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Who we are

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.

“Partnerships... will contribute to major sustainable improvement to health systems in those countries which are most vulnerable. They will also benefit our health professionals who will gain invaluable experience and new skills.”
Joe Costello
Minister of State for Trade and Development, Ireland

The Alliance

We are a dynamic alliance of Government and allied organizations committed to joint action, guided by shared values and principles.  By working together, we can broaden the reach and effectiveness of institutional health partnerships. We promote peer-to-peer partnerships to inspire individuals and institutions to change the way they work. Through regular reciprocal visits, on-the-job training, and via continuous joint monitoring of progress, ESTHER partnerships contribute to improving the quality of service delivery and potentially influence health policy. When evaluating and selecting our partnerships through competitive processes, we ensure that they have specific attributes: 

Partnerships are not about one project or one person but about a mutual long-term commitment between institutions to work together

Health service professionals value support coming from people who are doing exactly the same role elsewhere

Partners, north and south, both gain valuable experience of how to manage health services with limited resources and develop new clinical, management and leadership skills

Responding to needs identified as priorities by southern institutions creates a deeper buy-in and commitment to improvement and change

History - More than a Decade of Success

Since its launch in 2002, the Alliance has already supported more than 200 partnerships in diverse intervention areas and in more than 30 countries.

The ESTHER initiative acquired a European dimension soon after the creation of the GIP ESTHER (public French agency) in March 2002. An initial core of countries (France, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain) agreed in April 2002 to jointly develop a ‘Network for Therapeutic Solidarity in Hospitals against AIDS’ (Ensemble pour une solidarité thérapeutique hospitalière en réseau, ESTHER) to strengthen the skills and capacities of health structures in less-developed countries to assist people living with HIV/AIDS.

The members agreed to set up a European Secretariat at GIP ESTHER. In March 2004, four more countries ratified the same declaration (Austria, Belgium, Germany and Portugal), followed by Greece in September 2006. Norway in November 2008, Switzerland in November 2011 and Ireland in February 2012. In October 2012, the United Kingdom joined the Alliance with observer status, and in 2014 a Southern Countries Representative joined the Board. In mid-2017, the Alliance widened its membership from a European to a global level and was rebranded as the ESTHER Alliance for Global Health Partnerships.

"The beauty of the Esther Partnership is the enormous capacity building prospect (for both human and infrastructure); the added advantage being to have international experts coming to Ghana to impart skill and knowledge while adapting to local needs"
Dr. Alex Owusu-Ofori, KATH
Head of the Department of Clinical Microbiology