Teaching and Learning Health Policy and Systems Research

This thematic working group focuses on ways to improve the teaching and learning of Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) around the world, with an emphasis on applications in low and middle-income countries and disadvantaged populations.


The Thematic Working Group (TWG) was established in 2013 and focuses on ways to improve the teaching and learning of Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) around the world, with an emphasis on applications in low and middle-income countries and disadvantaged populations.

The objectives ofthe Teaching and Learning HPSR Working group are to:

  • Provide an interdisciplinary forum for teachers, students, education administrators and those interested in the teaching and learning of HPRS to collaborate and share information about the scope of the field, educational approaches, curriculum development, pedagogical techniques, teaching and learning materials, innovations in teaching and learning, and other capacity building issues related to the teaching and learning of HPSR.

  • Develop and implement a strategy to support Health Systems Global membership in the area of teaching and learning HPSR, including the oversight of a section at the Global Health Systems bi-annual conference.

  • Provide a platform for knowledge sharing and dissemination on teaching and learning HPSR, using web-based strategies, and by producing special issues of journals on teaching and learning HPSR.

  • Promote dissemination and exchange of information, students, and faculty between educational institutions, development organizations and governments in the area of teaching and learning HPSR.

Recent activities of the TWG

  • We conducted a mapping study in 2014, and identified hotspots where capacity is particularly limited. The report was launched on February 25, 2015 and can be found in our publications section below. This study was support through a grant from the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research.

  • We developed an interactive repository for materials on teaching and learning HPSR, including curricula, syllabi, competencies, lectures, case studies, and other learning and examination materials, which will be officially launched soon! This work was funded through grants from the Wellcome Trust and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research.

  • We developed and maintain a list of members and experts to facilitate sharing of experience and information on teaching and learning HPSR. This is done mainly through email lists and our LinkedIn group

  • We held two sessions at the 3rd Global Health Systems Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa in fall 2014: an organized session on “HPSR Training: A Global Mapping Study" and a satellite section that allowed our members to meet and exchange ideas. Read more about the Symposium here: http://healthsystemsresearch.org/hsr2014/

  • Our group seeks to support communication and dissemination activities

  • We work with other Thematic Working Groups on issues of mutual interest, including Social Science Approaches for Research and Engagement in Health Policy & Systems (SHaPeS) on planning their cross-cutting strategy for capacity development. The strategy includes conducting a needs assessment, compiling reading lists and teaching materials, and facilitating interaction and learning among SHaPeS members. 

What next?

In the time period until the Fourth Global Health Systems Symposium, we aim to:

  • Launch the repository on teaching materials for HPSR, providing online access to materials

  • Expand the repository of HPSR training materials particularly in areas where gaps have been identified and seek to ensure that it is a sustained and useful resource

  • Negotiate with key institutions and networks to allow the inclusion of more open access material in the repository

  • Form a Strategy Group consisting of the chairs, members from each region and members of other TWGs, to help steer the continued work of the TWG, and define it strategy for the next several years

  • Continue to disseminate the findings of the 2014 global mapping study, and use this as a platform for advocacy to increase investment in HPSR teaching and training. Further opportunities for research and advocacy will be identified – this may include regional events to promote HPSR in regions where capacity is limited, jointly held with journals or associations.

Teaching and Learning Clinic at HSR2016

The group hosted a teaching and learning clinic at the 2016 Global Symposium for Health Systems Research in Vancouver to facilitate development of teaching approaches including curricular competencies, syllabi, educational research approaches, and identify appropriate reading material and teaching tools.

Health Policy and Systems Research Database

Are you interested in finding HPSR training opportunities in your region, language, or at your current education level? You are developing a course and interested in finding a contact person in a particular country or with expertise in a particular topic area as a resource? Interested in accessing open-access resources and syllabi? Search this site to see what opportunities are currently available!

Read more »

Group facilitators

  • Francisco Oviedo Gomez

    Co-Chair of Thematic Working Group
  • Gina Teddy

    Co-Chair of Thematic Working Group
  • Meike Schleiff

    Thematic Working Group Coordinator
Future Generations University is serving as the Teaching and Learning TWG's fiscal agent. We are grateful for their collaboration.

Get involved

We welcome input from all Thematic Working Group members and from the HPSR community more broadly. Your input is particularly valuable in the following areas:

  • Are you aware of additional training opportunities and open access materials, particularly in Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe, and China that we can include in the repository?

  • Can you share information about relevant events, such as conferences and seminars related to training for HPSR, which we can include in the repository or on the homepage of the TWG?

  • Is there new information about short courses, online trainings, and other opportunities for innovation in HPSR training that we can help promote?

  • Do you have expertise or interest in graphic or multimedia design, publicity and social media support, organizing webinars and events, or fundraising support that could increase the profile and activity of the TWG?

If you would like to get involved, help or have good ideas about how to take forward the work of the group, we would like to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the group co-chairs. 

If you'd like to join the group then please email Meike Schleiff: mschlei4(at)jhu.edu

Please join in on our disucssions on teaching and learning HPSR on LinkedIn. 

Join our group