The SYSTAC Academy, a new platform within the SYSTAC European Hub for aspiring systems thinkers in global health

The SYSTAC Academy, a new platform within the SYSTAC European Hub for aspiring systems thinkers in global health

20/10/22
Blog

Are you intrigued by systems thinking, and would you like to know more about the overall approach, different methodologies, and tools? A group of global health researchers are building a new network for aspiring systems thinkers in global health.

We are a group of early-career global health researchers part of the SYSTAC European Hub who have just embarked on the systems thinking journey. By sharing ideas about how systems thinking would benefit our work, we started envisioning a space where global health researchers, policy-makers and practitioners new to systems thinking could connect, learn and exchange experiences on systems thinking. Fast forward a few emails, Zoom calls, a joint design workshop at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and the “Academy” was born.

The idea behind the Academy is to empower global health researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to learn about systems thinking approaches and methodologies to address global health complexities. We want to contribute to SYSTAC’s goal of promoting a mindset shift from understanding global health challenges as linear cause-and-effect relationships towards an increased acknowledgement of often unforeseeable system dynamics and interactions as their determinants.

The SYSTAC Academy team, with colleagues at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.

With the Academy, we aim to establish a peer support platform to facilitate collaboration and experiential learning of systems thinking methodologies. In addition, we want to create a network of senior systems thinking mentors offering guidance and support and sharing information about career advancement and coaching opportunities to promote the personal growth of fellow aspiring systems thinkers.

We will kick off the Academy’s activities by establishing a peer-to-peer mentoring programme to promote needs-based experiential learning of systems thinking approaches and methodologies among the members of the Academy. Meanwhile, we will explore the further learning needs of the Academy members and invite experienced systems thinkers for seminars and other hands-on learning opportunities.

The official launch of the Academy took place within SYSTAC’s informal networking event in early November 2022 in Bogotá at the seventh Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2022). To join the Academy, please email us at systac.academy@systac-europe.org, or you can sign up via the membership form.

The SYSTAC Academy Team

  • Sabine Margarete Damerow is a PhD student at the Bandim Health Project, the University of Southern Denmark. In her PhD project, Sabine assesses the real-life effects of a health system strengthening initiative for maternal and child health in Guinea-Bissau.
  • Claudia Truppa is a PhD student at the CRIMEDIM Center for Research and Training in Disaster Medicine, Humanitarian Aid and Global Health, University of Eastern Piedmont (Novara, Italy). Her research focuses on documenting operational strategies to strengthen health systems’ resilience in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
  • Amanda Quintana is a PhD student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Using a systems thinking approach, Amanda is looking at the implementation of climate adaptation policies for health in Western Cape Province, South Africa.
  • Abeer Ahmad is a research assistant and programme coordinator of the Peace and Development Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Her research lies between health policy, peacebuilding and development in fragile and conflict-affected settings, focusing on resilience and foreign aid allocation.
  • Katrine De Angeles is a PhD student in the Global and Sexual Health (GLoSH) research group at Karolinska University in Sweden. Using implementation science, Katrine explores policy implementation and mHealth to strengthen care engagement for programmes to prevent maternal HIV transmission in Kenya.

About SYSTAC

SYSTAC is a global community of practice for systems thinking science and practice in health policy and systems research supported and funded by the WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. The SYSTAC Academy is an open peer support platform embedded in the SYSTAC European Hub, a member-driven network aiming at supporting capacity building and collaborative and practical activities related to the promotion of systems thinking for health.