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Institut für Public Health

Health Systems Strengthening in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

July 16 - July 20, 2018 (application starting August 15, 2017)


Tuition Fees: General Admission €750; tropEd €500

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This course equals 60 hrs of student investment time (19.5 hrs of lectures, 12 hrs of tutored group work and assessed presentations, 26.5 hrs of self-study time). It is open to tropEd students, graduate students enrolled in global health programs, as well as health practitioners in LMICs (e.g. Ministry of Health staff, health facility managers, national disease program managers, provincial/district health authorities), and technical/operational staff of international organizations based in LMICs (e.g. WHO, UNICEF, NGOs). Full time attendance required. 


tropEd students can earn 2 ECTS points.



Entry Requirements

"Health Systems Strengthening in Low- and Middle-Income Countries" is held in English. Course participants should have excellent command/high level of proficiency in reading, writing and speaking English.

Content Overview

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.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Clarify 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.
  • Understand operational aspects of HSS, including diagnosing the gaps in health systems performance, designing high-impact interventions and measuring performance of health systems strengthening programs.
  • Gain knowledge on the global health landscape relevant to HSS, including global health funding architecture, partnership mechanisms and technical support mechanisms

Teaching Methods

Active participatory learning process by using a mixture of interactive lectures/discussions, case study reviews, group work and presentations.


  • 60% individual written assignment
  • Essay: critical synthesis of retrieved information (1500-2000 words) on selected topics.
  • 40% oral presentation based on group work

Course Fee

  • 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.




Contact Registration

Anchal Sharma, MSc.

Assistant Short Courses Coordinator

Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg

Im Neuenheimer Feld 365, D-69120 Heidelberg

Fon: + 49 - (0) 62 21 - 56 43 12 

Fax: + 49 - (0) 62 21 - 56 49 18




Short Course Programme Coordinator

Nandita Rothermund-Bucher, M.A.

Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg

Im Neuenheimer Feld 365, D-69120 Heidelberg

Fon: + 49 - (0) 62 21 - 56 46 48 

Fax: + 49 - (0) 62 21 - 56 49 18




Course Coordinator

Dr. Revati Phalkey

Assistant Professor in Public Health

Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg



Teaching Coordinator/
tropEd Coordinator

Dr. Pauline Grys

Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg

Fon: + 49 - (0) 62 21 - 56 50 48


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Course Coordinator

Dr. Revati Phalkey, Assistant Professor in Public Health

Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg University