GIS for Global Health

The explosive availability of open source health data offers new opportunities to analyze and monitor trends in disease. It also opens new pathways to assess how effectively health systems can address these trends. Epidemiologists, health professionals and policy makers increasingly utilize new analytical techniques and software to process and analyze the growing volumes of high resolution health data.

This course trains health professionals with the essential skills to map and analyze routinely collected health data. In this training you will learn what data and methods are used to detect areas of high disease risk and to compare these with geographic patterns of health service delivery.

Starting date
2 weeks
KIT, Amsterdam
3 (90 hours)
Course period (2021)
from 21/06/2021 until 02/07/2021
Course fee Early Bird (2021)
EUR 1.660 (payment before 29/03/2021)
Course fee Normal (2021)
EUR 2.090
KIT application deadline OKP applicants (Course period 2021)
OKP application period (Course period 2021)
02/09/2020 - 06/10/2020 (ATTENTION: Currently on hold. See for latest updates and more information.
KIT application deadline other funding (Course period 2021)

"The course is highly applicable and provides hands on practice."

"The course absolutely met all my expectations. I enjoyed every day of it."

"The instructors were extremely knowledgeable and helpful in trouble shooting"

"I appreciate the amount of topics covered. I feel I now know enough to find my way and learn more"

"The case studies force you to explore and find solutions which increased the learning."


This course aims to provide health professionals with a solid understanding and hands-on practice allowing them to use GIS in their daily work. The increasing use of open source software solutions in professional settings provides a free, yet perfectly viable alternative to commercial software. This course uses Free and Open Source Software solutions to allow course participants to bring their skills into practice without depending on commercial packages.

The first week will focus on learning basic GIS theory and functions. Emphasis will be given to develop basic software operating skills and understanding of analytical approaches to analyze spatial data.

Specific topics further include:

  • basic GIS theory and principles including spatial data formats
  • introduction to QGIS 3.x software package
  • spatial data management
  • using online data repositories and data extraction from cloud databases (e.g. DHIS2)    
  • data visualization and cartographic concepts
  • using geographic coordinate reference systems
  • introduction to essential geoprocessing functions

The second week of the course will provide the opportunity to apply and extend the GIS skills that have been learned in the first week into a public health context. The course will address specific problems in the field of planning and evaluating disease control programmes and space-time analyses of health data.

Topics include:

  • Spatial analysis of geographic patterns of disease: point pattern analysis and geographic cluster analysis
  • Geographic access analysis: quantifying health service coverage
  • Spatial Multi Criteria Risk Analysis using the MATCH approach
  • Digital (spatial) data-collection using ODK software system

In both weeks guest speakers are invited to present applications of the use of GIS in disease control programmes and research projects.

The course will use the following open source and freely available software packages:


Admission criteria

  • A degree in public health or international health: BSc, MSc or equivalent academic training
    A basic knowledge of epidemiology and principles of social research
  • At least 3 years of professional experience, preferably working at a national level in low and middle income countries
  • Proven proficiency in spoken and written English

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
  • An up-to-date curriculum vitae

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 27 March 2020.
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’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 endeavour to assist participants in their search for accommodation.

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.

Scholarships Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP)

For this course and a number of other KIT courses funding from the Orange Knowledge Programme OKP is available for applicants from OKP countries. See the OKP page for more information on the eligible countries, eligibility criteria and application instructions.  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 from Nuffic. All accepted applicants from OKP eligible countries will receive the link to apply automatically when the application period opens. OKP application period normally is September-October.
See top of this page for the OKP application deadline for this course.

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


The European Credit Transfer System (EC) facilitates the transfer of course credits between different institutions of the same academic level. A course or module comprising 30 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

Apply now

Coronavirus/COVID-19 information for (prospective) students

Due the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak we understand that you might have a lot of questions concerning studying at KIT. We have compiled information in the form of questions and answers

Go to the FAQ

Coordinators & Support

Photo of Mirjam I. Bakker

Mirjam I. Bakker

Team Leader Epidemiology

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Photo of Ente J.J. Rood

Ente J.J. Rood


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Photo of Meta Willems

Meta Willems

Course Administration Officer

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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