WHO Collaborating Centre for Complexity Sciences for Health Systems

Director: Dr. Babak Pourbohloul


The World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Complexity Science for Health Systems (CS4HS) was designated in February 2013 and is based at the Division of Mathematical Modeling at the University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Health systems are complex systems that encompass a broad spectrum of all the organizations, institutions, resources and people whose primary purpose is to improve health. These components are interconnected through a complex web of interactions, which may influence policy outcomes in unexpected ways. This Centre’s mandate is to establish an international network of expert groups to develop new decision-support tools at the intersection of complex systems science and health systems research. CS4HS will work with WHO Member States to evaluate existing health systems performance and to implement pilot projects using the new framework.

With this support, knowledge and experience, we are committed to advancing WHO’s objective of strengthening health systems to improve health for all.


Terms of Reference


Collaborative Knowledge Generation

  • Build and maintain an international transdisciplinary network of expert groups and institutions working towards the application of complex systems analysis in health systems policy and planning
  • Develop a methodological framework to apply complex systems analysis in designing and evaluating health systems policy and planning
  • Facilitate interaction between Southern and Northern researchers and scholars from diverse fields related to the application complex systems in health systems

Knowledge Translation

  • Define taxonomy and engage in translation of knowledge generated through complex systems analysis outcomes to policy makers, decision makers, practitioners, public, end users and other researchers.

Institutional Strengthening

  • Assist in the establishment and implementation of complex systems analysis frameworks to evaluate health systems performance

Mentoring and Training

  • Provide transdisciplinary training opportunities for scholars, practitioners and trainees from the North and South


  • Secure operational funding for sustainable integration of the complex systems evaluation frameworks into national health systems.

CS4HS websiteClick for website