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Title: Designing, Managing and Evaluating Projects for Improving Health: Issues for Donors and Implementers
Keywords: Quality
Planning and programming
Health sector reform
Country: Germany
Institution: Germany - Institute of International Health, Berlin
Course coordinator: Peter Campbell
Date start: 2024-01-08
Date end: 2024-01-19
About duration and dates: Ca. 2.5 days preparation time + 2 weeks (face-to-face)
Classification: advanced optional
Mode of delivery: Face to face
Course location:

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Campus Virchow-Klinikum
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
ECTS credit points: 3.5 ECTS credits
105 hours:
● Pre-course preparation: 15 hours (equivalent to ca. 2.5 days)
● Contact (in-class: lectures, group work, site visit): 60 hours
● Self-directed learning: 30 hours
Language: English
At the end of the module the student should be able to:
1. Design the components of a project including the rationale, planned activities, indicators and budget
2. Describe the context for the project (e.g. previous relevant projects, other similar ongoing initiatives)
3. Formulate an overall goal and the objectives of the project
4. Use diagrams and tables (e.g. Gantt chart, logframe) to illustrate the planned project implementation
5. Appraise the effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation from a donor point of view
Assessment Procedures:
1. Students are required to design an individual project.

The project design (minimum of 2000 words) is expected to include all the components of a project design. Criteria for marking will include:
● Inclusion of all relevant design components
● Clarity of expression
● Cohesiveness of the project (Goal leads to Objectives, which are explained by the Background; Methods and Budget are realistic and appropriate; and Monitoring including a logframe will theoretically help achieve successful long term results)

Students need to submit the design before the end of the course. The course coordinator will assess the design by using an evaluation matrix with predefined assessment criteria. The pass mark for the assignment is 60%. Students will receive an individual written feedback on the design, and two grades based on their overall mark:
One according to the German (absolute) 6 point decimal grading system (1.0 [excellent/ sehr gut] – 6.0 [not sufficient/ ungenügend], pass mark: 4.0 [sufficient/ ausreichend]), and one according to the (relative) ECTS grading system (A top 10%, B next 25%, C next 30%, D next 25%, E lowest 10%).

If a student does not achieve a pass mark, he/she can revise the assignment once, considering the comments provided in the feedback and resubmit. Failing this, students can submit a second project design but this may be linked to conditions set by the Committee of Admissions and Degrees (e.g. attending the course in a following year [at no additional cost]).
The course will move through the various stages of designing a project:
● Setting of Goal and Objectives
● Describing the project background as well as developing and explaining the rationale of the project (including feasibility and sustainability aspects), highlighting any previous or ongoing similar initiatives.
● Explaining the activities for implementation and outlining and illustrating the phases/ stages of the project using diagrams (e.g. with PowerPoint) and tables (e.g. spreadsheets as Gantt charts)
● The principles of good project monitoring including logframes (benefits and dangers)
● Development of meaningful indicators, as well as accurate and efficient data collection
● Developing a detailed, yet concise and intelligible budget using a spreadsheet
● The concept of Quasi-Experimental Design (e.g. use of Control Groups/ Pre- and Post-Measurements) and incorporating aspects in the project design
● Expectations of donors and importance of project evaluation

If feasible, a site visit to a donor/ health project-implementing agency will be done.
This will be a highly practical hands-on module that develops the understanding and skills of the participants so that they will have developed all the main aspects of a project both as part of a group and as individuals.

Underlying the course content are the basic principles of modern Quality Improvement (e.g. the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle), since the desired impact of most projects is to improve health for the population, often through improving the quality of health care. See "Remarks" section for background reading.

Overarching the course will be individual and group work where participants will, at each stage, put into practise what they are being taught through the development of both group and individual projects.

On arrival at the course, students will be expected to have prepared an initial draft of a health project (based on a case-scenario they will receive – approximately one week before the course starts), including a brief background and rationale, goal, main objectives and initial methodological ideas (15 hours). The course coordinator will comment each individual draft during the module and participants are expected to revise their project designs accordingly.

The in-class part of the module will consist of:
● Interactive lectures and discussions to introduce the principles of the components of a project design (30 hours)
● Guided group-work to develop these ideas on a sample case-study (20 hours)
● If feasible, a visit to a donor/ project-implementing agency for a question and answer session on issues of project design and implementation (4 hours)
● Self-study to apply the principles both to the group work cases (18 hours) and to the individual's own project design (18 hours)
● Registered student of the MscIH programme in International Health at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin or tropEd student with successful completion of the foundation phase (Core Course),
− or enrolment in the Diploma in Public Health (DIPH) programme of the Institute of International Health, Charité Center for Global Health
− or guest participants with basic knowledge and experience in health project management

● English TOEFL test 550 or 213 computer-based or 79/80 internet-based or IELTS band 6.0.
Up to 50 participants.
In order to receive a grade report or an attendance certificate, students have to attend 85% of the contact time
Participants of the DIPH programme who apply by the deadline for application have priority over MScIH and tropEd students and guest participants. Places are then allocated on a first come, first served basis. Deadline for application: 8 weeks before module start,
deadline for payment: 4 weeks before module start (if not otherwise agreed on).

We shall confirm the module 6 weeks before module start, which is subject to a sufficient number of applications (minimum 8).
Late applications will be considered as long as places are available.

Application forms can be found here:
Course application form
1,225 EUR MScIH and tropEd students and alumni (For Berlin students who started their studies in 2022 or earlier the old scale of fees applies. Please see here)
1,531.25 EUR for others
Not available
Major changes since initial accreditation:
There are no major changes since the initial accreditation.

Minor changes in the latest accreditation period include:
● Revising of the Learning Objectives to better reflect the latest focus of the course
● Revising the course content to include logframe development
● Change to a single individual assessment method (the written individual project design, with increase in minimum length from 1500 to 2000 words) in order to maximise the short time available for the students to design a project of sufficient detail and depth according to student feedback. This is a valid approach to evaluate individual performance, as each student writes his or her own project (as opposed to group-work submissions).
Student evaluation:
The majority of student evaluations of the course (90%) continue to remain highly positive about the course and its benefits to them.

Positive Aspects: The majority of participants continue to appreciate the hands-on practicality of the course, the initial lectures and group work followed by one-to-one guidance in writing their project designs - individually learning to do diagrams, use Excel to develop Gantt charts, logframes and budgets. They appreciate the critical "out of the box" thinking on topics they previously took for granted and, when feasible, the visit to an international health consulting organisation.

Negative Aspects: Students complain about the workload to develop the project, and request more course time for this. Based on requests, some teaching on logframe development is now included, but lack of time means that this is done in a limited way. A few struggle with old laptops and software, and this is an obstacle to their work and can demand extra inputs from the lecturer to support them. A small minority of students do not like the emphasis on “story-telling” throughout the course, but the majority highly appreciate this style of teaching which gives real-life examples to illustrate the issues being discussed.
Lessons learned:
Teaching on a logframe is now included and students are expected to fill one out using a simple format.
By reducing the assessments, the project design is now handed in a day later than previously to allow more time for completion by the students.
tropEd accreditation:
Accredited in Brescia, Jan 2013; re-accredited in April 2018. Re-accredited in EC Telco December 2023. This accreditation is valid until December 2028.
Useful background reading:
● Brock S, Columbia R. 2008. Project Design & Proposal Writing A Guide to Mainstreaming Reproductive Health into Youth Development Programs. International Youth Foundation. Available at:
● Introduction To Project Planning And Development. 2019. Available at:
● Aguayo R. 1990. Dr. Deming, the American who taught the Japanese about quality. Touchstone. ISBN-13: 978-0671746216
● Deming W.E. 1980. Out of the Crisis. MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study. ISBN-13: 978-0911379013
● Collins J. 2001. From Good to Great. Random House Business. ISBN-13: 978-0712676090
Email Address:
Date Of Record Creation: 2013-02-25 02:51:52 (W3C-DTF)
Date Of Record Release: 2013-02-25 03:00:36 (W3C-DTF)
Date Record Checked: 2018-04-13 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2024-01-23 09:16:33 (W3C-DTF)

Fifteen years of the tropEd Masters in International Health programme: what has it delivered? Results of an alumni survey of masters students in international health

L. Gerstel1, P. A. C. Zwanikken1, A. Hoffman2, C. Diederichs3, M. Borchert3 and B. Peterhans2

1 Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
3 Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charite – Universit€atsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany