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Mark Lawrence Santiago

  • Alumni
  • Scholar 2009
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Post-Doctoral Fellow
Fondation Brocher
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Having grown up in the Philippines with a father who labored in the deserts of the Middle East as an overseas contract worker, Lawrence considers himself a child and a student of global migration. His research addresses an urgent social and economic phenomenon in the Philippines today – the large scale migration of its health care work force seeking better employment opportunities in more developed economies such as Canada.

As this research will study the tremendous social implications of such migrations for the Philippines, it likewise promises to review the other side of the migration, in Canada. On the Canadian side, issues include the promotion and preservation of Canadian values – global development, human rights and justice for its Filipino nurse migrants and their families – as well as equity for Canadian society and its citizens.  In the end, he is hoping that his research can contribute to the formulation of improved education, health, labor and migration policies both in Canada and in the Philippines, and can incite the two countries to become global models for the ethical and sustainable recruitment of health workers.

A visually disabled and first generation university graduate from his family, Lawrence previously studied Philosophy at the National University of Singapore, where he received a Research Scholarship and at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he graduated as Class Valedictorian.

On December 2013, he will be defending his PhD thesis, Spaces of Expertise and Geographies of Ethics: Health Worker Recruitment and Migration from the Philippines to Canada. Apart from the Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, Lawrence’s work was supported by a Cordula and Gunter Paetzold Fellowship, a UBC Graduate Entrance Scholarship and Four Year Doctoral Scholarship,  a Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) and Metropolis BC Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Diversity Research Fellowship among others. He is a co-Investigator of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded project, “Source" Country Perspectives on the Migration of Highly Trained Health Personnel: Causes, Consequences and Responses.”

From January 2014, he will continue this work as he pursues a trans-continental post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Geography and the Department of Global Health at the School of Medicine and School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle and the Institute of Biomedical Ethics at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva while based as a Resident Fellow at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland to begin the research process for a post-doctoral research project.

For his post-doc, Lawrence will analyze the global health equity impacts of international instruments such as the World Health Organization’s Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel in two of the world’s largest health worker migrant sending developing countries: India and the Philippines. While in Geneva, he will publish three articles based on his doctoral work and outline his first book project, Spaces of Expertise: Globalizing Health, Governing Migration – a historical, ethno-geographical and post-colonial critique of the institutions, ethics and epistemologies that shape contemporary global health and global migration policies.