Flagship course on health systems strengthening: focus on noncommunicable diseases


9–13 May 2016, Barcelona, Spain

The WHO Regional Office for Europe is hosting the 12th Flagship course on health systems strengthening to be held from 9 to 13 May 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. The course is offered by the Division of Health Systems and Public Health of the WHO Regional Office for Europe through the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening. The course focuses on policy options to address health system barriers to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The deadline for receiving applications is 17 March 2016.


The week-long intensive and interactive course takes a systematic approach to health systems strengthening in order to address the growing burden of NCDs. Integrating theory and practice, the course tackles a number of key topics, incorporating:

  • assessing health system performance, including progress on NCD outcomes towards the NCD Global Monitoring Framework 2025 targets and equity dimensions;
  • systematically diagnosing determinants of health system performance;
  • reviewing regional trends in the coverage of core NCD interventions and services, with a focus on options to scale up individual health services for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer;
  • tackling health system challenges through effective policies such as making priority-setting more explicit in line with health system goals, empowering the population to become front-line workers in managing their chronic conditions, strengthening the models of care for early detection and proactive management of NCDs, ensuring better continuity and coordination across providers and aligning incentives with desired service delivery solutions;
  • learning from good practice experiences in Europe through two "good practice roundtables";
  • carrying out an own country exercise.

The course will be delivered in English with simultaneous translation to Russian.


  • Rifat Atun, Professor of Global Health Systems, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health;
  • Melitta Jakab, Senior Health Economist, WHO Regional Office for Europe;
  • Tamás Evetovits, Head of Office a.i., WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening, WHO Regional Office for Europe;
  • Sarah Thomson, Senior Health Financing Specialist, WHO Regional Office for Europe.

In addition to the core trainers, invited experts will share examples of good practice from Europe.

Target groups and participants

The course is open to all 53 Member States of the WHO European Region. The target group of the course is government officials at national and regional levels from ministries of health and health insurance funds, from ministries of economies and finance, representatives of academic institutions, representatives of international organizations and NGO's, and health service providers in the public and private sectors. 

Registration fee

Accepted participants will be charged a fee of EUR 300, payable upon acceptance of application. This fee includes tuition, course materials, internet access, lunches and coffee-breaks. Participants (or their funding agency) will be responsible to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence while in Barcelona. Hotels will be arranged close to the venue.


Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site
C. Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
08025 Barcelona
Website: http://www.santpaubarcelona.org/en


Those who are interested must submit a completed online application form by 17 March 2016. Application form is available at


Please use Flagship2016 as user name and password

Space is limited. Acceptance decisions will be communicated by 22 March 2016. Accepted applicants will be asked to confirm their participation and show proof of payment of the registration  fee to secure a place in the course.


Accepted applicants are responsible for obtaining a visa, if one is needed. WHO will provide formal invitations and visa support letters. Please note that obtaining a visa may take several weeks; early application is  advised.

For further information about the course, contact:

Email: eubar@who.int

Tel: + 34  675 789 938