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Health Policy and Financing (HP&F)

Progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) requires equitable and effective health policies and financial arrangements. But how do these policies come about? And how can health financing work to improve public health? This course takes a critical perspective at current debates in health policy and financing with a specific focus on Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), rooted in a commitment to UHC.

3 weeks
Course Period
13/05/2024 until 31/05/2024
KIT Amsterdam


The course aims to offer participants a better understanding of health systems governance and policy processes, including the role of aid, economic interests and communities at global, central and local levels; health pooling and purchasing arrangements, including health insurance; benefit packages and the involvement of private providers. Participants will be equipped with the skills to write a policy brief on health financing options for UHC in low- and middle-income contexts as a final assignment.

This course is tropEd accredited and can be followed as a stand-alone course or as specialisation course of the Master in Public Health and Health Equity programme.

Learning methods

Interactive lectures, critical reading of scientific and policy papers (journal clubs), tutorial group sessions on writing a policy brief, flipped classrooms, class presentations and self-study time, including for the writing of the policy paper. 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.

As part of this course, students are required to critically read and discuss papers on specific health policy debates in low and middle income countries. Examples of such policy debates include:

  • feasibility of national insurance systems
  • the role of private sector and contracting arrangements and
  • the relationship between decentralisation and equity

Participants are required to write a policy brief, critically discussing policy options towards UHC while strengthening health systems.

More on our learning methods:


At the end of the course the participants will 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.

Course content

  • 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

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Admission criteria

  • Academic training or a professional qualification in a relevant field
  • Work experience in a related area, including experience in management or planning in developing countries
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Computer literacy is essential: we use a virtual learning platform and digital tools in our education and assignments

Application procedure

The application package is due two months before the start of the course.

Please upload your application online. The following documents should be uploaded:

  • A one-page letter of motivation
  • Copies of your diplomas and grade reports (academic transcripts)
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae and a list of publications if applicable

What we expect from your motivation letter:

Please indicate in your motivation letter why you want to follow this specific course, why you want to follow the course at KIT Amsterdam, what do you expect to learn and how you will apply your newly gained competencies from the course in your work, what kind of benefits will it bring to your future career, etc. Describe a relevant problem you have experienced in the last two years that you would like to discuss during this specific course. Your motivation should be about ½-1 page. Please do not repeat your CV again.

This course can be taken on its own, or as advanced module of the Master of Public Health (MPH)  or Master in International Health (MIH) programme.

FAQ Online Application System

Do you have a question about our Online Application System? Then you can find the answer in our FAQ Online Application System:

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Practical information


Classes are held at KIT’s training facilities in Amsterdam.


There is a severe shortage of student accommodation in Amsterdam and participants are advised to contact KIT for information. KIT will endeavour to assist participants in their search for housing.

Visa requirements

Citizens of most EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries do not need a visa to enter the Netherlands. Visit the Nuffic website for the latest information on visa requirements.

Participants from other countries must obtain a short-stay visa (for up to three months) through the Netherlands embassy or consulate covering the applicant’s country. Applicants will need a letter of admission to the course and proof of sponsorship or sufficient funds to cover the course fee, travel and accommodation costs. Applicants should take into account that in some countries this procedure can take several months.

European Credit

The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates the transfer of course credits between different institutions of the same academic level. A course comprising 28 hours of formal teaching and private study is equivalent to one EC credit point.

Insurance requirements

Course participants and accompanying dependents are required by Dutch law to have health, accident and third party insurance. Unless their current insurance policy covers their stay abroad, participants must insure themselves and their dependents in the Netherlands. Dutch insurance companies offer reasonable rates to foreign students. KIT can assist with arranging insurance.


This course is also accredited for the Master in International Health programme organised by tropEd, a network of European institutions for higher education in international health.

Health policy and financing module deeply taught me how I critically could analyse the currd on available evidences through writing a policy brief. Furthermore, the module was very helpful to understand different methods of financing of the health systems.
One of our former master students, Omidvari Abarghouei Amirhoushang Amirhoushang Omidvari from Iran Medical Doctor


The arrangement of financial support to cover all study costs is the responsibility of the applicant. KIT does not offer financial support or scholarships.

Scholarship information

Discounts and Fees

We offer a range of discounts for early bird applicants, alumni, tropEd students and groups. See below the discounts and fees for Health Policy and Financing (HP&F) course. See for more information about our discounts for groups and other short courses on our exclusive discount page.

Course fees 2024
Regular course fee€2.240,-Start date: 31/05/2024
Early bird fee€1.904,-Paid before: 13/02/2024
Alumni discount€1.792,-
tropEd fee€1.904,-
Course fees 2025
Regular course fee€1.980,-Start date: 12/05/2025
Early bird fee€1.584,-Paid before: 01/02/2025
Alumni discount€1.584,-
tropEd fee€1.782,-

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Why Study at KIT Institute?

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  • Up-to-date approach to complex public health issues
  • Practice-oriented
  • Exchange between disciplines
  • Interactive Education
  • Development of personal and professional competencies
  • Network building
  • Participants from diverse backgrounds and countries
  • Personal tutoring
  • Teaching by highly qualified specialists
  • Positively reviewed by tropEd
  • KIT: international centre of excellence in international health and development
  • Accredited by NVAO

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Course Brochure

By bringing together people from different countries and regions, KIT’s international courses create a forum for linking and exchanging experiences among a broad range of development practitioners. Our training programmes are aimed at developing effective leaders that create impact in improving health around the world.

Interested? Find your ideal course in our new brochure.

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