Title: Health Policy and Financing (HP&F)
Keywords: Universal health coverage
Health systems
Health sector reform
Health economics
Health Policy
Country: Netherlands
Institution: The Netherlands - Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Amsterdam
Course coordinator: Eelco Jacobs
Date start: 2023-05-15
Date end: 2023-06-02
About duration and dates: 3 weeks.
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location: KIT Amsterdam (Royal Tropical Institute)
PO Box 95001, 1090 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-20-5688256
Website: www.kit.nl
tropEd representative: L. Gerstel (l.gerstel@kit.nl)
ECTS credit points: 4 ECTS credits
SIT: 112 Student Investment Hours
Contact hours: 42 hours (class sessions 34 hours; assisted tutorials 8 hours)
Self-study hours including assessment (writing policy paper): 70 hours

The COVID-19 situation might lead to some adaptations in the mode of delivery. Our website will present the latest relevant information on this.
Language: English
At the end of the module the participants should be able to:
● Discuss and apply a framework for policy analysis, considering effectiveness, equity and implementation challenges.
● Appraise alternative (and innovative) modes of financing health systems, including the role of external aid and donors.
● Analyse the key characteristics of health system decentralization in low and middle income countries - importance, diversity, trade-offs, context specificity; and propose broad strategies for making decentralization more effective.
● Examine and discuss the meaning and importance of citizen participation in relation to health systems, and particularly its role in accountability and governance.
● Analyse comparative advantages and disadvantages of public and private roles within health systems, across functions and institutions dealing with the various building blocks; and discuss in particular, the role of strategic purchasing and contracting.
Assessment Procedures:
Participants are required to write a policy brief (2500 words +/- 10%) critically discussing policy options towards UHC while strengthening health systems.

Participants who did not obtain the pass mark of 6/10 for the for the policy brief are allowed one re-sit. The resit entails revising the paper they handed in for the original assignment.
● Review of health systems and health reforms;
● Overview of key considerations and current issues in financing health systems;
● Alternative modes of financing based on World Health Report 2010 and 2013, and the latest insights on strategies towards UHC;
● Challenges around strategic purchasing, contracting and health insurance;
● Organization of aid, major developments in the area of international (development) finance, including those in the area of aid, debt (relief) and the financial sector;
● The economics behind aid, and the financial crisis, the linkages between these developments and health;
● World Trade Organization, intellectual property and Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS);
● Public and private roles: in provision of health services, in financing, and other functions across the building blocks of health systems;
● Health systems governance, including citizen participation and accountability;
● Characteristics and challenges around decentralization in the context of health systems;
● Policy analysis; process, contents, context, and stakeholders;
● Operationalising equity considerations across the policy cycle;
● Vertical vs horizontal programmes and integration of services;
● How to write a policy brief
Interactive lectures (20 hours), critical reading of scientific and policy papers (journal clubs) (3 hours), tutorial group sessions on writing the policy brief (8 hours), flipped classrooms (10), class presentations (1), and self-study time, including for the writing of the policy paper (70 hours).. These are integrated with and comprise virtual teaching methods, including the use of online canvasses (dynamic digital workspaces for visual collaboration), group work on practical case studies, virtual guest lectures, plenary discussion on policy issues and discussion through online platforms..

Note: The COVID-19 situation might lead to some adaptations in the mode of delivery. Our website will present the latest relevant information on this.
● Academic training or a professional qualification in a relevant area equivalent to Bachelors level
● At least 2 years professional experience in a related area including public health management and planning, in a low income country
● English level TOEFL 550 or IELTS 6.0 (academic version)
25 max. number of students; max. of 5 tropEd students
First come first serve
2.170 €
Scholarships can be obtained through the Orange Knowledge Programme. The number of scholarships vary per year.
Major changes since initial accreditation:
Slight change in focus of policy brief that has to be written for the assessment, including more background and clarification of the assignment’s objectives
Since a few years, there are three journal clubs that have replaced earlier class sessions. For selected topics, students are required to read through scientific articles that they need to analyse with the help of guiding questions (for structured reading, comprehension, and reflections on own country situation).
Contact hours have been slightly reduced, to give students more time for preparation of class sessions, and for reading for and writing of their assignment, while regular Q&A sessions have been scheduled to address challenges of students.
Student evaluation:
Over the years, students have consistently evaluated the content and the depth of the coverage of this content as being very good.

Many feel initially stressed about the complexity of the assignment. We have therefore provided more detail and structure to the assignment and included various Q&A sessions for students to guide them through the writing process. To compensate for this we have somewhat reduced the contact hours for regular sessions.

Areas of attention surfacing from student feedback pertaining to specific sessions or facilitators have been and are discussed with them for continuous improvement of the module.
Lessons learned: This advanced module brings together a large number of concepts from earlier modules, particularly the health systems and management module, the planning module, and the HRH module. Students appreciate the fact that the module starts with a quiz to recapture these key concepts.

At the start of the module, most students feel anxious about the policy brief assignment, that they consider complex at first sight. We have therefore provided somewhat more structure to the policy brief assignment itself and provided more detail in terms of the objectives of and expectations for the assignment. After the various class and Q&A sessions, most become more confident and are ultimately satisfied with the work they produce.

The same applies to the journal clubs: the articles – after their first reading – are considered difficult to read, but the guiding questions and the discussions during the tutorial sessions make the articles more transparent for them. In the past it was interesting to hear from students that they would have liked an introduction to the structure of the article before reading it, while this was exactly what we wanted them to learn from these journal clubs. This learning objective of the journal clubs has therefore been clarified better.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Madrid May 2004, re-accredited in October 2011 and February 2016. Re-accredited Feb GA 2021, valid until 2026.
Email Address: courses@kit.nl
Date Of Record Creation: 2011-11-15 05:48:56 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2011-11-15 07:24:34 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2021-03-18 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2023-01-04 10:37:17 (W3C-DTF)