Drivers of Change in Global Health

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

• Acquire knowledge and understanding of important drivers of
change and how they influence health and health care globally
• Be able to apply several data collection and analytic skills,
using tools of demography, anthropology, sociology and epidemiology
• Critically analyze scientific publications, theories, hypotheses
and arguments, and justify and present findings both orally and in

Inhoud vak

"Ours is a period of change - continual, multi-form, and multi-level -
technical, scientific, economic and political." (Dan Smith, 2012)

The starting point of this course is that in every corner of our lives
as individuals, communities and societies, there is change. These
changes affect our health in many ways. We are for example confronted
with new and emerging infectious diseases, an increase in non-
communicable diseases, changing patient demand patterns and rising costs
of health care. Changes in health and disease patterns and changes in
health care are strongly influenced by the state of the world in
terms of climate, demography, economic, politics, culture and
technology. In addition, there is a trend of increasing globalization of
the world, with a diversity of impacts on people in different parts of
the worlds. The patterns and trends described above can be seen as
drivers of change in global health as they bring along new problems and
new opportunities regarding health and healthcare systems.

The course analyzes causality of the process of change and identifies
subsequent responses that mitigate negative effects. We thereby aim to
answer questions like: Can changes in health be attributed to a single
or are multiple factors at play? Is the impact of the driver generic or
it target local conditions? How can we isolate the effect of the driver
other factors? Indeed, identifying causality is a first step to support
makers and design successful policy interventions. Furthermore, people
normally do not succumb to damaging effects of changes; instead affected
groups respond with mitigating measures by developing instant coping
mechanisms, for the short term, and adaptation measures that anticipate
future expected shocks, for longer periods. The controversial situation
short term planning of coping mechanisms undermines long term
future adaptation measures should, of course, be avoided.

This course consists of a series of lectures which provide insight into
a number of important drivers of change in different parts of the world,
such as urbanization, climate change, migration, technological
development, and how they affect health and health care. Each lecture is
accompanied by reading materials in the form of scientific articles and
complementary background information from the book. Furthermore, the
course consists of an assignment and project groups. For the assignment
you conduct a case study into one specific driver of change in an
assignment group with fellow students. You make use of scientific
publications in different sub-assignments to come up with an evidence-
based call for action with respect to the driver of choice. At the end
of the course you will present your work orally and in the form of a
written report together with your team. In the project group meetings
you work on your academic skills (data collection, reflection, analysis
etc.) through various exercises related to the topic of this course.
During these meetings you also receive feedback on sub-assignments.


Lectures: 20 hours
Assignment (project group meetings + independent group work): 75 hours
(12 + 63)
self study: 62,5
Exam: 2,5 hours


Written exam (50%) and group assignment (50%). Both the exam grade and
the total group assignment grade should 5.5 or higher in order to pass
the course.

The assignment includes a written report (40%) and a presentation (10%).
The two assignment components (report and presentation) can compensate
for each other if one part is insufficient.


- Course guide
- Assignment manual
- Selected scientific publications (announced on Canvas).
- Recommended: The penguin state of the world atlas, 2012 (ninth
edition). Dan Smith. Penguin Books.


This is a compulsory course in the bachelor minor global health

Overige informatie

Guest lecturers will be invited for specific lectures.
Lecture attendance is strongly recommended.
Project group meetings and presentation attendance is compulsory.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode AB_1108
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P2
Vakniveau 300
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Bètawetenschappen
Vakcoördinator dr. ir. B.G.J.S. Sonneveld
Examinator dr. ir. B.G.J.S. Sonneveld
Docenten dr. ir. B.G.J.S. Sonneveld

Praktische informatie

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