Networks and communities of practice

GIZ-Sector Network Health and Social Protection Africa, Middle East and Latin America

GIZ-SN Health and Social Protection Africa, Middle East and Latin America

The Sector Network Health and Social Protection Africa, MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) was formed in 2002, when the two health sector networks for Francophone and Anglophone Africa were combined. Today, the sector network links all projects and programmes in the spheres of health, social protection and social policy in sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb states and the Middle East, as well as the HIV/AIDS projects and programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The sector network connects more than 30 projects and programmes in 30 different countries, as well as a number of development cooperation organisations.

GIZ-Sector Network Health and Social Protection Asia and Eastern Europe

GIZ-SN Health and Social Protection, Asia and Eastern Europe

The Health and Social Protection Sector Network, Asia and Eastern Europe is currently active in more than 40 projects and giz_logo_deprogrammes in 19 countries.

The Network promotes professional exchange among projects and programmes in the fields of health and social protection, enhances the quality of planning and implementation for existing and new projects, and introduces improvements in the GIZ service package (products) and GIZ human resources.

It is the platform for professional dialogue about new themes, including cross-sectoral issues. Examples include the connections between health and aid effectiveness, health care financing and good governance, rural development and social security, and health and social protection as the basis for economic development. is a platform which aims to facilitate knowledge-sharing on effective social protection policies and programmes, as well as contribute to capacity-building of the Low-Income Countries (LICs) and Middle-Income Countries (MICs).

GIZ - GIZ Alumni Portal Health and Social Protection

GIZ Alumni Portal Health and Social Protection GIZ-alumni_resize

The GIZ Alumni Portal Health and Social Protection is an online platform that provides information on the various e- or blended learning courses GIZ offers in the areas of health and social protection. This includes courses on “Health and Human Rights”, “HIV and Gender”, “International Approaches to Health Financing and Health Insurance”  “Management of Medicines in International Health” and many more courses. 

Combining face-to-face training and e-learning, these “blended learning” courses are designed to develop the capacities of individuals, institutions and networks in partner countries of German development cooperation. Participants include health facility staff, administrators and policy-makers from the public sector and civil society. 

There are demo versions for some of these courses on the portal which allow interested candidates to discover the possibilities of its online learning and exchange tools.

The Alumni Portal Health and Social Protection also includes a password-protected section that allows former participants (‘Alumni’) of these courses to stay in touch with one another, to share their experiences, to present their work and to receive online support on how to use their newly acquired knowledge in their daily work.

The German Food Partnership (GFP)

The German Food Partnership (GFP) is a private-public initiative whose aim is to reduceGFP-logo poverty and hunger in developing countries and emerging economies. Currently over 30 small, medium-sized and large companies, industry associations and implementing organisations of German development cooperation are participants in the GFP, which was founded in 2012 under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The GFP pools the resources of public and private partners in order to foster the establishment of a modern agriculture and food sector in the partner countries. In this way development policy objectives are combined with private-sector economic interests. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH coordinates the activities of the GFP on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

MEDBOX – a new open source library for health workers worldwide

MEDBOX: Health workers need access to up-to-date literature and information MEDBOX Logo
The real-time availability of relevant and up-to-date medical literature is often imperative and yet challenging to access in the context of humanitarian assistance and development work. The online portal MEDBOX collates the increasing number of professional guidelines, textbooks and practical documents on health action available online and brings these into the hands of aid-, health- and development workers: when they need it, where they need it.

Health workers around the world can act effectively if they have access to the necessary tools. The lack of access to such tools costs lives, as was proven in various scientific investigations, cumulating in the following observation: “It is a shameful fact that […] people are still dying because their healthcare workers don’t have access to the information they need”.

This is even more valid in situations of crisis or catastrophe, when chaos prevails and real-time access to technical information is vital.

MEDBOX – the concept

MEDBOX aims at closing this gap by collating and providing access to quality, open-access, practical documents such as clinical guidelines, assessment checklists or textbooks on one homepage and for free. It provides

  • Practical resources covering all aspects of health action
  • Specialised toolboxes (e.g. polio or cholera toolbox)
  • Innovative generic checklists
  • Individualised functions such as creating favourite’s lists (“My Own MEDBOX”)
  • Constantly updated and revised archives
  • Easy online-access and smartphone compatibility


MEDBOX is currently supported by the following partners

German Foreign Ministry • Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) • Médecins sans Frontières • Médecins du Monde • Caritas Germany • German Red Cross • The Johanniter • Malteser international • Arbeiter Samariter Bund / Workers Samaritans Federation (ASB) • Pharmaciens Sans Frontières • German Institute for Medical Mission (DIFAEM) • AGEG Consultants • ICON-Institute • German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association DAHW • Misereor • Die Sternsinger (PMK) • German Doctors • medico international.


Dr. Joost Butenop MPH
Founder, Project Coordinator
Title page: Medbox publicationMEDBOX Team c/o Medical Mission Institute
Hermann-Schell-Str. 7
D-97074 Würzburg
Tel. 0049 (0)932 80485-13

Download Innovative Open–Source Library for International Health Action (7pp. 371 kB)

Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage

 Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage Joint Learning Network Logo

The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) is an innovative learning platform where practitioners and policymakers from around the globe co-develop global knowledge that focuses on the practical “how to” of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The JLN aims to accelerate country-level progress toward UHC by focusing our activities on the following goals:

  • Equitably expand coverage to target populations
  • Increase access to services, especially primary care
  • Improve quality of care and patient safety
  • Sustainably and effectively finance services

JLN members have also identified several cross-cutting initiatives including Information Technology, Provider Payment Mechanisms, Poverty Targeting and Primary Health Care.

Health Data Collaborative

Health Data CollaborativeHealth-Data-Logo

The Health Data Collaborative is a joint effort by multiple global health partners to work alongside countries to improve the quality of their health data and to track progress toward the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It aims to align global health partners’ financial and technical resources around a common agenda for measurement and accountability.

African Health Economics and Policy Association (AfHEA)

African Health Economics and Policy Association Logo-AfHEA

The main mission of AfHEA is to improve health outcomes, with special emphasis on the most vulnerable population groups. AfHEA works towards improved health outcomes by promoting high quality and standards in the generation of policy relevant evidence and the use of appropriate health economics tools within the discipline of health economics and financing in Africa. To this end, AfHEA intends to build a strong and vibrant African health economics association.

European ESTHER Alliance

European ESTHER Alliance esther

The European ESTHER alliance (Ensemble pour une Solidarité Thérapeutique Hospitalière en Réseau - Together for a Networked Hospital Therapeutic Solidarity) contributes to the implementation of its member states policy for health sector development aid. It aims to build up capacities in the fight against HIV/AIDS and its associated infections in developing countries.

Health 4 Africa - Community of Practice (CoP)

Health 4 Africa - Community of Practice H_4_A

The community of practice is a place that brings together providers with national and international policymakers, researchers and donors to discuss problems and find solutions. Indeed the provision of health services is particularly diverse and complex. It depends on the context and all the other blocks of the system. It remains no less critical to achieve a health system’s objectives. By direct interaction, the members of the community of practice tend to break down barriers by sharing ideas and concepts derived from their field experience that are decontextualized to be re-contextualized where the needs arise.

Results-based Financing for Health - Community of Practice

Results-based Financing for Health

A Community of Practice (CoP) for results-based financing (RBF) was launched in February 2010 during a weeklong workshop RBF-COPon RBF in the central African nation of Burundi, as part of the Health Systems for Outcomes (HSO) initiative of the World Bank. One of five virtual CoPs hosted on the HSO website, the RBF community of practice aims to:

  • Cultivate expertise in countries, by identifying local RBF experts, expand their numbers and upgrade their skills;
  • Consolidate best practices and identify areas where there are knowledge gaps;
  • Organize interactions between researchers and policymakers and inject evidence into RBF policymaking; and
  • Connect practitioners and experts in developing countries instead of having donor agencies act as go-betweens.

The Social Determinants of Health Network (SDH-Net)

Building Sustainable Capacity for Research for Health and its Social Determinants in Low and Middle Income Countries SDH-Net-logo

The Social Determinants of Health Network (SDH-Net) is a four year (2011-2015) collaboration project, financed by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Research Programme and was launched in October 2011. SDH-Net aims to strengthen and link research capacities for health and its social determinants in African and Latin American low and middle income countries in close collaboration with European partners. The goal of the project is to advance the understanding of social determinants of health, improve interventions on local and regional level and build sustainable structures for addressing health inequities. It provides a framework for developing interdisciplinary research capacity in the field of social determinants of health by linking, strengthening and building capacities in research institutions and implementing agencies in low and middle income countries as well as in Europe.

Health Systems Hub Hansep

 A platform on mixed (public and private) health systems has been created by the "Harnessing non-state actors for better health for the poor"(HANSHEP) group for the global health community. The Mixed Health Systems Hub is an innovative online resource specially designed to support knowledge exchange, networking and collaboration among health practitioners, policymakers, researchers and development partners committed to creating equitable and sustainable health systems for all.

The hub can help you to:

  • Quickly find answers to your questions by connecting you to quality resources, training materials and other health professionals working on your issues;
  • Stay up to date with the latest news, events, reports and discussion on mixed health systems topics;
  • Collaborate with others and manage your own online groups to overcome shared challenges;
  • Raise awareness of your organization and share your lessons learned.

Visit and become a member!

Expert facility supporting social protection systems in partner countries


Expert facility supporting social protection systems in partner countries

SOCIEUX is a technical assistance instrument which has been set up in order to support the efforts of partner countries to better design and manage their social protection systems. The instrument permits a rapid mobilisation of social protection experts drawn primarily from public administrations and mandated bodies of the EU Member States. Practitioners from partner countries’ administrations and non-governmental groups can also bring added value. SOCIEUX offers support in all social protection areas, including social insurance, social assistance, access to basic social services, monitoring and evaluations systems.

Interagency Social Protection Assessments (ISPA)


The ISPA initiative offers a set of practical tools that help countries improve their social protection system by analysing its strengths and weaknesses and offering options for further action. The tools have been developed by social protection experts from more than 20 international organisations such as the World Bank, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and GIZ (on behalf of BMZ), together with partner countries.

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