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Live Web Event: Improving Health Service Quality through Health Partnerships

2nd December 2020

The institutional health partnership (IHP) approach has emerged as a successful means of global collaboration between health institutions in developing and developed countries. The power of partnerships working together has had a positive impact on health care services. Besides supporting essential services, delivering quality health care is essential to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), and it is crucial to build trust in health services among populations. 

The shared practices and experiences of partnerships are a source of great learning for those undertaking similar collaborations. In this two-hour live web event, the WHO set the scene by providing an overview of the seven characteristics of quality of health services. Afterwards, we explored the inner workings of stand-out health partnerships operating in different contexts, driven by the common goal of improving quality of healthcare services. 

Our speakers covered the following: 

  1. WHO set the frame

  • Quality: A precondition for universal health coverage – The seven aspects of quality.
  • The Twinning Partnerships for Improvement Initiative: The institutional health partnership approach and how it contributes to healthcare quality improvement and universal health coverage  
  1. ESTHER Germany/ Regional Program University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa: Key achievements in patient safety. Featuring the health partnership between University Medical Centre Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE) in Germany, and College of Medicine at the University of Malawi Blantyre in Malawi. 

  2.  King’s Global Health Partnerships (KGHP): Experiences of KGHP in using quality improvement approaches in partnerships between the UK National Health Service (NHS), King’s College London and partners in Zambia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  3. Ranas & Gonoshasthaya Kendra (The People’s Health Centre, Bangladesh) supported by ESTHER Switzerland: Lessons and challenges encountered by the start-up partnership between Switzerland and Bangladesh in terms of data collection within the area of behaviour change for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

  4.  The Mayo General Hospital, Ireland -Londiani District Hospital, Kenya health partnership: Mutual learning and benefit through partnership between Ireland and Kenya to improve hospital and community health services.      

  5. The Twinning Partnership for Improvement between Timor-Leste and Macao SAR China: The learning that can be harnessed as a result of the experience of partnerships to ensure the sustainability and roll-out of actions to the wider system.

Partner Institutions

The Twinning Partnerships for Improvement Initiative (TPI) of the World Health Organization (WHO), THET Partnerships for Global Health, ESTHER Germany, ESTHER Switzerland, ESTHER Ireland, ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships.

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.