20190709 ichtv giz klinikpartnerschaften uz DSC 1334 vorauswahl. Copyright: ©GIZ/Thorsten Thor
Ultrasound screening for hip dysplasia in newborns in Uzbekistan
Haiti Behandlungsszene. Copyright: ©GIZ/T. Bauer
Improving the care concept for underprivileged population groups in rural areas in Haiti
Nurses and medical staff doing a training on hygienical standards. Copyright: ©GIZ
Patient and occupational safety in surgery in Mbouo, Cameroon
Georgien Gruppenbild
German-Georgian Partnership for Optimising Outpatient Psychosocial Care
Asmara Path Labor Staff 2018. Copyright: ©GIZ/H. Lobeck
Expansion and optimisation of tissue and cell diagnostics (histopathology and cytopathology) in Eritrea
Two doctors evaluate the results of the screening in Addis Ababa.. Copyright: ©GIZ
Improving gynaecological and oncological care in Ethiopia

Our objective

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Sustainable Development Goal 3

Through peer-to-peer exchange between partners, we intend to improve health care services in low and middle income countries and thereby help fulfil the global 2030 Agenda.

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Major progress

In most countries of the world, people’s health and health coverage have already been improved significantly in recent decades. Average human life expectancy has risen above 70 and child mortality has been reduced by 50% over the last 25 years.

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Current challenges

Despite these success stories, many people are still without access to the health care they need. In low and middle income countries in particular, health systems are often unable to guarantee needs-based services. Poor or non-existent infrastructure often means that patients can only reach health facilities with great difficulty. Moreover, health personnel are often overstretched and lack adequate training. Large numbers of people continue to suffer and die from preventable or treatable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, cancer or diabetes mellitus.

Our approach

Partnership-based learning is the foundation for innovation and development. Strong partnerships are able to sustainably change the ways in which institutions and people work, so that the quality of health care in the country concerned is improved and health policy is influenced.

As member of the ESTHER Alliance of Global Health Partnerships we pursue their partnership approach to deliver long-term results.

Your engagement

Many health organisations in Germany already maintain peer-to-peer links and working relationships with health institutions in poorer countries. These can be forged by the personal commitment of certain individuals eager to improve care for patients in those countries. Equally however, their driving force can be the empirical knowledge that exchange enriches both sides. Partnerships exist between associations and smaller hospitals, and between large university hospitals. When health sector partners network on a global scale and pursue joint objectives, new horizons emerge.

By working together as peers across national boundaries, everyone involved gains new knowledge and experience. Experts in German health care organisations benefit by getting to know other health contexts and service delivery structures. They develop their expertise by researching challenges in partner countries, developing new strategies and adapting proven approaches to a new context. In dialogue with German partners, health organisations in partner countries can familiarise themselves with modern clinical practice, extend their own expertise and develop fresh ideas. Analysing new processes and structures boosts motivation on both sides. And it creates space for innovation, too.

Jointly drive change

The initiative aims to recognise and foster this engagement, its core belief being that development thrives on cooperation and mutual learning. Peer-to-peer partnerships generate fresh ideas, which are needed in order to provide people in partner countries with the services they require. By building partner capacity and facilitating projects, the initiative enables the actors involved to implement these ideas and to sustainably improve health care in the process. They also feed into national, technical and policy discussions and decision-making processes, thus helping address systemic challenges.

By identifying medium- and long-term results, continuously monitoring activities and performing subsequent evaluations, the partnerships succeed in bringing about fundamental change which manifests on various levels. Innovative and improved health management and health care practices that are developed and piloted within the framework of a health partnership between hospitals benefit the institutions involved. But they also feed into national, technical and policy discussions and decision-making processes, thus helping address systemic challenges. Strong health systems are a pillar of universal health coverage. Our hospital partnerships will help achieve SDG 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages) and SDG 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development).

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About us

Launched in September 2016, the ‘Hospital Partnerships – Partners Strengthen Health' is a joint initiative of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation (EKFS).

Initiative launch event

As well as financial support, BMZ and EKFS also contribute years of experience in promoting university partnerships. The German Government works tirelessly to advance the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and to strengthen health systems worldwide. The Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation has a long-standing tradition of societal engagement in the medical and humanitarian fields. Since 1983, it has also been using its expertise to support and promote projects for medical research and development. The foundation’s humanitarian purpose in the medical sector is to sustainably improve health care in developing countries. In addition to direct medical assistance for patients and improvements to medical infrastructure on the ground, the foundation supports training projects in developing countries. Medical capacity building is promoted on all levels of the health system – from the health worker in remote regions to the university professor. In this way, the foundation provides help for self-help, which ideally translates into a sustainable contribution to better medical care in partner countries.

Within this framework, the foundation and BMZ are currently promoting 113 hospital partnerships in 37 countries.

Institutions providing sectoral support. The initiative receives support from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Health (BMG)and from the World Health Organization (WHO). The initiative is a member of the international ESTHER Alliance, which promotes institutional health partnerships worldwide. As a member of the alliance, we are committed to strengthening and scaling up hospital partnerships. Other experienced partners, such as the KfW Development Bank (KfW), support the selection process, and thus boost quality assurance.

The initiative’s secretariat is located at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. GIZ is responsible for publishing calls for project proposals, for managing financial support and for delivering expert advice. And it assists partners with medical and administrative issues during project implementation. It is also responsible for the initiative's PR and networking.

Together for strong health systems

Member of:
In Cooperation with:
Executed by:

Our funding programmes

Through our funding, we support new and existing partnerships in the health sector.


Hospital Partnerships

Partners strengthen health

Health Partnerships – Global

promotes partnerships between organisations in various health-related fields, worldwide

to Programme

University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa

promotes partnerships with universities and hospitals in African countries in regularly changing specialist fields

to Programme
Other programmes

DAAD Pagel Programme

Partnerships for the health sector in developing countries

Other programmes

Engagement Global

service for development initiatives

Other programmes


consultancy service on international projects