Systems thinking for district health managers – Skill building session

Monday, November 9, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Dubai time
(check your local time)

The full programme, registration and attendance is accessible through the HSR2020 website.

Session information

Participants will be exposed to the concepts of systems thinking and systems thinking tools. Presenters from Botswana, Pakistan and Timor-Leste will share their learning and experience in bringing systems thinking to district health systems in their countries.

The presentations and exercises will include the experience sharing of participating in a global community of systems thinkers. Attendees will be invited to co-design the future of a Systems Thinking Accelerator.Close

Learning objectives

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of basic systems thinking concepts and theories;
  2. Identify areas where systems thinking approaches can be applied;
  3. Understand how a number of systems thinking tools and approaches can be useful to address health system challenges in decentralized health systems;
  4. Understand the benefits, opportunities and challenges of a global community of practice.

Session contributors:

The “Systems Thinking for District Health Systems (ST-DHS) initiative” has brought disruptive approaches and methodologies to districts in three very different countries, including fragile and post-conflict settings. The driving force in the current situation for the ongoing innovation process is an online community of practice across these three countries.

Representatives from research institutions, district health management teams from the three countries, as well as from the technical support center will present the approaches and tools used to bring systems thinking closer to districts.

Finally, Aku Kwamie, from the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, will introduce the upcoming design and launch of a global community of systems thinkers, the Systems Thinking Accelerator. Don’t miss this exciting session in which you’ll be invited to contribute and think out of the box!

 Session description, format and flow:

1) Welcome and Introduction
Daniel Cobos Munoz, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

2) Introduction to Systems Thinking
Don de Savigny, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

3) Systems Thinking for District Health Systems
Carmen Sant Fruchtman, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

4) COVID-19 Contact tracing – the use of process mapping
Shamsa Rizwan, Child Advocacy International, Pakistan
Zaeem Zia, District Health Officer ICT Islamabad, Pakistan

5) Systems Thinking in Timor-Leste
Antonio Bonito, WHO Timor-Leste, Timor-Leste

6) Systems Thinking Tools to address Health System Challenges in Botswana
Tshiamo Keakabatse, IDM Botswana, Botswana

7) Panel and Q&A
Moderated by: Helen Prytherch, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

8) Launch of Systems Thinking Accelerator
Aku Kwamie, Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Switzerland

Indicative agenda (Dubai time)

13:30 General Intro | Daniel (5 min)
13:35 Introduction to Systems Thinking | Don (10 min)
13:45 Introduction to ST-DHS | Carmen (5 min)
13:50 Pakistan | Shamsa/ Zaeem (10 min)
14:00 Botswana | Tshiamo (10 min)
14:10 Timor-Leste | Antonio (10 min)
14:20 Panel Q&A | All Moderator: Helen (20 min)
14:40 SYSTAC | Aku (15 min)
14:55 How to build a global community of systems thinkers | All (15 min)
15:10 Lessons learned – Wrap up | Daniel (10 min)

Target audience

The course is intended for:

  • National and district health system policy-makers and managers facing daily complex challenges, competing priorities, insufficient resources, while lacking a systematic way to address and overcome them.
  • Development practitioners working in complex decentralized settings but often constrained by the requirements of vertical programmes.
  • Implementation researchers needing to understand the context and systems in which interventions are being implemented, in order to generate knowledge and find integrated, sustainable ways to address implementation challenges.