Systems Thinking in Public Health

Johns Hopkins Systems Thinking

This free online course, offered by Johns Hopkins University, introduces participants to systems thinking and systems models in public health.

Systems thinking is an important skill because health policy and public health problems are often complex, while their solutions can be difficult to sustain over time. Systems thinking helps people to get to grips with complexity and prepare for unintended consequences that might result from the interactions between many different health system actors and dimensions.

The course is aimed at public health practitioners, health system managers, policy-makers, and students interested in learning and applying systems thinking methods.

Its focus is on practical application and hence it involves students in tasks such as making diagrammes of complex systems, sharing systems diagrammes with stakeholder groups, and using simulation software to deepen understanding of systems. The curriculum covers, among other things, the use of causal loop diagrammes to conceptualise systems and the simulation of system dynamics through stock-and-flow diagrammes.

The course runs over 4 weeks and requires approximately 5 hours per week of participants’ time. The course is free for those who enrol, but a payment is required if participants would like to receive a certificate after their completion of the course.

Click here to enrol in the course.