A luta continua! Redefining our Network’s contributions to achieving Health for All

Dear Network members,

It was in May 2010 when Guus Eskens handed over to me the chair of the Medicus Mundi International Network. The white plastic chair I received outside Château de Bossey was in fact not so heavy, but already at that moment I was quite aware that this was just a beginning, and that the heavier duties and processes were to come. And I was right…

In the six years of being president of MMI, I learnt that the successful development of our Network depends on a mix of “essential ingredients”, and if one of them is not available, the sustainability of the whole project is at risk. I am talking about:

  • A clear identity;
  • A convincing plan;
  • Good output;
  • Strong institutions;
  • Strong leadership and ownership.

With the MMI Network policy reviewed in 2014 and the Network strategy 2016-2020 adopted last year by the Assembly, we have further shaped our Network’s identity, and we have a convincing plan elaborated in a intensive participatory process involving many Network members.

So yes, let us “promote knowledge sharing and mutual learning between actors in international health cooperation”. Let us “provide autonomous, sustainable and stimulating spaces for the analysis and debate of global health and promote platforms for joint civil society advocacy, with a focus on the World Health Organization”. And let us “enhance collaboration among Network members in view of joint projects and consortia”.

We can also be proud of having achieved, over the last years, a considerable track record: Our contributions to the technical dialogue on health systems strengthening, Universal Health Coverage and international cooperation (with our Network meetings as milestones and highlights) and to the political debate on global health and health governance (focusing on the WHO and its events and institutions) have been well received within and beyond the Network.

With the current and future Board and secretariat (I employed Thomas Schwarz 20 years ago as secretary of Medicus Mundi Switzerland when I was their president, and since then the two of us have shared a long journey…) and with our current thematic working groups, we also are lucky to have the institutions and leadership needed for successful work. However the secretariat’s capacities are not sufficient to implement all we want to do, and this is directly linked with the strongly limited financial resources. So let me nevertheless put a question (or exclamation?) mark behind “strong institutions”.

And let us be clear about this point: A Network is what its members want it to be and what they are themselves able to contribute. So for the sustainability and the success of our Network, both further growth of membership and enhanced ownership by its current and future members are a must.

Seven years ago, at the end of his last “message from the president”, Guus Eskens stated that the future of Medicus Mundi International is in its members’ hands. Today I subscribe to this statement. And I am convinced that the best is still to come!

It was a privilege to serve on the MMI Board and as its president.

Nicolaus Lorenz

“Short stories” by members of the MMI Network

In addition to the institutional report, we have again received great contributions by MMI Network members. Their “short stories” provide a good picture of realities and challenges in the field of international health cooperation. Thanks – and enjoy!

Download the MMI Annual Report 2015

  • Annual report without “short stories” (21 pages, 11 MB): PDF
  • Full report (69 pages, 4 MB): PDF
  • Members of the MMI Network: “short stories” (48 pages, 23 MB): PDF