The primary purpose of this intensive 5-day course, based on the book published by Professor Blanchet Applied Systems Thinking for Health Systems Research is to familiarise participants with a health systems approach to health care for communities in low and middle countries affected by humanitarian crises, through using practical interactive examples and case studies, and taught by experts who come from or have lived and worked in low and middle income countries during or after humanitarian crises.

This is the only course specifically focused on health system assessment in humanitarian crises and built on the latest available evidence.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define concepts related to health systems and the six building blocks of the WHO framework.
  • Assess the main characteristics of humanitarian health interventions (facility-based, outreach, community-based activities, horizontal versus vertical) and relate to it health system challenges in various areas: financing, human resources, health information system, governance, service delivery, and technology.
  • Apply the health system assessment guideline tool in order to translate a local situation analysis into concrete humanitarian interventions.

A printable “course-at-a-glance” document with more detailed information about the course and its programme is available here.

  • Introduction to health systems, system thinking, the role of governance, and the Health Systems Assessment tool
  • Health service delivery and quality
  • Health workforce, health technologies, and health information systems
  • Health systems financing
  • Presentation of the Health System Assessment using a real-life case study



Around 50 hours of work for the whole course, including:

  • 30 hours of face-to-face teaching through a mixture of interactive lectures, case studies, discussions, and group and individual exercises.
  • 20 hours of self-study time including reading, writing and group interactions
  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies as well as reflect and capitalise on their experiences.
  • Professionals from other sectors who wish to increase their understanding of the humanitarian sector for a potential career change.
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a post-graduate course with a view to entering the humanitarian sector.

The course is specifically intended for policy makers, UN staff, NGO coordinators and health service managers working in low and middle-income countries affected by humanitarian crises or intending to work in this field in the near future.

  • Prof. Karl Blanchet Prof. Karl Blanchet Designation: Director & Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

Admission requirements:

  1. a university qualification (bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  2. at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  3. excellent command of English;
  4. motivation working in the humanitarian sector.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Scanned copy of passport
  • A passport photo (.jpg format).


More information about the admission process is available on our application page.



  • Health System Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesDates 21 - 25 June, 2021
  • Health System Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesDuration One week
  • Health System Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesLocation Geneva
  • Health System Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesLanguage English
  • Health System Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesCREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1'500
  • Application Deadline 2 weeks before the start of the course. For candidates who need a VISA: 6 weeks before the start of the course.