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Conversations on COVID-19, Webinar Series

Health Partnerships during the Pandemic: Contributions and Lessons 

Streamed on 28th August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of institutional health partnerships. In the time when most of the countries were urged to focus internally in order to fight the pandemic, health institutions from lower, middle- and high-income countries that are involved in long-term institutional partnerships held on their partnerships and continued in supporting, collaborating and exchanging learning and expertise with their partners 

In this webinar speakers were invited speakers to discuss the following:  

  • What was the value of the institutional health partnerships for the partners involved during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • How did different health partnerships respond to the pandemic? Practical example.  
  • Lessons learnt from the partnership’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  


  • David Weakliam, Global Health Programme Director in the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). He represents Ireland in the ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships. He is Adjunct Professor in global health at University College Dublin. 
  • Desalegn Bekele Taye, Coordinator of Quality Improvement case team at the Ministry of Health, Ethiopia. He is Health care quality and safety advocate professional with an MD from Bahir Dar University.  
  • Francis Nyakoojo is the Emergency Programme Manager with Concern Worldwide for the past 4 years. A medical doctor by training, Francis has over 10 years, practical experience coordinating and managing projects in humanitarian and development context in different countries in Africa. Currently, Francis is coordinating the Concern, GOAL and Trocaire consortium that is working alongside the ministry of health and sanitation to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Serra Leone. 
  • Joe Gallagher is a GP in The Palms GP Surgery in Gorey, County Wexford. The surgery is involved in a partnership with St John’s Hospital in Malawi, focusing on non-communicable diseases. During the pandemic the partnership has pivoted to COVID-19 with unexpected results. Joe is also a clinical associate professor in the School of Medicine at University College Dublin. 
  • Olimjon Saidmamatov, is a researcher at Urgench State University, Uzbekistan. Using ESTHER start-up grant, he is connecting gynaecology surgeons of Fribourg Cantonal Hospital and Urgench Perinatal Hospital towards introducing spinal anaesthesia practices in laparoscopic surgeries. Along with that, ESTHER project coordinator – Dr.Attila Major will arrange training in Uzbekistan in November 2020. 

A recording of this webinar  will be available on our YouTube channel, along with the previous webinars.

Central Project Evaluation: ESTHER University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa

Regional Program University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa​

Germany joined the ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships as early as 2004. Shortly thereafter, the ESTHER Germany Secretariat was established within GIZ. The Secretariat and the steering of several GIZ-funded health partnerships was hosted by the Programme to Foster Innovation, Learning and Evidence in HIV and Health Programmes of German Development Cooperation (PROFILE).

The specific object of this evaluation was the ESTHER Alliance University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa technical cooperation (TC) measure. The project was carried out by GIZ on behalf of BMZ. It had a duration of 3 years 6 months from June 2016 to November 2019 and an overall budget of EUR 4,000,000. It was originally designed as a standalone project until, in 2017, BMZ launched the Hospital Partnerships – Partners Strengthen Health initiative.

This included another TC measure with a similar partnership approach but different target institutions, funding modes and values, geographical focus, and selection criteria. Both projects were then coordinated under the common roof of the Hospital Partnerships initiative, even though both have maintained their conceptual and operational independence. The objective of the project was: The conditions for patient safety in selected African countries within the framework of institutional health partnerships (IHPs) are improved. The objective and its indicators were formulated before specific partnership projects were chosen. Therefore, the indicators did not specify changes in the partner countries but instead overarching result categories and the number of projects that contributed to them. These dimensions are (a) implementation of solutions for identified treatment errors, (b) implementation of training measures that address identified treatment errors and (c) international dissemination of knowledge products developed by the funded partnership projects.

Click on the photo below to read and download the full evaluation report:

thumbnail of GIZ Central project evaluation_2016.2035.0_ESTHER University and hospital partnerships in Africa_CRS12181

Click the photo below to read and download the executive summary: 

thumbnail of Summary_GIZ Central project evaluation_2016.2035.0_ESTHER University and hospital partnerships in Africa

Logo HKP 2020

New Funding Round: Hospital Partners can make a change!

Regional Program University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa​​

The funding Programme Hospital Partnerships – Partners Strengthen Health is entering the next round: For the 8th time we will fund medical and healthcare experts, who would like to apply for a funding within the framework of their hospital partnerships with a sum of up to 50.000 Euro

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the foundation Else Kröner-Fresenius (EKFS) jointly initiated the Hospital Partnerships funding program in 2016. Since then, it supported 250 projects in currently 58 countries in various health-related fields. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is responsible for the implementation and gives support in the fields of finance and contracts, project management and communications.

The application platform will open on October 15th and close on November 23d 2020. Applications are only possible during this period of time via the online portal.

You will find further information about our funding program and the application process on the website:

Check this YouTube video to know more about the application process.

Check out the Funding at Glance document for more information.  

Check this document for German translation.


The GIZ team of the Hospital Partnerships is happy to assist you in handing in your application and to answer any questions you might have.


GIZ Hospital Partnerships funding program 

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36

53113 Bonn – Germany

phone +49 (0)228 – 44 60 38 00     



We are an alliance of governments and allied organizations. Our members engage institutions in effective and sustainable North-South partnerships. Our partnerships strengthen the capacity of the health workforce and institutions to provide quality health services for people in low and middle-income countries. We promote institutional health partnerships through knowledge generation, sharing best practice, collaboration, and advocacy.


The ESTHER Alliance is set in the general framework of the Sustainable Development Goals. We contribute 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 want to achieve (better health for all, or Universal Health Coverage), but also how we want 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.