Analysing Disrupted Health Systems (ADHS)

If you are a health professional working in or with countries in crisis, working as health personnel in government institutions, NGOs, UN agencies and humanitarian organisations or as an independent consultant, then this course is intended for you.

Course period
from 17/08/2020 until 28/08/2020
2 weeks
Course fee Early bird
EUR 1660 (if paid before 1 May 2019)
Course fee Normal
EUR 1960 (tropEd fee EUR 1570)
KIT application deadline OKP scholarship applicants
OKP scholarship application deadline
KIT application deadline other funding
1/07/2019 (extended to 10/07/2019 for candidates who don't need visa)

This 10-day residential training programme for health professionals focuses on the analysis of health systems in countries affected by, or recovering from, protracted crisis. It is organised jointly with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Save the Children and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Participants will be equipped to analyse disrupted health systems in complex emergencies, discuss humanitarian aid and politics, human rights policies, and strategies and plans of key actors.

This course can be taken as independent course or as part of the Master in International Health.

WHO Collaborating Centre
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated KIT Health as WHO Collaborating Centre for health systems in fragile and conflict affected contexts.

“It was a great opportunity for me to have attended this course. I find the ADHS course a complete one where theory is put in practice and where field experiences enrich both participants and facilitators.Key among the lessons I drew from this course is that most of our health systems especially in the developing world are either disrupted or are possible candidates for disruption. I therefore recommend this course for all those that require knowledge and skills in improving health systems the World over.”

Walimbwa Aliyi, Senior Health Planner/ Health Economist (interests are in health systems, health financing , equity and gender / human rights, leadership and governance) at the Ministry of Health, Uganda.

“The Analyzing Disrupted Health System (ADHS) course was a practical and useful opportunity for me. It was interesting to analyze, compare and share the experience with other health professionals as well as friendly facilitators. I learned about the gap which was similar with other contexts that experiencing or experienced in a fragile states. I learned that there is no same health system among countries neither in developing nor in developed countries. Each health system is unique with its own challenges but there are some basic concepts in terms of quality of care, effectiveness, efficiency of the health services delivery and etc. We discussed very technical and practical solutions and came across with adaption of useful conceptual frameworks in certain situation. I highly recommend this course to test your ability and sharing of knowledge with others”

Sayed Ahmad Gawhari from Afghanistan, has worked in public health different national and international organizations and Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) of Afghanistan.

The ADHS course was well organized and very much relevant to the people working in fragile states. The amalgamation of students all around the globe, interactive session and their rich experience in field provided a great learning opportunity. The facilitation, presentation and group work was superb. I found that despite of challenge and fragility one can still find a way out for working. One has to follow a logical sequence for analyzing the disrupted health system of a country. I would highly recommend the course to people working with states, donor agencies working in fragile state!”

Dr. Mehran Qayum, Pakistan, Technical Advisor – FATA Development Programme Health component. Employer: Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (giz) GmbH


Protracted crises, mainly those labelled ‘complex emergencies’, have a severe impact on health systems and all their constituent parts such as policy development, planning, human resources, financing, management, infrastructure and support systems.

Unreliable and incomplete information hampers sound decision making, while fast evolving conditions increase uncertainty. Health professionals often have limited experience analysing the major features and distortions of disrupted health systems. Learning from the successes and failures in health sectors of countries facing similar crises can be difficult because lessons that could be relevant are not always well-documented. This course focuses on analysing disrupted health systems, reviewing their main components, identifying key weaknesses, and discussing policy and strategy options that have been effective in relevant contexts. Group work exercises around country case studies help participants to apply concepts and approaches to realistic situations.


At the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • use adequate frameworks and approaches for health system analysis in crisis countries and apply the relevant lessons to local contexts
  • assess disrupted health systems’ structure and identify key weaknesses and distortions
  • identify health system adaptations during crises and formulate measures to develop effective strategies and plans
  • present findings of health systems analysis

 Course Content

The following subjects are reviewed during the course:

  • Complex emergencies: trends, challenges and impact
  • Humanitarian aid and its politics
  • Data and information challenges in crises
  • Challenges of complex emergencies to health systems
  • Health policies, strategies and plans
  • Key components of health systems in a crisis: health financing, the pharmaceutical sector, human resources, management systems etc
  • The recovery process of the health sector

Learning methods

This course is geared towards adult learning and uses participatory approaches as much as possible. A variety of methodologies are used including lectures, discussion, group work, case studies and exercises. Participants will be given reading material in advance and will be required to complete 28 hours of preparatory work. Participants will also be able to discuss topics raised in the daily sessions during optional evening forums. Participants will conduct an in-depth analysis of the health sector in a specific conflict affected country through the study of selected, context specific documents before the course, group work during the course, and a presentation of main findings to colleagues and trainers at the end of the course.


For participants who wish to be examined a paper or exam can be provided. TropEd students are required to take an exam at the end of the course.


This course is accredited by tropEd. It can be taken as an advanced module for the Master in International Health programme organised by tropEd, a network of European institutions for higher education in international health.


Admission criteria

  • a  Bachelor’s degree or equivalent  in medicine, public health, social sciences or related disciplines
  • at least 5 years of work experience in humanitarian action or health systems development, preferably in contexts affected by crisis
  • ability to complete 28 hours of pre-course assignment
  • proven proficiency in English

Application procedure

The complete application 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
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae and a list of publications if applicable

This course can be taken on its own or as part of the Master in International Health (MIH) programme.

Early Bird registration

Early Bird registration and payment applies when payment is made before 1 May 2019.
Please note that you will receive a response on your application within 4 weeks.

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:

Go to our FAQ Online Application System-page 

Practical information


Classes are held at KIT in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


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.

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.


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 Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP, former NFP)

For this course and a number of other KIT courses scholarships from the Orange Knowledge Programme OKP (former NFP) is available for applicants from the new list of OKP countries. See the OKP page for more information.  See top of this page for the OKP deadline for this course. Applicants from OKP countries are strongly encouraged to apply for an OKP scholarship.

The OKP application will have to be done via an online application system (DELTA). OKP application deadline for course 2019: 25 March 2019.

Please note that the academic application to the Royal Tropical Institute has to be received at the latest 1 month before the OKP deadline (so 25 February 2019). You are advised however to apply to KIT as early as possible.
See the detailed instructions on OKP information.

European Credits

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.


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.

Apply online

Apply online

You can find all information about our online application system on this page 

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Why study at KIT?

  • 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


Photo of Egbert Sondorp

Egbert Sondorp

Senior Advisor Health Systems Strengthening

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Photo of Fernando Maldonado Costa

Fernando Maldonado Costa


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