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ESTHER - Switzerland



Switzerland joined the ESTHER Alliance in 2011. Since 2016, the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern hosts the ESTHER Switzerland Secretariat and implements the ESTHER Switzerland programme on behalf of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). SDC provides technical and financial support at the level of ESTHER Switzerland and the Alliance and represents Switzerland in the Board of the Alliance.


ESTHER Switzerland is a network of institutions that engages Swiss hospitals and other institutions in effective and sustainable North-South partnerships. ESTHER partnerships strengthen the capacity of the health workforce and institutions to provide quality health services for people in low and middle-income countries, with a focus on universal health care coverage and strengthening health services. ESTHER Switzerland promotes institutional health partnerships through knowledge generation, sharing best practice, collaboration, and advocacy. ESTHER Switzerland is an active member of the ESTHER Global Alliance and supports the Alliance’s Secretariat.

How to apply for funding

The ESTHER Switzerland provides grants of 2 types: ESTHER project grants and ESTHER start-up grants. Both types of grants are available to institutional health partnerships that include at least one health institution in Switzerland (preference is given to hospitals, universities and research institutions) and one health institution in a low or middle-income country.

  1. Partnerships Project Grant: Projects should be focused primarily on sexual and reproductive health and rights including HIV/AIDS. The maximum amount for a Project grant is CHF 100’000.
  2. Start-up Grant: this fund support initiatives to asses new partnership projects that could lead to new projects within the scope of the ESTHER programme. The maximum amount for a Start-up grant is CHF 10’000.

Typical projects focus on service deliver and could aim at the training of health care staff (medical staff, nurses, management positions, etc.). Research projects (e.g., cohort studies) are outside the scope of the call.

You will find the information on each funding programme below. Please note that the Swiss partner institution must always be the one applying for funding.


ESTHER Switzerland Grants

ESTHER Switzerland Start-up Grants

When can proposals be submitted

Once a year

Once a year

Volume of financing

CHF 100.000 (max.)

CHF 10.000 (max)

Conditions for application

Intervention Areas/thematic areas the partnership must focus on

primarily on sexual and reproductive health and rights including HIV/AIDS

Exploring the feasibility of a new institutional health partnership and/or a new project.

Regional focus



Type of partner organisations supported

Primary partner: Swiss hospitals or Swiss research institutions

Primary partner: Swiss hospitals or Swiss research institutions

Other relevant information on financing

Typical duration of a project is between 1 and 2 years.

The Start-up grant can be used to prepare a full Grant proposal

ESTHER Switzerland
Dörte Petit

ESTHER Project Manager
Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine

University of Bern
Finkenhubelweg 11
3012 Bern
Tel +41 31 631 33 35