Accueil > Health systems assessment and humanitarian health interventions

OASP 2075 - Health systems assessment and humanitarian health interventions

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Neither medical nor pharmaceutical pre-requisites. A good understanding of English is required. Internet search as well as MSWord and Excel will be extensively used.

Course Description

A health system is there prior to a humanitarian crisis (natural disaster or armed conflict), during a crisis and continues after a crisis. Much of the internationally-accepted humanitarian guidance highlights the need for responses to humanitarian crises to build on local capacity and work with government and local authorities. There has also been increasing thought that humanitarian crises provide an opportunity to strengthening health systems so that they are stronger following a crisis. However, what is a health system ? And what is not a health system ? How to assess it ? And how humanitarian crises affect local health systems? Through the analysis of current evidence and concrete case studies, the course participants will develop a humanitarian intervention adapted to respond to an emergency crisis. The primary purpose of this course is to familiarise participants with a health systems approach to humanitarian crises, through using practical interactive examples and case studies. Learning objectives : To review the various concepts related to health systems and the six building blocks of the WHO framework. To review existing evidence on humanitarian interventions. To understand the guideline on health systems assessment. To explore the main characteristics of humanitarian interventions in low income countries (facility-based, outreach, community based activities, horizontal versus vertical). To understand the main health systems-related challenges of international health in various areas: financing, human resources, health information system, governance, service delivery, and technology. To determine the need for and how to set up a humanitarian programme based on the analysis of the capacities of a local eye health system.


BLANCHET, Karl (Lecturer)

Pedagogical format

The course will be organized by health systems building block. The main concepts and examples will be presented during lectures and will be followed by group work (analysis of a concrete case study).

Course validation

The participation of the students to the case studies will be evaluated, as well as their overall involvement in the seminar. Each small group will need to produce at the end of the seminar a paper (25 pages) as well as a power point presentation, which will describe the recommended humanitarian intervention.


The course will require extensive reading of scientific articles as well as policy papers.

Required reading

  • Palmer Natasha, Sondorp Egbert, Ter Veen AnneMarie, 2012, Conflict and Health, Open University Press
  • Don de Savigny, Adam Taghreed, Systems thinking, WHO:
  • Karl Blanchet, Boris Martin, 2011, Many Reasons to Intervene French and British Approaches to Humanitarian Action, Oxford University Press