ESTHER (Ensemble pour une Solidarité Thérapeutique Hospitalière En Réseau)

Project completed

Switzerland contributes to improve the quality of health services and the health of the populations in Low and Middle Income Countries through institutional health partnerships. Switzerland offers its health expertise by twinning Swiss health institutions, mainly hospitals and research institutes, with the same type of institutions and by focusing on the area of sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS. These institutional partnerships are embedded within the framework of the European ESTHER Alliance.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Reproductive health & rights
Sexually transmitted diseases incl. HIV/AIDS
Health systems strengthening
01.03.2015 - 30.11.2019
CHF 1'491'500

In many low and middle income countries (LMICs), unmet health needs in relation to sexual and reproductive health and rights including HIV/AIDS, are high and the provision and accessibility of quality health care services remain a challenge. To realise universal health coverage, as per the Sustainable Development Goals, innovative practices and partnerships are required. Switzerland is a center of excellence for health care and research. Thus, Swiss institutions can bring valuable experience and expertise into institutional health partnerships in LMICs.


Contribution to improved health outcomes of the population in Low and Middle Income Countries through strengthened health systems and improved quality of health services, especially in the area of sexual and reproductive health including HIV/AIDS, by means of institutional health partnerships.

Target groups

Direct target group is the staff of health institutions that are directly or indirectly involved in health service delivery through ESTHER partnerships (in LMIC and in Switzerland).

Final target group is the general population in regions where ESTHER Switzerland health partnerships are implemented.

Medium-term outcomes

Swiss institutional health partnership projects are developed under the ESTHER umbrella and implemented according to EEA quality standards.

Experiences and evidence from Swiss institutional health partnership projects are processed and disseminated within the ESTHER Switzerland network and within the EEA, and brought into the national and global policy dialogue.

The organizational structure of ESTHER Switzerland is strengthened.


Expected results:  

  • ESTHER Switzerland secretariat is functional and provides overall coordination.
  • Strategic and thematic orientation and governance structure of ESTHER Switzerland are developed.
  • ESTHER partnership projects are approved and under way.
  • Project results, lessons learned and good practices from ESTHER Switzerland are synthesised and shared.
  • EEA standards are promoted among Swiss institutions
  • ESTHER Switzerland experiences are shared at EEA meetings and working Groups.

Results from previous phases:  

European ESTHER Alliance (EEA):

  • First EEA Strategy 2015-20 developed and implementation started.
  • EEA governance structure (EEA Board) and EEA working groups established and operational.

ESTHER Switzerland:

  • Mapping of existing Swiss hospital partnerships within the current ESTHER Switzerland network conducted.
  • Session of the EEA on institutional health partnership at the Geneva Health Forum 2014 supported.
  • Active engagement in the European Alliance (e.g. participation in one EEA working group; expert input at an ESTHER France meeting). 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Unversität Bern

Other partners

European ESTHER Alliance.

Coordination with other projects and actors

In Switzerland: Federal Office of Public Health, Swiss HIV Cohort Study.


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   1'491'500 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   1'580'546 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF  13'250 Budget inclusive project partner CHF  3'000'000
Project phases Phase 2 01.12.2019 - 30.11.2024   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.03.2015 - 30.11.2019   (Completed)