Analysing disrupted health systems

Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)

Program Description

Analysing disrupted health systems

Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)

If you are a health professional working in or with countries in crisis, working as health personnel in government institutions, NGOs, UN agencies and humanitarian organisations or as an independent consultant, then this course is intended for you.

This 10-day residential training programme for health professionals focuses on the analysis of health systems in countries affected by, or recovering from, protracted crisis. It is organised jointly with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Save the Children and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Location and dates

Ethiopia, 28 November-09 December 2016 Amsterdam, the Netherlands: 14-25 August 2017


Participants will be equipped to analyse disrupted health systems in complex emergencies, discuss humanitarian aid and politics, human rights policies, and strategies and plans of key actors.

Protracted crises, mainly those labelled ‘complex emergencies’, have a severe impact on health systems and all their constituent parts such as policy development, planning, human resources, financing, management, infrastructure and support systems.

Unreliable and incomplete information hampers sound decision making, while fast evolving conditions increase uncertainty. Health professionals often have limited experience analysing the major features and distortions of disrupted health systems. Learning from the successes and failures in health sectors of countries facing similar crises can be difficult because lessons that could be relevant are not always well-documented. This course focuses on analysing disrupted health systems, reviewing their main components, identifying key weaknesses, and discussing policy and strategy options that have been effective in relevant contexts. Group work exercises around country case studies help participants to apply concepts and approaches to realistic situations.


At the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • use adequate frameworks and approaches for health system analysis in crisis countries and apply the relevant lessons to local contexts
  • assess disrupted health systems’ structure and identify key weaknesses and distortions
  • identify health system adaptations during crises and formulate measures to develop effective strategies and plans
  • present findings of health systems analysis

Course Content

The following subjects are reviewed during the course:

  • Complex emergencies: trends, challenges and impact
  • Humanitarian aid and its politics
  • Data and information challenges in crises
  • Challenges of complex emergencies to health systems
  • Health policies, strategies and plans
  • Key components of health systems in a crisis: health financing, the pharmaceutical sector, human resources, management systems etc
  • The recovery process of the health sector

Learning methods

This course is geared towards adult learning and uses participatory approaches as much as possible. A variety of methodologies are used including lectures, discussion, group work, case studies and exercises. Participants will be given reading material in advance and will be required to complete 28 hours of preparatory work. Participants will also be able to discuss topics raised in the daily sessions during optional evening forums. Participants will conduct an in-depth analysis of the health sector in a specific conflict affected country through the study of selected, context specific documents before the course, group work during the course, and a presentation of main findings to colleagues and trainers at the end of the course.


For participants who wish to be examined a paper or exam can be provided. TropEd students are required to take an exam at the end of the course.


This course is accredited by tropEd. It can be taken as an advanced module for the Master in International Health programme organised by tropEd, a network of European institutions for higher education in international health.

Admission criteria

  • a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in medicine, public health, social sciences or related disciplines
  • at least 5 years of work experience in humanitarian action or health systems development, preferably in contexts affected by crisis
  • ability to complete 28 hours of pre-course assignment
  • proven proficiency in English
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 5, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Nov. 28, 2016
Aug. 2017
2 weeks
Full time
1,810 EUR
Request Info
2 months before start of the course
Start date Nov. 28, 2016
Application deadline Request Info
2 months before start of the course
End date Dec. 9, 2016
Duration 2 weeks
Price 1,810 EUR
Start date Aug. 2017
Netherlands Amsterdam
Application deadline June 14, 2017
End date Aug. 25, 2017
Duration 2 weeks
Price 1,810 EUR