Remembering Corlien Varkevisser 1937 – 2017

back to list

Corlien joined KIT Royal Tropical Institute in 1968. She studied Sukuma childhood in Mwanza, Tanzania for her PhD as a sociologist, but felt sociological research could have more practical meaning for people on the ground working in health services. Exploring this concept in the 1980’s in Zimbabwe, her work culminated in two large volumes: “Health Systems Research.” These volumes were translated into different languages, saw 18 editions, and helped practical researchers, managers and health workers worldwide to design and execute research that mattered to them.

Corlien later became the Head of the International Course on Health Development/Master of Public Health at KIT, in which she tutored and guided countless students from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.

She also became a professor at the University of Amsterdam, including as the medical sociologist-anthropologist professor emeritus in Health System Research, University of Amsterdam. Even after her retirement in 2000 Corlien remained very active, and our thoughts and condolences are with her family, friends, and those whose lives she touched.