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Paving the way to a new networking model: The ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships is transitioning at the end of 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.

Stay tuned and get in touch:

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months by checking our website and newsletters.   Also, if you would like to engage with us in exploring a new partnership networking model, we invite you to contact us at: 

Click here to download the PDF version of this statement

New Version: EFFECt Tool for Quailty Health Partnerships

The ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships released a new self assessment version of the EFFECt Tool for quality health partnership. The new version is more user friendly, takes less time to complete, and is more accessible to those whose native language is not English. 

The purpose of the EFFECt Tool is to help guide your discussion about the quality of your partnership and identify potential areas for improvement. The information is not recorded (nor reported) and is intended to be shared only between partners. Please feel free to add your own topics, which you would like to share or address within your partnership.

Health Partnerships between Northern and Southern countries aim to be equal and beneficial to both Institutional Health Partnership. The EFFECt tool encourages both partners to reflect on and evaluate their roles within the partnership, moving away from the traditional expectation that the Northern Partner automatically leads the project and instead supports the notion of an equally balanced relationship/ equality in the partnership.


Access The New EFFECt Tool Here

Access The Discussion Guide for EFFECt Tool Here 

Partnerships in a Time of COVID-19 Conference Learning Points and Key Reflections

Over 400 people from 44 countries gathered for the second COVID Partnerships virtual conference on the 19th of March 2021.

This report documents the immense challenges involved. We discussed the inequality of access to vaccinations; the growing pressure on health workers, both physical and mental; the secondary impacts of COVID-19 on essential health services; as well as the direct ways in which we can support each other to respond to COVID-19 itself and learn for future pandemics. It also provides a roadmap for that recovery of energy and optimism which is so important to us. The Health Partnership approach will survive, not least because of the extraordinary work of the very many individuals involved.

Webinar 1: Evaluating Institutional Health Partnerships ​​

Streamed on Friday 30 April 

Institutional Health Partnerships are important, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted their importance even more. At the same time it is important that these partnerships are truly equal, allowing for mutual learning. It is therefore important not only to evaluate the implementation of a specific project, but the quality of the partnership itself.  In this we webinar we invited our speakers to discuss the following:  

  • Why should we evaluate Institutional partnerships? 
  • How can we make the most of the results of such an evaluation? 
  • Lessons learnt from the partnerhips’ evaluation processes. 


  • Vicky Doyle, Director, Capacity Development International
  • Ahmed Razavi, Consultant in global public health and the Africa portfolio lead for the IHR Strengthening Project at Public Health England. 
  • David Weakliam, Global Health Programme Director in the Health Service Executive in Ireland. ESTHER Ireland 

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.