This is an exciting time to explore planning and evaluation in public health. Effective planning and evaluation gives programs and interventions the best opportunity to be successful. It means we better understand what works and why, helping us get the right information and strategies to the right people and judiciously using our limited resources. Complex issues abound in public health and traditional planning and evaluation methods may not always be adequate, so we will use a systems approach – a perspective that considers connections among different components, plans for the implications of their interaction, and requires interdisciplinary thinking. Using a systems thinking lens we will explore models, frameworks and theory to plan for priorities for public health action, to better understand the complexities of health behaviour, and to inform program design. Like systems thinking the course aims to be dynamic and engaging.