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Health Systems Strengthening in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Univ. Heidelberg
Training date
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The catalytic role of health systems strengthening (HSS) for improving population’s health and protecting against health-related financial risks in low/middle-income countries (LMICs) is well documented. During the last few decades international donor and technical agencies intermittently used the disease-specific (“vertical”) and system-specific (“horizontal”) strategies for providing health support to LMICs. While the epidemiologic impact of the former has been impressive, sustaining results, due to poorly performing health systems, has been a challenge. The integrated approach has recently emerged as a more effective strategy, where investments in disease-control programs and HSS complement each other. The ‘diagonal’ approach, which implies designing system-related solutions to address disease-related challenges, has been embedded in the global Sustainable Development Goals framework (SDGs 2016-2030), which places increased emphasis on achieving universal health coverage through improved performance of countries’ health systems.

This course aims to provide students with the necessary tools to develop and to successfully implement HSS interventions in LMICs in order to maximize impact of national disease-control programs, such as HIV, TB, malaria and maternal & child health.

Content Overview

  • Overview of health systems and health systems strengthening in LMICs
  • Comparative health systems and reforms in LMICs
  • Diagnosing gaps in health systems performance
  • National health strategy as the entry point for health systems strengthening programs
  • How does the health system deliver healthcare? Understanding the supply factors that are necessary for healthcare delivery
  • Resources for an effectively performing health system: Human resources, money, data
  • How does health systems strengthening maximize the impact of national disease programs?
  • Creating enabling partnership environments for health systems strengthening at the national and global levels
  • Health systems strengthening in challenging operating environments
  • Monitoring and evaluation of HSS programs

Learning Objectives

This course aims to provide students with the necessary tools to develop and to successfully implement Health systems strengthening (HSS) interventions in low/middle-income countries (LMICs), in order to maximize impact of national disease-control programs. At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Critically discuss theoretical and practical aspects of HSS in the context of LMICs, including multiple conceptual frameworks, strategic approaches to HSS, and political and economic aspects that determine health policy choices
  • Apply operational aspects of HSS, including diagnosing the gaps in health systems performance, designing high-impact interventions and measuring performance of health systems strengthening programs
  • Examine the global health landscape relevant to HSS, including global health funding architecture, partnership mechanisms and technical support mechanisms

Fee information

General Admittance: € 750.- tropEd students: € 500.- Included in the course fee is a non-refundable registration fee of € 200.- Please register as soon as possible as the number of participants is limited. Unfortunately, no Scholarships are available. If the participant withdraws from the course less than 6 weeks prior: 25 % of the course fee will be charged. less than 4 weeks prior: 50 % of the course fee will be charged. less than 2 weeks prior: the whole course fee will be charged. The tuition fee does not include accommodation, insurance or other personal living costs during the stay.

How to Register

To register please follow the link to our online registration: