Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, August 2016

MMI Network News, August 2016

Dear reader,

As usually there is not too much “breaking news” to report in the (European) summer edition of the MMI Network news. You might focus your attention on the announcements of upcoming Network events on health systems, health in fragile contexts and effective health cooperation. And have a look at recently published annual reports of MMI Network members. You will see that there are as many approaches to health cooperation and global health as organizations – and this brings me back to our upcoming Network event in Berlin, at the end of September: Look at the preliminary announcement below; an invitation will follow soon.

Best regards,

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International – Network Health for All


MMI Network: Events, papers and resources

Network event: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Health in fragile contexts
Bern, 24 August 2016

“In an increasing number of countries the implementation of health programmes is challenged by fragile contexts. At the same time, fragility of a state is considered as one of the main causes for malfunctioning health services. Emergency situations aggravate such situation and reveal the weaknesses of the system. These settings evoke not only questions on how to adapt to shaking working environment or on sustainability, but also whether health programmes could make a contribution to reduce fragility.” Organizers: Swiss Red Cross, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland.


Medicus Mundi International: Network meeting 2016
Networking for effective health cooperation
Berlin, 28-29 September 2016

The 2016 meeting of the Medicus Mundi International Network will take place in Berlin, following an invitation by our German Network member action medeor and linked with a VENRO conference on global health on 28 September. The MMI event on 29 September will focus on particular elements of the implementation of the MMI Network Strategy 2016-20, mainly in the field of effective health cooperation (EHC).


Network event: Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Working in fragile contexts and building up resilient health systems
Basel, 2 November 2016

“To end preventable child and maternal deaths, create an AIDS-Free Generation, and protect communities against infectious diseases such as Ebola, we need effective, functional health systems that can deliver essential health services to those in need. International health organisations are more and more obliged to work in fragile contexts where the environment is marked by instability, the public structures are weak or quick to collapse and the rule of law is lacking. If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 we have to find better means to strengthen systems for health and to avoid leaving anyone behind. The MMS Symposium will address these challenges by reflecting different experiences and by having a closer look on building resilient systems for health in fragile contexts." Annual symposium of Medicus Mundi Switzerland.


Network event: Doctors with Africa CUAMM
Mothers and children first
Padova, 5 November 2016

“"We are all invited to renew our commitment to answer Pope Francis’s call – made during his special audience on May 7, 2016 – to guarantee healthcare access to the weakest among us, especially mothers and children. This year’s annual meeting will be a special occasion as we will present the final results of our project “Mothers and Children First”, about to conclude its first five-year cycle. We will also launch our next program to promote the health of mothers and children. This meeting will be an opportunity to rediscover together the care, passion, and wonder of taking concrete action for, and with, those who suffer and live at the farthest reaches of the land, 'at the margins.' Because the farthest reaches of distance, suffering, and need touch us all and demand new and urgent choices from us." Annual meeting of CUAMM.


Network paper: Health Poverty Action
Power and privilege - taking a look at ourselves

“Two years ago Health Poverty Action worked with others on a report that argued the development sector, through its focus on aid, was obscuring the facts about how poverty is created. It was also reinforcing dubious power imbalances between people and nations that ultimately undermine the ends we seek as a sector. It’s no secret that these power imbalances are replicated across the Northern INGO sector itself. Sometimes this is reflected in our relationships with Southern partners, sometimes in lack of employee diversity, sometimes in appalling representations of the South in charity communications – and no doubt sometimes in others things too.”


Network resource: Doctors with Africa CUAMM
CUAMM Field research

"Field research, or operational research, is becoming more and more important for our organization. An integral part of our strategic plan, it complements our work on the ground, where it is helping us to deliver increasingly effective results. What 'doing research' means for CUAMM, in fact, is studying and getting to know in depth the settings where we work; adopting a critical approach to all that we do; identifying evidence-based good practices; and being fully accountable to all of our stakeholders. Finally, it means implementing quality cooperative development activities through networking and partnership with the international scientific community and a focus on innovation."

> Field research website:

> 2015 research collection:

Network resource: Cordaid
Course on Results Based Financing (RBF)

“The University of Zimbabwe (UZ), in collaboration with Cordaid, is offering a 10 day-course on Results Based Financing (RBF) from 17-26 October 2016. The course is targeted at senior policy makers as well as participants from international agencies and non governmental organizations. The course will be conducted in English. Kindly find attached more information on the 10-day course.” (Announcement by Cordaid to MMI Network members)

> Website

Network campaign/paper: Wemos
Drug trials in Egypt: unethical and unsafe

In June, Wemos, SOMO and Déclaration de Berne jointly published the report ‘Industry-sponsored clinical drug trials in Egypt: Ethical questions in a challenging context’. The report reveals that drug trials in Egypt, which are done by international pharmaceutical companies, are often unethical and harmful to test subjects’ health. The research was conducted by an Egyptian investigative journalist and an Egyptian human rights organization, and focused on new medicines for Hepatitis C and cancer. What worries us in particular are the cancer drug trials.

> Website:
> PDF: 

Network campaign/paper: various Network members
European "Health Workers for all" project (2013-15): Country and joint activities and results

“The project ‘Health Workers for All and All for Health Workers’ (HW4All) wanted to increase the coherence between development cooperation policies and domestic health policies and practices of European Member States with regard to the strengthening of the health workforce. The main emphasis was on countries with a critical shortage of health workers. Thereby the project aimed at contributing to a sustainable health workforce worldwide. Within the 3-year project period, the project partners have implemented all planned activities at national and EU level, and even more. The result is rich, we have achieved a lot, but there is still a way to go."

> Website:
> PDF:

MMI Network members: Please send us your contributions to the MMI website (events, news, articles, resources) and the next issue of the newsletter!


MMI Network members: Annual Reports


Network members: reporting
Annual report of action medeor

"In the last year action medeor was able to improve the health situation of many people and so help to save precious lives. In many cases, these advances were more than a short term solution, they brought lasting improvement. In view of today’s global challenges, our commitment and dedication to help people in need must not wane. Standing shoulder to shoulder with you in this work is our bedrock — it inspires and motivates us in all we do." (Bernd Pastors and Christoph Bonsmann)

> available in German, English, Spanish and French

Network members: reporting
Annual Report of the Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network EPN

"There are so many challenges in the world, so many things are not really working. After 35 years of EPN’s existence, so many people are still suffering and dying because medicines are unaffordable and inaccessible. So many facilities are without trained staff in pharmacy and so many people are still excluded from their human right to health or accessibility to basic health care. Should we be pessimistic in saying: we can’t make it? We give up? We are too weak or we have limited human and financial resources? Or should we say 'yes, we can make it'? With God’s guidance, with his support we will be strong enough to carry out our assignment. (Albert Petersen)

> available in English            

Network members: reporting
Annual Report of HealthNet TPO

"2015 has been a year in which humanitarian needs were enormous. In Iraq and Afghanistan we have been directly involved in the refugee crisis. But we have also worked on better health and wellbeing with the people in lesser known fragile communities, such as South Sudan and Burundi. At the same time the year 2015 was critical for the organization. Through a partnership with Zaluvida Holdings Pte LTF we have combined the best elements of ‘for’ and ‘not-for’ profit. Zaluvida has strengthened the financial basis of HealthNet. Furthermore, we will continue to work together on increasing HealthNet’s operational and fund development capacities. (website)

> available in English and Dutch

Network members: reporting
Annual Report of i+solutions

Looking back on 2015, i+solutions has had an interesting year. We set ambitious goals for 2015, and can proudly say that we achieved most of them. Unfortunately, in April 2015 we lost the tender to continue the SCMS (USAID funded Supply Chain Management System tender). The loss of this tender made us ever more aware of need for us to spread our portfolio over multiple donors. That’s what we’ve been working on in 2015: our ambition is to become a partner of choice for more donors that appreciate our expertise, we have extended our portfolio, we have worked on innovative Supply Chain Management projects, and we are working on improving our PR to increase awareness of our expertise in the field.” (Luuk Jan Boon)

> available in English            

Network members: reporting
Annual Report of medico international

"medico takes the position that the right to freedom of movement cannot be partitioned. This is why we gave more support than ever in 2015 to those fleeing and to migrant self-organisations. At the same time, many medico partner organisations are working in their home countries for democracy and a transformation of economic relationships towards common welfare. The idea that brings us together is the idea of a world where nobody is forced to flee in the face of war, hunger or devastated living conditions. (Brigitte Kühn and Thomas Gebauer)

> available in English and German      

Network members: reporting
Annual Report of Medicus Mundi Spain

“In 2015 the results of the international action on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been assessed – showing a picture of light and shadow. The MDGs indicators have improved but have not reached the level expected. This was mainly due to lack of political commitment and financing by Developed Countries. Based on lessons learned from the assessment of the MDGs, and after a much more participatory process, the UN General Assembly in New York approved, in September, the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (SDGs) With the pros and cons of this new agenda, we have to assume it and we will work with it to try to get together with civil society here and in the South to make sure that the countries stick to their commitments made and that they are effective.” (Eduardo García Langarica, translated from Spanish)

> available in Spanish           

The full collection of MMI Network members’ annual reports can be found here. Let us know when your own report is available for sharing with the MMI Network members and partners. Contributions (“short stories”) of MMI Network members to the Annual Report of the MMI Network have been published in the May issue of the Network news.

Health systems and health cooperation: MMI updates

Health systems strengthening
Universal health coverage
Health services, health financing

Universal health coverage: Unique challenges, bold solutions. Marie-Paule Kieny

“One of the first requirements will be a radical transformation of the health workforce. The global economy is projected to create demand for 40 million new health workers by 2030, but most of those jobs will be created in the wealthiest countries. Low and lower-middle income countries need 18 million more health workers if they are to achieve UHC. Without urgent action, that mismatch will widen.”

Financing policy for UHC. New WHO eLearning course

Universal Health Coverage: markets, profit, and the public good. Lancet series

Transformation of IHP+ to International UHC Partnership: online consultation

Voices from the IHP+s consultation on UHC2030 Why we need UHC and why the new partnership matters.

UHC2030 consultation meeting in June 2016: presentations
Tying together existing partnerships for HSS, UHC and knowledge management. Agnès Soucat
The domestic and international political economy of #UHC and leaving no one behind. Jesse Bump
All presentations

“The two-day consultation process was a critical stage in transforming IHP+ and explored the strategic direction and scope of work of UHC 2030. Stakeholders discussed UHC 2030’s role in advocacy both globally and locally, and how it can be a broker for sharing experience, lessons learnt and good practice in effective development cooperation, health systems strengthening and making progress towards UHC.”

Towards UHC in the majority world. Werner Soors, Remco van de Pas et al.

Building from the HIV Response toward Universal Health Coverage. Jonathan Jay et al.

Embracing the Politics of Universal Health Coverage. David Heymann

Advancing political economy of global health to understand and influence drivers of UHC (Bellagio)

How can global communities contribute to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage? Resyst paper 

Bogeys on the Universal Health Coverage train. K. Srinath Reddy

Time for a quality revolution in global health. Margaret Kruk

Universal Health Coverage: markets, profit, and the public good. Lancet series

“Global efforts to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) are complicated by the public and private mix that characterises health systems of low-income and middle-income countries. There is a wide range of private provider types, including informal drug sellers, solo practice private doctors, and large sophisticated private hospitals, and these configure differently in terms of their roles and prevalence in different settings. This makes generalisation about the best strategies to achieve UHC in these contexts unwise.”

The perils and possibilities of the private health sector. Richard Horton, Stephanie Clark

Engaging the Private Sector in PHC to Achieve UHC: Advice from Implementers to Implementers. JLN

Does performance-based financing increase value for money in LMIC? Turcotte Tremblay, ValeryRidde et al.

Global emergency financing and health system strengthening. Equinet information brief

Resilience: More than a quick fix

Can tax revenue help fund Universal Health Coverage UHC? Resyst paper

Universal Health Coverage: a goal all countries can reach. The elders (video)

Network contacts and resources:


International (health) cooperation

Development assistance for health: past trends, associations, future international financial flows. Dieleman et al.

What is Adaptive Aid? Case studies from Poverty to Power

MSF-Analysis: New platform for the sharing of critical analysis on the politics of health and humanitarianism

IHP+ and financial management

Health partnership research and the assessment of effectiveness

What’s to be done with Oxfam? Michael Edwards

“Too small to be agents of economic transformation; too big and bureaucratic to be social movements; banned from politics because of their charitable status and structurally removed from the societies they’re trying to change, Oxfam and the others end up sitting uncomfortably in the middle as the real action takes place around them—doing what they can to save lives, speak out and build on small successes in the process.”

There is a solution to the aid dilemma. Angus Deaton

If politics is the problem, how can external actors be part of the solution?

Gasoline, Guns, and Giveaways: Is the End of Three-Quarters of Global Poverty Closer than You Think? Andy Sumner

Can we get out of the private sector bad, public sector good trap? Deborah Doane

What do Africans actually think about public health interventions from afar? Kim Yi Dionne

Will Bill Gates’ chickens end African poverty? Oxfam fp2p

Network contacts and resources:


Health policy and systems research

Need for more and better implementation science in global health. Valéry Ridde

Promoting good health research practice in low- and middle-income countries. Y Mahendradhata et al.

Fair publication of qualitative research in  health systems: A call by 170 health policy and systems researchers

DWA Cuamm: Field research
2015 research collection:

Network contacts and resources:


Human resources for health

Global health workforce labor market projections for 2030 (World Bank)

WHO hearing, August 2016: Guidelines on health policy/system support to optimize community health worker programmes

New WHO publication on Workload Indicators of Staffing Need

Young midwife leaders speak: a declaration of commitment and global call for action

A political economy analysis of human resources for health (HRH) in Afric. HRH Journal

“Despite a global recognition from all stakeholders of the gravity and urgency of health worker shortage in Africa, little progress has been achieved to improve health worker coverage in many of the African human resources for health (HRH) crisis countries. The problem consists in how policy is made, how leaders are accountable, how the World Health Organization (WHO) and foreign donors encourage (or distort) health policy, and how development objectives are prioritized in these countries.”

Investing in human resources for health: beyond health outcomes. Giorgio Cometto and Jim Campbell

Human resources for health: time to move out of crisis mode. Kate L Mandeville et al.

Training for impact: Socio-economic impact of a fit for purpose health workforce on communities. HRH Journal

Influence of country-level and health system factors on nursing and physician personnel production. HRH Journal

From Community Health Workers to Community Health Systems: Time to Widen the Horizon? Helen Schneider & Uta Lehmann

Migration of health personnel
Global Code of Practice

WHO Global Code of Practice on Intern. Recruitment of Health Personnel: National implementation data now available

HRH Journal supplement on relevance and effectiveness of WHO global code of practice

The WHO Global Code: increasing relevance and effectiveness. Campbell et al.

The Code of Practice and its enduring relevance in Europe and Eastern and Southern Africa. Mans, van de Pas et al

Knowledge and impact of global HRH code of practice in source and destination countries. HRH Journal

“While the Code has raised some awareness of problems associated with migration and staff shortages in source countries, knowledge and implementation of the Code is variable across levels of governance in both the source and destination countries in the studies discussed. Simply put: the Code does not have prominence in those countries that need it most, namely those still lacking sufficient health workers and experiencing ongoing out-migration of those they train. The ‘push’ of inadequately financed or administered systems in many source countries remains deeply problematic; yet, this also remains largely unaddressed in the Code. Until the conversation on both the ‘push’ and ‘pull’ across countries exporting and importing health workers deepens, the Code risks having little impact on its laudable goal of ensuring ethical and equitable health worker migration.”

European "Health Workers for all" project (2013-15): Country and joint activities and results

Project "Brain Drain to Brain Gain - Supporting the WHO Code of Practice on the recruitment of health personnel"

Migration of medical experts costs African health system billions. Adam Pitt

Dialogue on international health workforce mobility in Abidjan: why health labour markets are important for foreign policy. Remco van de Pas

Network contacts and resources:



Global health governance and policy: MMI updates

Global health governance and policy
Political and economic determinants of health

Bridging the global health gap. Editorial in: Lancet global health

Global health governance challenges 2016 – are we ready?  Ilona Kickbusch

A new Gilded Age, and what it means for global health. Ted Schrecker @

Business as usual: Lack of institutional innovation in global health governance. Kelley Lee

The False Economic Promise of Global Governance. Dani Rodrick

Is it all about power? Leaked internal memos show struggle within World Bank over World Devt Report on governance

Politics, power, poverty and global health: systems and frames. Solomon Benatar, IJHPM

The Gates Foundation and legitimacy in global health governance. Sophie Harman

What explains advocacy success in setting global agendas? Comparing Tobacco v Alcohol + four other global campaigns

Assessing the health impact of transnational corporations: its importance and a framework. Fran Baum et al.

Planning for the Global Health Watch 5

Network contacts and resources:


World Health Organization
WHO reform and financing

66th session of WHO Regional Committee for Africa, 19-23 August: Agenda, programme, documents

Election process for the WHO Director-General, April 2016–May 2017:
All info
FAQ (as PDF)

The work of WHO in the African Region, 2015-2016, Report of the Regional Director

Sitting on the FENSA: WHO engagement with industry. K Buse & S Hawkes

The WHO Framework for Engagement with Non-state actors “is a necessary but insufficient response to the part the private sector plays in determining population level health outcomes. FENSA specifically mentions non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which are now the world's leading cause of disability and death, but does not propose any mechanisms by which the private sector's actions in the production and marketing of commercial products can and should be governed. The links between the pursuit of profit and negative health outcomes associated with processed foods, alcohol, tobacco, and air pollution have been extensively described.8, 9 WHO could have used the opportunity to leverage its mandate and authority to address the larger issue of governing the activities of industry, but FENSA focuses narrowly on the questions of risk assessment and management for WHO itself when engaging with the private sector. We are concerned that due diligence to protect WHO, even if well implemented, will not necessarily translate into improved corporate practices at global and national levels that will act to promote and protect the health of their consumers.”

New WHO Health Emergencies Programme
Appointed head

Network contacts and resources:


Health in the UN “Agenda 2030”
From MDGs to SDGs

First UN SDGs implementation report now available for download:

Global Sustainable Development Report 2016

The “Health SDG”: Some progress, but critical concerns remain. Chapter in: Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2016

SDG indicator 3.8.2 (on Universal Health Coverage): A call for change

The HLPF 2016: First global meeting on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs
Helpful overview by Jens Martens on HLPF2016 process and outcome

Civil society: the catalyst for ensuring health in the age of sustainable development. Smith, Buse, Gordon

“Sustainable Development Goal Three is rightly ambitious, but achieving it will require doing global health differently. Among other things, progressive civil society organisations will need to be recognised and supported as vital partners in achieving the necessary transformations. We argue, using illustrative examples, that a robust civil society can fulfill eight essential global health functions. These include producing compelling moral arguments for action, building coalitions beyond the health sector, introducing novel policy alternatives, enhancing the legitimacy of global health initiatives and institutions, strengthening systems for health, enhancing accountability systems, mitigating the commercial determinants of health and ensuring rights-based approaches. Given that civil society activism has catalyzed tremendous progress in global health, there is a need to invest in and support it as a global public good to ensure that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can be realised.”

Civil Society and Global Goals – lessons for engagement in era of SDGs. Mike Rowson

Network contacts and resources:


Equity and human right to health
Social determinants of health
Poverty and social protection

Rights Language in the Sustainable Development Agenda: Has Right to Health Discourse and Norms Shaped Health Goals? Forman. Ooms et al.

Making the Case: What Is the Evidence of Impact of Applying Human Rights-Based Approaches to Health? Paul Hunt, Alicia Ely Yamin, and Flavia Bustreo

Developing a Human Rights-Based Approach to Tuberculosis

Health Promotion in an Age of Normative Equity and Rampant Inequality. Ronald Labonte

Democracy is good for (child) health. Lancet Global Health

Equity in the use of public services for mother & newborn child health care in Pakistan

Toward health equity: a practice tool (GPHO)

Network contacts and resources:


Prevention and control of NCDs
Nutrition, Disabilities, Mental Health

Assessing national capacity for the prevention and control of NCDs. WHO 2015 global survey

Michael R. Bloomberg becomes WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases

Web-based consultation on draft interim reports of WHO GCM/NCD Working Groups

WHO GCM/NCD Working Group on inclusion of NCDs in other programmatic areas: Draft interim report for consultation

WHO GCM/NCD Working Group on alignment of international cooperation with national NCDs plans: Draft interim report

Textual analysis of sugar industry influence on the World Health Organization’s 2015 sugars intake guideline. D. Stuckler et al.

Network contacts and resources:


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