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COURSE: Systems thinking in public health - Starting February 15, 2016


Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. We are a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future. After a successful first five-year phase from 2006-2011 (see our success stories), we are entering a new six-year phase of research, funded mainly by UK aid.

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COURSE: Systems thinking in public health - Starting February 15, 2016

Future Health Systems

Announcing a new Coursera course on Systems thinking in public health, starting Monday February 15th, 2016.

Background: Problems in public health and health policy are often complex. Solutions are hard to sustain. Systems thinking is a core skill in public health that helps health policymakers build programs and policies that are aware of complexity and prepared for unintended consequences. An important part of systems thinking is the practice of integrating multiple perspectives into a framework or model that can describe and communicate the various ways in which a system might react to policy change. Sharing a broad understanding of problems and policies helps draw in the wisdom of all stakeholders in an ongoing cycle of error detection and correction. This course provides an introduction to systems thinking and systems models in public health. The emphasis is on learning by doing: making diagrams of complex systems, sharing systems diagrams with stakeholder groups, and using simulation software to deepen understanding of systems.

Who should enroll: All individuals (health system managers, policy-makers, students) interested in learning and applying systems thinking methods to their work.

How to enroll: Pre-enroll now by visiting The first cohort of the course will begin on 2/15, and a new cohort will commence on the third Monday of every month.

Contact: For more information, please contact the Johns Hopkins University course instructors – David Bishai and Ligia Paina.

Acknowledgements: This work was coordinated by the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the World Health Organization, with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. Additional support was provided by the Department for International Development (DFID) through a grant (PO5467) to Future Health Systems research consortium.