Health Systems Strengthening
Join our 3-week course and learn how to best seize local, national and international opportunities to strengthen health systems towards Universal Health Coverage.
Deadline: 1 november 2023
The need for managers of health programmes and (local) health systems, and policymakers capable to develop and strengthen their (local) health systems in an effective and comprehensive way remains huge. Shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic once again demonstrated the importance of strong and resilient health services and systems.
The aim of this 3-week course is to enable students to seize opportunities for health system strengthening – provided by national policies, specific disease-control programmes, interventions of international agencies or global health initiatives – in order to contribute to universal health coverage. Students will also be able to monitor and evaluate the process and results of health systems strengthening strategies.
We adopt WHO’s definition of a ‘health system’ as all organisations, people and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore or maintain health. We adopt the term health system strengthening (HSS), but we define this as to include health system development (HSD). In short, the term ‘HSS’ is used in the literature to indicate the contributions of external agencies, while HSD refers to domestic efforts to develop and improve health systems. Yet, the underlying principles and processes are quite similar given that both deal with the health system. We thus frame health system strengthening within system-wide reforms and policies at national and global level. We include perspectives from different disciplines such as health policy and systems research, change management, complexity and systems thinking, and political science.
The course draws on ITM’s comprehensive expertise and field experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of health systems strengthening strategies in a wide range of low- and middle-income resource settings. The input of ITM staff is complemented by the involvement of partners and alumni, who will present country-based case studies. Participants also benefit from the rich exchange of experience between professionals originating from different parts of the world – where possible, we will draw upon participants’ experience for discussions of specific country cases.
At the end of this course, the participant should be able to develop, implement and assess strategies for health system strengthening. More specifically, the participants should be able to:
- discuss different views on health system strengthening (HSS) presented in the literature and in policies of global health initiatives and international agencies, and frame these against health system development
- develop a critical assessment of health system strengthening strategies
- contribute to the development of context-specific health system strengthening strategies