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Organisation profile

Organisation profile


The Unit of Health Policy belongs to the Public Health Department at ITM. The Unit, established in 2013, is led by Professor Wim Van Damme and consists of a multidisciplinary team (medicine, public health, political science, law).

The unit is developing a strong institutional collaboration with the School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape (Cape Town, South Africa), where Wim Van Damme held a SARChI chair focusing on comparative health systems research. The unit is starting new institutional collaborations with Cambodia’s National Institute of Public Health, Phnom Penh, and with Centre de Recherche et Formation en Santé Rurale, Maferinyah, Guinea. The unit collaborates with many other institutions in Europe, such as Institute for Development Studies (IDS), Brighton; Karolinska Institute, Stockholm; Sciences-Po, Paris; London School; Maastricht University. Within Belgium it collaborates with the Health Sociology unit at UA and with the Gerontology unit at VUB, and with other Units of Public Health at ITM (Health Financing, Health Economics, Health Systems).

At present the main fields of work of this unit are focusing on:

  • SDGs & global health governance (rights-based approach), especially the Global Fund and other global health initiatives, WHO reform, global health workforce governance.
  • Health policy and health systems strengthening, with particular focus on ‘fragile states’, and how to overcome the traditional divide between health systems strengthening and disease-specific approaches.
  • Publishing the weekly International Health Policies Newsletter (http://www.internationalhealthpolicies.org/).
  • Supporting the Emerging Voices for Global Health initiative (http://www.ev4gh.net/), created by the health policy unit, now coordinated by Institute of Public Health, Bangalore, India.

Research areas

The health policy unit currently focuses on the following research lines:

  • Health workforce policies (globally and in Guinea and Ethiopia)
  • Global Health Initiatives and global health policies, in a rights-based perspective
  • ART scale-up (Ethiopia) and diabetes treatment (as chronic lifelong conditions)
  • Relation between disease control programs & health systems strengthening
  • Financial access for the poor (especially Health Equity Funds in Cambodia)
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR): global and national policies


Dive into the research topics where Health Policy is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or