The primary purpose of this intensive executive short course, based on the book published by Professor Blanchet, Applied Systems Thinking for Health Systems Research, is to familiarize participants with a health systems approach to healthcare for communities in low and middle countries affected by humanitarian crises through practical, interactive examples and case studies, and taught by experts with humanitarian expertise 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.

Find out more information in this “Course-at-a-glance” document.

Objectives of the course:

At the end of the course, you 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 its 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



Around 20-25 hours of work each week, including:
• Asynchronous self-study activities (such as case studies, videos, recorded slideshows, readings, etc.)
• Synchronous live sessions (mandatory sessions, usually in the early afternoon CET).


Structure of the course

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.


  • 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.


  • Prof Karl Blanchet Prof Karl Blanchet Designation: Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva // Director of the Centre

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)
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Work certificate or official document of your current job position
  • Proof of English language competence (TOEIC/TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent); see details here
  • Scanned copy of passport.


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



“Completing this Executive Short Course in Health Systems Assessment has given me valuable tools to perform health systems assessment in challenging settings, including a good introduction to systems theory. I can recommend this course if you need tools that guide you to analyse the whole picture, which can help you improve health systems in regions and countries across the globe.”

Lene Lundberg, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Centre for E-health Research, 2021 course participant.

  • Health Systems Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesDates 19 - 30 June 2023
  • Health Systems Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesDuration Two weeks
  • Health Systems Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesLocation Online
  • Health Systems Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesLanguage English
  • Health Systems Assessment in Humanitarian CrisesCREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1'700
  • Application Deadline 28 May 2023