Strengthening Disrupted Health Systems (E-Learning)

Only given as Tailor Made Course in 2024. Keep an eye on this page for updates for 2025.

Update 7 February 2024: In 2024 this course will only be given as Tailor Made course. Contact us if you would like to have more information on this option.

This e-learning course strengthens your ability to address health system challenges in complex emergencies and fragile states. To prepare you for improving these challenging situations we will analyse health system resilience, policies, politics, roles and strategies of key actors, health equity, the humanitarian development nexus and more. This will enable you to develop context specific strategies for strengthening different elements of disrupted health systems.

This course is tropEd accredited. It can be followed as a stand-alone course or as part of the Master in International Health programme.

In 2024 only given as Tailor Made course. For 2025 tbd.
12 weeks in total, of which 9 weeks interactive learning, 1 week working on mid-term assignment and 2 weeks working on final assignment. On average 12,5 hours per week, 150 hours in total.
Course period
Distance-based virtual learning



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

  • Explain the nature of protracted crises and their effects on health and health systems
  • Discuss health systems theory and the role of health systems thinking
  • Analyse and appraise options to strengthen elements of a health system in a protracted crisis and propose context-specific recommendations to strengthen elements of a health system in a protracted crisis
  • Critically appraise each other’s work on content and performance, and critically self-reflect student’s own cultural competence, motivation, practice and values working in an international peer-group.
  • 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.


    Mid-term assignment: a video pitch on a statement related to strengthening disrupted health systems.

    End-assignment: a group presentation with a reflection of options on how to address key issues and its consequences in a provided case study of a disrupted health system.


    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.

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


    Online learning

    This module is an online learning course. The facilitation of the learning experience is conducted through online platforms and tools such as Zoom and a Moodle based virtual learning environment (, which will contain all learning materials. Interaction between learners and the lecturer will be through e-communication.

    The main learning methods employed are:

    1. Self-directed learning where students make use of the materials posted on KIT Virtual Grounds to meet the learning objectives of the course.

    Learning materials include:

  • Read materials, downloadable or scanned articles, eBooks
  • PowerPoint slides with extended notes, or a recorded ‘narrative’
  • Recorded mini-lectures (voice, image & PowerPoint slides)
  • Short videos, including recordings of KIT staff, associates or partners on practical examples
  • Self-assessment quizzes. For students to test their knowledge and understanding of topics covered
  • Self-reflection on the learning process and theoretic knowledge gained throughout the course will be obtained from the students.
  • 2. Initiating, and responding to, discussion strands on the discussion board. The unit guides include questions for reflection and discussion, in order to guide the directed learning. Students can initiate discussion topics as well. Discussions will be student led. Tutors will monitor the discussions and give feedback on key points. Students can also discuss topics in a chatroom (but will not be required to do so).

    Interactions on the discussion board and in a chatroom will enable students to exchange research experiences and insights, ask questions for clarification and give peer feedback. Importantly, these interactions will enable the building of a community of learners; a social community which will significantly enhance the learning experience. Group work plays an important part in this course and each group will have their own private discussion forum that only they (and the tutor) can access and which will be used in the final summative assessment and grading.

    3. Giving and receiving constructive peer feedback, in written form or via chat/Skype, on amongst other aspects, formative assignments of other students. Students will be asked to give feedback in written form or through chat/Skype.

    4. There will be a weekly 1 hour check-in with the respective facilitator of that week. Students can ask questions about the materials of that week and discuss progress on their case studies.


    Admission Criteria

  • a Bachelor’s degree obtained at an institution of academic higher education in medicine, public health, or another related filed to health care, such as health sciences, economics, social science or nursing. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree obtained at an institution outside the Netherlands may be asked for additional methods to prove that they meet the admission requirements
  • Two years of relevant work experience in, or relevant, for low- and middle-income settings
  • Good motivation.

    In addition:
  • Good proficiency in English
  • Regular access to a computer and the internet (broadband) for the duration of the module
  • Computer literacy is essential, as we use a virtual learning platform in our education.
  • Application procedure

    The application package for e-learning courses is due 1 month 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
  • 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. Please do not repeat your CV again.

    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 July 2023.
    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? Go to our FAQ Online Application System:

    Go to our FAQ Online Application System-page 

    Practical information


    Online distance learning via KIT Virtual Grounds, KIT’s virtual community of professionals in health and international development.

    E-learning courses are the perfect solution for those looking to expand their knowledge but unable to study in Amsterdam. They can be followed via internet connection from anywhere in the world.


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


    The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates the transfer of course credits between different institutions of the same academic level. A course comprising 30 hours of formal teaching and private study is equivalent to one ECcredit point.

    This course is worth 5 EC.


    This course is in process to be accredited by tropEd, a network of European institutions for higher education in international health. The course can be taken as an advanced module for the Master in International Healthprogramme organised by KIT and other institutes in the tropEd network.

    Apply online

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

    Apply online now

    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

    Coordinators & Support

    Photo of Fernando Maldonado Costa

    Fernando Maldonado Costa


    Read more