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Published in September 2021

The story behind the Alliance:

The ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships has been facilitating health partnerships since 2004.  The journey began in response to the challenge of quality of care for AIDS patients in hospitals in Africa.  Over the years, it grew into an Alliance involving 12 European countries engaged with hundreds of twinning partnerships across low and middle-income countries.  Many partnerships have achieved success in improving health services and health outcomes, supported by the Alliance through funding, technical guidance and learning and networking opportunities.

Why is it time for a change?

The world has changed, and it is time for a new model of facilitating health partnerships.  The ESTHER Alliance is no longer tied to official development programmes, which opens up the opportunity for a broader alliance with non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders.  Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to rethink our North-South institutional partnership approach.  The global pandemic response has exposed stark inequities in health care and calls for a new paradigm for technical cooperation based on more equal ways of cooperating between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).  The partnership approach is more important than ever and we need to strengthen our global approach to facilitating and supporting institutional partnerships.

Let’s explore a new networking model together:

In this context, the ESTHER Alliance board has decided to end the ESTHER Alliance by 31 December 2021.  This will pave the way in 2022 to explore a new networking model that is global and inclusive to all individuals and organisations interested and engaged in health partnerships.  We will not seek to be Europe based, but embrace a truly global approach with greater participation and leadership from LMICs.  Although the ESTHER Alliance operations will finish by the end of 2021, the Member countries of the Alliance remain committed to the partnership approach and will continue to facilitate partnerships and projects through the relevant organisations in their countries.

Click here to download the PDF version of this statement

Despite the closing of the ESTHER Alliance, we left a depository of resources on institutional health partnerships. These resources will be available until the end of 2022. Please check the following links:

  1. EFFECt Tool for quality health partnerships 
  2. Publications and evidence on health partnerships
  3. Recorded events

The ESTHER Alliance was an alliance of governments and allied organizations. Members were engaged institutions in effective and sustainable North-South partnerships. Our partnerships aimed at strengthening the capacity of the health workforce and institutions to provide quality health services for people in low and middle-income countries. We promoted institutional health partnerships through knowledge generation, sharing best practice, collaboration, and advocacy.


The ESTHER Alliance was set in the general framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. We contributed mostly to SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing and SDF 17 Partnerships for the Goals. Those two goals taken together highlight not only what we wanted to achieve (better health for all, or Universal Health Coverage), but also how we wanted to achieve it (through better, more equal, and balanced partnerships.

This is a new tool for institutional health partnerships, EFFECt stands for EFFective in Embedding Change.  The tool specifically focusses on assessing implementation best practice, embedding change and the added benefits to individuals and institutions of using a partnership approach.  The EFFECt tool measures these in relation to capacity building activities irrespective of the focus of the specific intervention. 

Access The New EFFECt Tool Here

Access The Discussion Guide for EFFECt Tool Here