How we work

Working together to generate and share learning

The German Health Practice Collection is a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and KfW Entwicklungsbank.

Since 2004, it has involved experts working in German-supported health and social protection programmes around the globe in a collaborative knowledge management process, seeking to identify, document and widely share results and lessons learnt which programmes generate during their implementation.

Annual calls for proposals

Every year teams from German-supported programmes submit proposals that describe a particular intervention, its results and the lessons they learned during its implementation. Guided by a participatory assessment of the proposals’ technical merits by GIZ and KfW staff, BMZ decides which proposals will be documented in the Collection.

Since 2015, inclusion in the Collection no longer just depends on whether implementation was ‘successful’ in a narrow sense (e.g. demonstrable, sustainable, positive results), but on whether the way a programme tackled implementation bottlenecks offers new insights into why and how progress happened (or did not happen). Compared to its earlier selection and documentation practices, the GHPC has shifted its emphasis from trying to capture ‘good practice’ towards generating new delivery knowledge by analysing - based on 2-3 guiding questions - how German programmes and their partner institutions deal with implementation challenges they encounter, how they adapt their approaches accordingly, and what they learn in the process about effective implementation.

Documentation by experienced writers

For each GHPC case study professional writers are contracted to conduct background research, field visits and interviews, and to work closely with programme staff, representatives of partner organisations and the GHPC editors. Oriented by the guiding questions they do the following:

  • Explore, with both partner institutions and the German agency supporting them, how they addressed a crucial development challenge;
  • Look at how the implementation of the programme evolved, how different kinds of implementation bottlenecks were addressed, and how the approach was adjusted accordingly;
  • Describe the results of the interventions in terms of specific outcomes for the beneficiaries, as well as for the policy and reform process in the given partner country; and
  • Generate broader learning about both the development challenge and the implementation of interventions to address it.

Two independent peer reviewers review the final text to assess how the case study has answered its guiding questions and whether it has generated new insights regarding the implementation of the given approach and the development challenge it addresses.

Long and short versions of the publications are made available on the Healthy DEvelopments web portal, as well as in hard copy.

The GHPC process

GHPC: production of publications


GHPC: Dissemination


BMZ glossary

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