Community-based Health Interventions

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Community-based Health Interventions

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Global Health, Public Health

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    - To describe and explain the current status, history and theoretical underpinning of CbHIs
    - To describe and evaluate the different aspects of CbHIs (including design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of CBHI).
    - Identify organizational conditions for implementing CbHI (like organizational learning and change, and attention for knowledge transfer and sustainability).
    - Analyse strengths and opportunities of CbHIs, leading to a well-grounded advice for optimization. - Discuss and analyse case studies of CbHIs in their context in a participatory way that is ethically sound.
    - Describe and explain knowledge and understanding through verbal as well as written communication.

    Numerous interventions are developed and implemented in the area of health care and prevention. Although there is often much attention for national or even international scale interventions, community-based health interventions (CbHIs) are a rapidly upcoming phenomenon. The underlying transition of perceiving health as an individual attribute to health as a result of complex social and local aspects is supporting the importance of CbHIs.

    CbHIs are an innovative approach to severe and complex problems. In CbHIs, health is perceived as the result of interaction between individual and environmental aspects. Therefore, implementers of CbHIs take an interdisciplinary approach to public health issues. For instance, (self) management of diabetes, sexual health, mental health, and obesity are addressed by CbHI, but also community problems like loneliness of elderly or limited access todrinking water can be targeted. CbHIs are flexible and participatory in nature. As a result, they are easier to adapt to specific situations and are often designed in collaboration with the target group.

    This course focuses on why CbHIs are essential for solving complex health issues and the types of interventions involved. We will take you through the history of CbHIs and the theoretical foundations of this strategy. In addition, we will give insights into aspects of design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of CbHIs, taking into account appropriate attitudes, skills and knowledge to influence public health in a community setting. The ethical issues involved in community work are very important and issues such as stakeholder participation, sustainability and scaling-up of the intervention and its effects are discussed. Furthermore, the importance of learning from and adapting to emerging issues is discussed in relation to implementing CbHIs. We will explore the importance of learning capacity of the organisations that implement CbHIs, and their role as spiders in a web of multiple stakeholders that are involved with different perspectives, objectives and goals.

    Lectures, self-study, work groups, field visits, assignments

    Written exam with open questions (60%), group assignment of written report (30%), oral presentation in the form of a pitch and discussion (10%). All parts need to be passed.

    We recommend that student have been enrolled in the course future challenges in global health and drivers for change in global health.

    Bachelor students from Biomedical Sciences, Health & Life, Health Sciences, bachelor programs in the natural sciences and similar bachelor programs that participate in the minor Global Health.

    Guest lecturers will be invited to discuss fieldwork and research

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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