Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, September 2010

MMI Network News, September 2010

Editorial: Are NGOs an interesting partner for research institutions?

Dear reader,

The MMI Network research policy (2009) refers to two main challenges for NGOs related to research: “Get evidence into NGO policy and practice!” and: “Get NGO practice into research!” Based on this policy document, and as a result of a strategy development process within the Network, MMI added the task of developing new partnerships between NGOs and research institutions to its strategic plan 2011-2015: “By the end of 2015, the MMI Network will have contributed to the establishment of mutually beneficial and productive working interfaces between Network members and research institutions both in the North and South.”

In order to be relevant for NGOs, research must be linked to issues the organizations and their partners are dealing with, to their need to find out ways to overcome technical and organisational constraints that impede local health care systems to deliver high coverage, equitable and quality health interventions, particularly at community and district level. The overall objective of this kind of “operational” or “action research” is to significantly improve access to effective interventions by developing practical solutions to common, critical problems in the implementation of these interventions. (see: MMI research policy)

MSF – a benchmark for operational NGO research. The international NGO Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) has become an important contributor to health research, and has dedicated resources to guide operational research by establishing its own ethics review board, an innovation fund, an online publications repository and by regularly contributing to major scientific conferences. However, as “this increased research activity has led to concern that priorities and resources may be diverted away from the essential mandate of care provision for NGOs”, MSF discussed its research policy in a very interesting article in the International Health journal. (Zacharia et al., 2010)

Are NGOs an interesting partner for research institutions? The Canadian Society for International Health recently reviewed the role of non-governmental organizations in global health research, concluding that “there is a need to more effectively include NGOs in all aspects of health research in order to maximize the potential benefits of research. NGOs, moreover, can and should play an instrumental role in coalitions for global health research, such as the CGHRC. With a renewed sense of purpose and a common goal, NGOs and their partners intend to make strong and lasting inroads into reducing the disease burden of the world's most affected populations through effective research action.” (Delisle et al., 2005)

Exploring mutuality of interest. The MMI Network is interested to discuss with representatives of research institution lessons learnt from past or ongoing research partnerships, present the win-win approach of academic research and NGO-action and discuss the related challenges. A side event to the colloquium "Health Research towards Universal coverage” at the Institute for Tropical Medicine Antwerp, 8-10 November 2010 proposed by the MMI Network and kindly accepted by the colloquium organizers will provide a perfect opportunity for this discussion. You might join us there!

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International

Health Systems Research and NGOs: building up mutually beneficial partnerships. MMI Workshop, Antwerp, 11 November 2010
MMI ePlatform

Get research into policy and practice!  MMI topic page
MMI ePlatform

MMI research policy
MMI ePlatform

The role of NGOs in global health research for development
Hélène Delisle et al., in: Health Research Policy and Systems 2005, 3:3

Conducting operational research within a non governmental organization: the example of Médecins Sans Frontières.
R Zachariah et al. in: International Health, Volume 2, Issue 1, March 2010



MMI Network: Events

MMI Network Event
Kick-off event for the Network Strategy 2011-2015
Amsterdam, 5 November 2010 (rescheduled)

MMI Network meeting as a starting point for the implementation of our Network Strategy 2011-2015. The meeting hosted by our Dutch member Wemos  will be a full day event (9 AM to 4 PM); so please try to arrange your trip to the Netherlands accordingly. The invitation and documentation will be available in the beginning of October. The day before the meeting, there will be one or two side events on Human Resources for Health, organized by Cordaid/Misereor and the MMI HRH working group. These meetings will take place either in The Hague or Amsterdam. Details will be available soon.


MMI Network Event: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Fighting malnutrition is key for health in developing countries
Basel, 9 November 2010

The announcement of the 9th Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium organized by the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland is available in German and French.


MMI Network Event: ITM Antwerp
Towards Universal Health Coverage in developing countries
Antwerp, 8-10 November 2010
"The colloquium is aimed at the following expected results: 1. Innovative strategies to enhance Universal Health coverage, and to link them with the MDGs, have been proposed. This implies specific modalities to reach and involve the ‘bottom billion’; 2. Participants are aware of their potential to contribute to the worldwide efforts to enhance access and health coverage; 3. Innovative recommendations at the political and operational level have been put forward for the public and private Belgian, European and international stakeholders in health development cooperation; 4. Emerging voices expressed new views, findings and strategies and the research agenda has been updated."


MMI Network Event
Health Systems Research and NGOs: Building up mutually beneficial partnerships
Antwerp, 11 November 2010

Side event to the colloquium "Health Research towards Universal coverage” at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp. (see editorial of this newsletter)



MMI Network: News and Resources

MMI Network: Reporting
Medicus Mundi Spain: Annual Report 2009

“El trabajo que se resume en las páginas siguientes es fruto del esfuerzo de todas las personas que creen en medicusmundi, y estoy seguro de que gracias a ese esfuerzo vamos a poder encarar las dificultades y retos a los que la cooperación al desarrollo va a tener que enfrentarse en estos momentos de grave crisis mundial. Energías no nos faltan, porque creemos en la necesidad de hacer cada día realidad nuestra misión: que la salud sea un derecho al alcance de todas las personas.” (Raúl Aguado García Presidente de medicusmundi) The Annual Report of Medicus Mundi Spain is available in Spanish only.


MMI Network Statements: ACHAP
I see a strong network of human resources for health advocates...

HRH Global Resource Center | Doris Mwarey, the Regional Human Resources Specialist with the African Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) talks about the importance of human resources management for faith-based organizations, the way ACHAP is helping the African Christian Health Association community to learn from each other in terms of human resources for health, and the road ahead for future human resources for health leaders of faith-based organizations. ("HRH champions in developing countries" interview)


MMI Network Statement: Cordaid
Care for care - Trends on Home Based Care Leadership | The 2009 Cordaid HIV and AIDS Award rewarded Home Based Care Leadership. Two awards were handed out by Ms. Marijke Wijnroks, Dutch AIDS Ambassador, on behalf of Cordaid and the Review Panel. Watch the related movie on the YouTube channel of Cordaidpartners.


MMI Network Projects
Misereor: Health projects

The new website of Misereor (German version) provides an excellent overview and a lot of detail information on the organization's health projects and partnerships around the world.
> Source:

MMI Networking Tools
Health systems strengthening: Starting points

MMI | There is no proper "health systems strengthening" topic page in the MMI ePlatform. We rather invite you to have a look at the WHO's framework for action for strengthening health systems and at a very inspiring collection of resources by the Antwerp Institute for Tropical Medicine and some of their partners. The WHO framework for action itself is an open invitation - for us and others, as its main title reads as follows: “Strengthening Health Systems to improve health outcome: Everybody’s business”.

MMI HSS starting points:
MMI Network topics and thematic guides:

MMI Networking Tools: MM Switzerland
Human Resources for Health: Global Shortage

MM Switzerland | Worldwide there is a shortage of health personnel. Especially developing countries are affected, where the health systems are already weak. The shortage is threatening the health of the poorest. "Human Resources for Health: Global Shortage" is an online dossier provided by the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland on their website.


International Health Policy: MMI Updates

  • A fair chance at life: Why equity matters for child mortality. A Holder et al., Save the Children 2010
  • Return on Investment. The long-term impact of building healthcare capacity in Africa. Accordia 2010 pdf
  • Progress for Children. Achieving the MDGs with equity. Unicef 2010 pdf
  • Picture this: Despite progress, under-5 mortality rates remain unacceptably high. In: IMF Finance & Development pdf
  • HIV/AIDS: Intellectual property rights or human rights? RK Tayob in: Pambazuka News
  • Maternal mortality: we already know what works…or do we? N Oomman/A Harding on CGDev Global Health Policy blog
  • At the UN MDG summit, ministers of 60 countries will propose a currency transaction tax to fund development aid (KFF)
  • Brazil's march towards universal health coverage. Claudia Jurberg and Gary Humphreys in: WHO Bulletin
  • Global forum to improve developing country access to medical devices. Bangkok, 9-11 September 2010 (WHO website)
  • Medical devices: Managing the mismatch. An outcome of the Priority Medical Devices project. WHO report (2010) pdf
  • The hope and the promise of the UN Resolution on non-communicable diseases. Stuckler et al. in: Globalization&Health
  • Brain-drain and health care delivery in developing countries. Yusuf Abdu Misau et al. in: JPHIA
  • First edition of Journal of Public Health in Africa (JPHIA) published
  • Ahead of U.N. Millennium Development Goals summit, media outlets examine various aspects of goals. Kaiser Global Health
  • Impoverishing effects of purchasing medicines. Cross-country comparison in the developing world. L Niëns et al. in: PLoS Med.
  • Small global taxes would make a big difference for world's 'bottom billion'. B Kouchner et al. in: Christ. Sc. Monitor
  • Health-systems strengthening: current and future activities. J Sundewall et al. in: The Lancet
  • Framing health and foreign policy: lessons for global health diplomacy. Labonte/Gagnon in: Globalization and Health
  • Results-Based Financing (RBF): A guided tour of concepts and terms and a short glossary. P Musgrove, World Bank pdf
  • Budget crises, health, and social welfare programmes (analysis in 15 EU countries). David Stuckler et al. in: BMJ
  • Social relationships are key to health, and to health policy. Editorial in: PLoS Medicine
  • Protecting health: thinking small. SR Sinha & R Batniji on microfinance for health care needs in: WHO Bulletin
  • African nations can reach the health-related MDGs. WHO DG Margaret Chan addressing WHO Regional Committee for Africa
  • Inequalities in child survival: Looking at socio-economic disparities in developing countries, Save the Children pdf
  • Per diems undermine health interventions, systems and research in Africa: Valéry Ridde in: TM&IH
  • Zeroing in: AIDS donors and Africa’s health workforce. Nandini Oomman et al., Center for Global Development
  • UN Social Protection Floor (SPF) Initiative: Promoting universal access to essential social transfers and services
  • Innovative health service delivery models - what can we learn from the private sector? Bhattacharyya et al. in: HARPS
  • Expansion of cancer care and control in countries of low and middle income: call to action. P Farmer et al. in: Lancet
  • Global health governance: proposal for Committee C of World Health Assembly. Kickbusch et al. in: JLME (forthcoming)
  • Obligations through collective rights: Moving from health assistance to global health governance. Meier/Fox in: HHR
  • Redressing the unconscionable health gap: A global plan for justice. Lawrence O. Gostin in: HLPR pdf
  • Making health an imperative of foreign policy: The value of a human rights approach F Bustreo & CFJ Doebbler in: HHR
  • Conceptualizing obligations beyond borders in human rights-based approaches to health (the Haiti case) AE Yamin in: HHR
  • Packages of interventions for family planning, safe abortion care, maternal, newborn and child health. WHO 2010 (pdf)
  • Invitation by P Hunt: International roundtable on maternal mortality, human rights & accountability. Geneva 2 September 2010
  • Taking up (Norman) Daniels’ challenge: The case for global health justice. Ooms/Hammonds in: Health and Human Rights
  • A UN Agency for Women? Lessons from History. Devi Sridhar on:
  • Health workers lost to international bodies in poor countries. D Southall et al. in: Lancet (free registration requested)
  • A Framework for National Health Policies, Strategies and Plans. WHO consultation document, June 2010 (pdf)
  • The future of (financing for) WHO. Report of an informal consultation convened by the WHO DG, January 2010 (pdf)
  • Celebrate, innovate and sustain: toward 2015 and beyond. US MDG strategy paper released by Obama Administration
  • WHO declares end of H1N1 influenca pandemic. Statement by M Chan and more on the WHO H1N1 website
  • eHealth. New virtual forum of the Pan American Health Organization: "Improve public health through ICT tools"
  • ‘Culture’ as an excuse in nutrition policy. Devi Sridhar on:
  • A renewed focus on primary health care: revitalize or reframe? M Bhatia & S Rifkin in: Globalization and Health
  • Just give the poor cash - to improve health and nutrition among them. Devi Sridhar on:
  • ART in low-resource settings: how to do more with less. O Koole & R Colebunders in: Lancet (free registration required)
  • HIV/AIDS: Will we win and when? George Alleyne in: UN Chronicle
  • Why no one talks about non-communicable diseases. Devi Sridhar in: UN Chronicle
  • Primary Health Care: Now more than ever. Margaret Chan in: UN Chronicle
  • Achieving Global Health. Themed issue of UN Chronicle, August 2010
  • WHO: Increasing access to health workers in remote and rural areas through improved retention. Global Policy Recommendations



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