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Health Systems Strengthening and Global Governance

hand stacking wooden blocks with various healtchare related symbols on themHealth Systems Strengthening and Global Governance | June 13-17, 2022

Logo for University of Ottawa Faculty of MedicineCOURSE FORMAT

Online only. Course will be live approximately 8:00am-1:30pm (Montreal time), with break, each day June 13-17, 2022. Live content will be recorded. Asynchronous content will be included as part of the self-directed learning for some of the sessions and will be discussed in the course.

This course is offered with the University of Ottawa.


This course provides an overview of a systems for health approach to understanding global health inequity. A conceptual framework that integrates the health systems building blocks with the interaction of social determinants of health and policies in other sectors form the basis of this course. Interactive sessions with a variety of global experts, presentations by students (if possible), brief assignments and a final presentation/written exercise utilizing the framework will be given.


Janet Hatcher Roberts
Adjunct Professor, University of Ottawa, School of Epidemiology and Public Health
Co-Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation and Health Technology Assessment for Health Equity


Orvill Adams - Adjunct Professor, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa
Alison Krentel - Assistant Professor, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa; Scientist, Bruyère Research Institute
Innocent Ntaganira - Former WHO representative to the African Union; Senior Fellow, WHO Collaborating Centre for Knowledge Translation, Technology Assessment for Health Equity
Alison Riddle - School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa
Kiran Saluja - Research Associate Bruyère Research Institute
Don de Savigny - Professor Emeritus, Health Systems and Policy Research; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel
Ron St John - Former Head of Emergency Preparedness at PHAC; Former Head of Emergency Preparedness at PAHO; Infectious Disease Specialist
Carol Vlassoff- Adjunct Professor, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa
Vivian Welch - Editor-in-Chief, Campbell Collaboration; Investigator, Bruyère Research Institute; Associate Professor, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa

Faculty are still being confirmed and there may be changes to the above list.


Over the past 20 years we have seen that having a strong health system is critical to realizing the improvements needed in health and health equity throughout the world. The sustainable development goals (SDGs) have also caused us to reflect on the positioning of health and health care within an intersectoral and intersectional vision of progress toward improved health and well-being. Now, more than ever, we see the impact of the global COVID pandemic not just in terms of health, but the impact, interaction and competing priorities of the related economic turn, governance, human resources, poverty, housing, gender and education which are already critically inequitable globally. Understanding and being able to incorporate a “lens” that examines and critically appraises a systems for health approach is essential for those working in the healthcare field, or in other policy domains, research or academia to support the move forward to better health and well-being of those who live and should flourish on this planet.

This course builds the participant’s ability to understand health systems. The course utilizes problem-based learning, case studies, comparative analysis, and practice exercises to engage learners in following topics:

  1. Introduction to health systems and unpacking perspectives
  2. Burden of disease and context of equity
  3. Equity, gender and global health challenges
  4. Political leadership for health systems strengthening
  5. Global governance and COVID-19
  6. Healthcare financing from a global perspective
  7. Health systems perspective on infectious diseases in developing countries and resource poor settings


  • Understand and apply a health systems framework in a global health context
  • Understand integrative and interdisciplinary approaches to service delivery, programs/interventions and policy development
  • Understand approaches for assessing progress in improving global health
  • Understand key concepts of equity, gender and human rights and the interrelationships with vulnerable populations
  • Understand the principles and opportunities for global health research


This course is intended for global health practitioners, researchers, and policy/decision makers to be able to integrate a systems for health and equity lens into their everyday work and activities. It is not critical for participants to come from a public health/healthcare background, but it does provide a foundational base to understanding some of the issues taught in the course. 




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