Geographic Information Systems (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 policymakers 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
Course period (2024)
from 17/06/2024 until 28/06/2024
Course fee (2024)
EUR 2.270
Early Bird fee and other Discounts
Learn more about our discounts
KIT application deadline (2024)

"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:

  • QGIS 3.x open source GIS package.
  • GeoDA (optional)
  • DHIS2 (vs 4.x)
  • R statistical programming (optional)
  • Application

    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
  • 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 part of the Master in International Health (MIH) programme.

    Early Bird registration

    Early Bird registration and payment applies when payment is made before 28 March 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? Then you can find the answer in our FAQ Online Application System:

    Go to our FAQ Online Application System-page 

    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 the course on GIS for Global Health. See for more information about our discounts for groups and other short courses on our exclusive discount page.

    Regular course fee€2.270,-Start date: 17-6-2024
    Early bird fee€1.800,-Paid before: 17-3-2024
    Alumni discount€1.800,-
    tropEd fee€1.760,-

    Practical information


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

    In 2020 and 2021 this course was exceptionally given as a virtual learning course due to Covid-19. Should in the future the situation not allow for face-to-face learning, we will consider to give this course via e-learning again. All admitted applicants will be informed automatically if anything changes in the set-up of this course.


    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.

    Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP)

    Unfortunately the OKP programme has ended. For 2024 there are no scholarship rounds.
    Read more on the OKP page.


    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

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

    Apply now
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    Ente J.J. Rood


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    Christina Mergenthaler


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    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