The focus area Health Systems strengthening and development is led by Prof Lillian Dudley, a Public Health Specialist who has vast experience in the field including having served as CEO of the South African Health Systems Trust. Subprojects in this focus area are Health systems and services research (HSSR) (Prof Lilian Dudley), Evidence Based Health Care (EBHC) (Dr Taryn Young), Community Health (Dr Neil Cameron) and Infection Prevention and Control (Prof Shaheen Mehtar). The thrust of this focus area is to strengthen health systems and services through relevant medical training, practice and community engagement supported by relevant research. It aims to link undergraduate and postgraduate student research projects to priorities of TB/HIV and maternal and child health with dedicated supervisors at the Faculty who are already involved in research in these areas, in order to ‘’scaffold’’ onto existing research or to develop new areas of research. It further aims to improve research training of undergraduates to ensure better quality projects, and students acquire good research methods in HSSR, EBHC and community health. Management of rural health programmes and services will also be strengthened through capacity development of key clinicians and other health service managers in evaluation of health care, the role EBHC in decision making, public health skills and infection prevention and control in primary care and communities.