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221.638.01 Health Systems Research and Evaluation in Developing Countries

International Health
3rd term
4 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Shivam Gupta
Course Instructor :

220.601.01 Introduction to International Health 221.646.01 Health Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries


Builds an understanding of the purpose and nature of health systems research (HSR) as a multi-disciplinary endeavor with diverse research goals. Participants review the range of research questions, methodological approaches and study designs that health systems research encompasses, as well as cross-cutting issues pertinent to health systems research such as gender and intersectional analysis, research rigor, ethical issues and policy uptake. Fosters the ability to develop different research strategies depending on the research question at hand and to read health systems research critically.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate uses of HSR to explore, understand and evaluate the effect of programs and policies for their impact on public health and health equity, and delineate between various kinds of health systems research approaches
  2. Develop health system research questions with an understanding of the role of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method approaches within different study designs, depending on the type of investigation required
  3. Describe the types of evidence derived from diverse methodological approaches to health systems research, and the types of data collection methods (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method), stakeholders and participants involved
  4. Describe a range of applications used for health systems research, and how to ensure rigor in the various applications (quasi-experimental methods, use of administrative data, facility surveys, implementation research, case studies, participatory/action research, ethnography, mixed methods)
  5. Articulate how cross-cutting issues such as gender and human rights, and ethical issues are applied to health systems research
  6. Develop elements of research design and a policy influence and research uptake strategy
Methods of Assessment:

Student assessment will include:
1 Class attendance and participation (10/100)
2 Two in-class presentations (20/100)
3 Ten reflections on readings (10/100)
4 Paper 1: Health systems research (HSR) questions (30/100)
5 Paper 2: Mixed methods HSR research question and design (30/100)
Course instructors have the discretion to curve the distribution, if required.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required