At the heart of systems integration lies systems thinking, a discipline for seeing wholes, interrelationships and patterns of change. By focusing on the interrelationships among key elements within a system, and the influence of these interrelationships on the system’s behavior over time, leaders working to affect change can pursue several goals at once, simultaneously reducing the potential for unintended consequences by predicting upstream and downstream influences and effects. By coordinating efforts across systems of care, programs to improve maternal and child health can increase coverage and reduce barriers to the use of services and supports.
MCH and all public health leaders need a broad understanding of system thinking in order to achieve collective impact. They need to hone their leadership skills and master the concepts of systems science, system dynamics, mental modeling, concept mapping, network analysis, and technology systems.
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Each module below examines the competency as part of a learning process. You can use these modules sequentially or choose those of most relevance to your needs:
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