Analysing Disrupted Health Systems in Countries in Crisis (ADHS)


Program Description

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 organizations 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 organized jointly with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Save the Children and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Location and dates

Amsterdam, the Netherlands: 19-30 August 2019

Course fee: 1960 Euro
Early Bird fee: 1660 Euro (if paid before 1 May 2019)


Participants will be equipped to analyze 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 labeled ‘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 analyzing 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 analyzing 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 the 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 organized 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 the crisis
  • ability to complete 28 hours of pre-course assignment
  • proven proficiency in English

Scholarship opportunities

  • Please note that for this course there are scholarships available from the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) for health professionals from 52 countries.
    First apply for academic admission: by February 2019
    OKP registration: February-March 2019

Last updated Mar 2019

About the School

KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) equips health professionals to address public health challenges around the world. We offer master programs and advanced courses at our training facilities in Amsterdam ... Read More

KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) equips health professionals to address public health challenges around the world. We offer master programs and advanced courses at our training facilities in Amsterdam and through e-learning. Read less