Challenge Award for her project Advancing Rights-based Access to COVID Vaccines as part of Universal Health Coverage.

Forman is one of four researchers receiving the award for collaborations involving leading University of Toronto researchers and students from multiple disciplines, along with innovators and thought leaders from other sectors.

An associate professor at U of T's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Forman says disparities in access to COVID-19 vaccines in low and middle-income countries are emerging as the pandemic’s biggest human rights and equity challenge.

Through the Connaught Global Research Impact Program (C-GRIP), which provides additional funding for Global Challenge teams who partner internationally, Forman will bring together a leading group of international human rights law and global health policy experts to advance an interdisciplinary and innovative human rights research program on COVID-19 vaccines as a central element of universal health coverage. 

“The objective is to develop strategies for civil society and policy-makers to help alleviate these disparities,” Forman says. “It’s tremendously unjust that so many low and middle-income countries have so little access to the vaccines which are transforming COVID elsewhere. And it’s simply poor global health practice for there to be such disparate access to vaccines when it comes to a global pandemic.” 

The program, which will create unique training opportunities for U of T students, will be housed at the Dalla Lana School in partnership with U of T's Faculty of Law, Warwick University Faculty of Law in the United Kingdom, the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development in Uganda, and in collaboration with the Global Health Law Consortium in Canada.