COST Action CA18218

[Training School] General concepts of burden of disease - 3rd edition

Date & Place

9-11 May 2022
Tbilisi, Georgia


The General Concepts of Burden of Disease Training School (TS) introduces burden of disease (BoD) estimates. It provides public health professionals as well as researchers from related fields, with practical knowledge about central BoD summary measures of population health, the concept and rationale of the main measures Years of life lost (YLL), Years lived with disability (YLD) and their combined metric the Disability-adjusted life year (DALY). The TS gives insight into the data-requirements, the methods applied, and offers the opportunity for hands-on exercises. In this sense, BoD metrics can be of great importance for priority setting in the public health policy and decision-making process.

This TS will be organized jointly with the CATINCA project, coordinated by the Robert Koch Institute, and will be kindly hosted by the Georgian National Center for Disease Control and Public Health.


The TS will be organized in three modules taking place from May, 9th to May, 11th 2022. Each module will include a theoretical and a practical part, including exercises and follow-up discussions. Each module is planned to take place from 9h30 to 16h30 CET, including a lunch break.

  • Module 1 (Introduction to DALYs and YLLs) introduces the basic concept of burden of disease: the DALY and the YLL
  • Module 2 (Introduction to YLDs) focuses on YLD and its main components the disability weights, severity distributions, and comorbidity adjustment
  • Module 3 (DALYs: theory to practice) addresses practical issues related to data, estimations and uncertainties, and, additionally, introduces other summary measures of public health


Registrations are closed.

Eligibility and prerequisites

The TS is open to all burden-eu COST members. The number of participants will be limited to a maximum of 30 (including participants from the CATINCA project). Should the number of applications exceed the maximum number of available seats, candidates will be selected based on a) their motivation, b) their career stage – giving priority to early-career researchers, and c) a gender and geographical balance – favoring representatives from Inclusiveness Target Countries.

Teaching will be in English. The possibility of a Russian-translation will be inspected/argued should there be a demand. Exercises will require a basic proficiency in MS Excel. The workshop will take place under the local COVID-regulations.


Time (CET)Module 1
Monday 09/05
Module 2
Tuesday 10/05
Module 3
Wednesday 11/05
9h00 Welcome & introductions    
9h30 Welcome & wrapup of previous session Welcome & wrapup of previous session
10h00 Introduction to the burden of disease concept and the DALY metric Disability weights: theory and applications From theory to practice: data, assumptions, uncertainties
11h00 Exercise Exercise Exercise
12h00 Discussion Discussion Discussion
12h30 Lunch break Lunch break Lunch break
13h30 Calculating Years of Life Lost
Calculating Years Lived with Disability Summary measures of population health
15h00 Exercise Exercise Exercise
16h00 Q&A Q&A Q&A
16h30 Closure of module 1 Closure of module 2 Closure of module 3



Brecht Devleesschauwer
Brecht Devleesschauwer, Sciensano, Belgium

Dr. Brecht Devleesschauwer is a senior epidemiologist at Sciensano (the Belgian institute for health) and visiting professor in Risk Analysis at Ghent University. He conducts policy-driven public health research in the domain of composite measures of population health and health inequalities. As a member of the World Health Organization Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (WHO/FERG), he contributed to the estimation of the global burden of foodborne disease. Currently, he is coordinating the Belgian National Burden of Disease Study, and chairing the European Burden of Disease Network (COST Action CA18218). Brecht holds PhD degrees in Public Health and Veterinary Sciences, and MSc degrees in Biostatistics and Veterinary Medicine.

Alexander Rommel
Alexander Rommel, Robert Koch Institute, Germany

Dr. Alexander Rommel is a senior epidemiologist at Robert Koch Institute (the German institute for public health). He does research on summary measures of population health, health inequalities and health systems analyses. He led the national Burden of Disease study in Germany (BURDEN 2020) from 2018 to 2021. Currently, he is coordinating two international networks on the burden of COVID-19 (BoCO-19) and on summary measures of population health (CATINCA). He is participating in the European Burden of Disease Network (COST Action CA18218). Alexander holds a master degree in sociology and a doctoral degree in health sciences.

Elena von der Lippe
Elena von der Lippe, Robert Koch Institute, Germany

Dr. Elena von der Lippe is a scientific researcher at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin, Germany. She studied statistics and obtained her PhD in Demography. She has been working in RKI since 2008 in the Department of Epidemiology and Health Monitoring. She has worked on the conception, organization, quality assessment and analysis of different epidemiological studies conducted at RKI. Since 2015 she is involved in Burden of Disease assessments and is the methodological leader of the Germany BURDEN2020 Project.

Annelene Wengler
Annelene Wengler, Robert Koch Institute, Germany

Dr. Annelene Wengler is a researcher in the field of causes-of-death at Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany. She holds a demography degree and has previously worked in the field of migration and health. As part of the German BoD study – BURDEN 2020 – she has calculated the years of life lost due to specific causes-of-death. As a prerequisite for calculating YLL, she applied a comprehensive method for redistributing ill-defined deaths within the German causes-of-death statistics.

About COST

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. COST Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation. Read more via

Get in touch

COST logo

Funded by the European Union

Website by  woluweb mini