Health Systems Evaluation and Research

Category: Methods for HPSR,Systems Thinking,
Institution:University of the Witwatersrand
Country: South Africa [includes Marion and Prince Edward Islands]
Region: Africa
Language: English
Audience: Practicing Researchers,


Learning objectives

1. Define a health information system (HIS) and the prerequisites for a well-functioning HIS 2. Discuss the dimensions of HIS demand, supply and the level of the health system at which data are generated and used 3. Discuss how an HIS relates to broader health system’s strengthening 4. Interrogate and critique commonly used indicators to measure health status or health systems performance 5. Understand and critique the World Health Organization Framework on measuring the performance of a health system 6. Discuss advantages and drawbacks of the different evaluation approaches and methods and how to decide which methods would be preferable in a given situation. 7. Have a clear understanding of ethical and accountability issues when conducting an evaluation 8. Conduct a very rapid evaluation, based on a client’s brief, in the health sector 9. Explain health systems research and its contribution to improving population health and health systems performance 10. Plan and conduct a rapid evaluation in the participant’s own area of work.

Major topics covered

The module focuses on health information systems, one of the six building blocks of a health system, as well as an introduction to: evaluating the performance of a health system; and health systems research. The overall goals of the module are to: 1. Enhance participants’ understanding of a health information system (HIS) and how a HIS relates to broader health system’s strengthening; 2. Improve participants’ skills in evaluation and their ability to apply the concepts and principles when evaluating: projects and programmes in the health sector, health systems performance or health system sub-components; and 3. Introduce participants to health systems research and its potential contribution to improved population health and health systems performance.

Teaching formats

Classroom lectures, small group projects, case studies, problem sets, group projects, independent reading, simulations, online course materials, flipped classrooms, flipped classrooms, open access materials, open access, practicum projects, research projects

Course materials:

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