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HPSR Teaching Blog

“Software” in health policy and systems: a key piece of “code” for this emergent field

Key debates, issues and concepts in teaching HPSR
“I know that in computer science we have hardware and software. I didn’t know that this concept also applies to health systems and policy research”. This insight came to Kofi Bobi-Barimah, lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, as a result of participating in CHEPSAA’s Introduction to Complex Health Systems and Introduction to Health Policy and Systems Research during the 2015 Winter School of the University of the Western Cape. For ...

Teaching and Learning Complex Systems Thinking in Health: Getting Past the Obstacles

Key debates, issues and concepts in teaching HPSR
Figure by Brian Castellani, sourced from Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Today’s health challenges are increasingly complex. There doesn’t seem to be only one solution. The challenges overlap, change frequently, and cross geographic, professional, and other boundaries. In this blog post, we introduce a promising approach to today’s health challenges: complex systems thinking (CST). We focus on some key and frequent obs...

Teaching HPSR: encountering different disciplines through the concept of analytical generalisation

Key debates, issues and concepts in teaching HPSR
If you have ever taught health policy and systems research (HPSR) at post-graduate level, you will know both the frustrations and intellectual “a-ha” moments that can result from having a classroom of students who have been trained in very different ways. These differences can manifest in questions about course content (“Why are there so few objective facts and so many competing perspectives?”), difficulties with assignments (“I am not used to writing essays...