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Health Systems Research and Evaluation in Developing Countries

3rd term
International Health
4 credits
Academic Year:
2020 - 2021
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Shivam Gupta

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 and evaluation (HSRE) as a multi-disciplinary endeavor with scope for diverse inferences. Participants review the range of research questions, methodological approaches and study designs available for HSRE within health system building blocks. In addition, explores cross-cutting issues of equity and social justice, digital health applications and scientific rigor. Fosters the ability to develop different research strategies depending on the research question at hand and to read health systems research (HSR) 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. Analyze how analytical lenses, such as equity and social justice, and digital health applications are used for HSRE
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 10% Participation
  • 20% Quizzes
  • 20% Group Presentation
  • 50% Paper(s)

Instructor Consent:

No consent required