Karin van Vuuren

Governance and Organisation of Health Systems for Flood Disasters

Department of Health Care Governance, Faculty Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Supervisors: Prof.dr. Roland Bal, dr. Bert de Graaff, Robert Borst MSc


Bachelor Psychobiology – University of Amsterdam

Thesis: Amyloid Bèta in APP [V717] transgenic mice

Master Health Care Management – Erasmus University (part time)

Thesis: Being a Clinician and a Scientist: Juggling Several Forms of Worth to Accumulate Credibility

Aside her work as a research policy maker within a Dutch university medical centre, Karin chose to continue her studies with a master in Health Care Management. As a shift to responsible research assessment was initiated within medical universities, the valuation of clinician scientists sparked her interest and led to her thesis focusing on value regimes.


The health system is a layered system, divided in different regions for each layer with separated governance and accountability structures. Disasters like floods are well-known to exacerbate coordination and governance issues as they can destruct crucial governance infrastructures, making the relation between these structures even more important.  In this project I will focus on the governance of the health care system prior to, during and after floods in relation between the crisis management, flood risk and healthcare domains. As floods hold unknown unknowns, things that we are not aware of and are unable to predict, it is interesting how a layered healthcare system can prepare for or anticipate for these unknowns in decision-making. As this project is embedded in an interdisciplinary research collaboration with partners focusing on watermanagement, I am interested in the emerging and changing discourses in watermanagement and how these shape the development of policies and practices related to the health system and disaster preparedness and resilience.