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Health System Strengthening

Given the various determinants of health we are committed to cross-sectoral efforts to place health into a broader policy context. Our work addresses the major weaknesses of health systems, such as stewardship and management issues, human resources, information, quality of service provision as well as the demand-side issues such as people‘s participation, knowledge and behaviour.

Sectoral coordination mechanisms

We provide advice for governments and international organizations who strive to improve health systems at national and decentralised level. evaplan has conducted feasibility studies and evaluations of health sector coordination mechanisms (e.g. SWAps) and of pooled sector financing. Other recent relevant mandates include studies on the impact of Global Health Initiatives on health systems.

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs)

Our expertise includes designing, implementing and evaluating PPPs in areas as diverse as quality management and e-health. Besides providing negotiation support for setting up mutually beneficial PPPs we ensure sustainability by anchoring these initiatives in the health sector context.

Health planning, monitoring & evaluation

evaplan has guided participatory processes to elaborate national planning guidelines and formats for district, hospital development and HIV/AIDS plans.

Our services range from the design of methods, techniques and tools for programme evaluations (including impact evaluation) to the implementation of programme progress reviews and results-based monitoring.

Human resources for health

The global health workforce crisis calls for appoaches that address political, economical, psychological and sociological dimensions. evaplan supports strategic planning for human resources and undertakes operational research to explore country-specific reasons for poor motivation, performance and retention of health workers. We have experience of mapping tools to monitor health workers migration and of technically advising the design and implementation of incentive schemes. Support is given to innovative capacity building programmes for health workers and at organisational level.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

SRHR are of crucial importance to broader efforts towards poverty reduction and sustainable development, hence the addition of a new target for “universal access to reproductive health by 2015” to the Millennium Development Goal of “Improving maternal health”.

We are committed to a rights-based approach that contributes to achieving equal access to information and services without discrimination related to sex, social class, ethnicity or age.

Our expertise includes conceptual and strategic work on comprehensive SRHR and respective technical support to programmes at country level.


evaplan has wide experience in the multisectoral response to HIV and AIDS, both at national level as well as in building local government capacity including technical support, training, knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation in interventions strengthening gender orientation in HIV prevention. Furthermore, we have been involved in strengthening the role of businesses and the private sector through facilitating the development of workplace programmes.

Linkage and integration of SRHR and HIV and AIDS

The need for linkage and integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV & AIDS in the framework of strengthened health systems is increasingly recognized.

We support efforts of promoting the linkage of SRHR with HIV & AIDS for example through operational research, conceptual work, and training and capacity development.

Young people as a target group most in need

Among the focal target groups in our work are young people who are very important both in vulnerability and numbers but lack access to information and services. We have a sound experience in numerous countries in the development of information and communication approaches and interventions that are gender-sensitive and tailored to young people’s needs.

evaplan has also conducted operational research on young people’s sexual and reproductive health needs in various countries and cultural contexts.

Response to HIV and AIDS
The HIV pandemic is still considered to be one of the world’s greatest development challenges and requires a comprehensive and multisectoral response. Strengthening health systems is seen to be key to the achievement of the health and HIV and AIDS related Millennium Development Goals. This is one of our core work areas.

In Yemen for instance, an HIV and AIDS capacity building package for health professionals was implemented by evaplan in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Programme and the Yemeni-German Reproductive Health Programme in 2007. Furthermore, consultancy services for a generic guide on strategic and operational planning the health sector response to HIV & AIDS were provided to the World Health Organisation in 2009.

evaplan has experience of building local government capacity in high prevalence countries such as Burundi and Tanzania. Work undertaken includes the development and implementation of multisectoral training modules. We also provide technical support in processes of knowledge management and monitoring and evaluation in interventions strengthening gender orientation in AIDS prevention in five African countries on behalf of the German BACKUP Initiative (GIZ).

evaplan also supports non-health sectors in their efforts to respond to HIV and AIDS. These include the education sector and currently, the water sector in Burundi. Furthermore, work has been undertaken to strengthen the role of businesses and the private sector through facilitating the development of workplace programmes in Kenya.

Comprehensive quality management

In 2008 the Quality Management Group was established as joint effort of evaplan and the Heidelberg Institute of Public Health. It brings together a network of public health professionals with multidisciplinary backgrounds engaged in implementation, research and teaching in the field of quality management.

The group seeks to bring state of the art developments in the area of quality management to low and middle-income countries. To this end it not only engages constantly in a professional exchange with bi- and multilateral donors but also fosters the transfer of knowledge among Southern countries. The group sees itself as a think tank translating evidence into policy making and practice.

Members of the group have extensive experience of supporting quality management policy development and implementation at all levels of the health system. Clients include the European Union (EU), German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, The World Bank, WHO, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and USAID.

Examples of the work done by the group include:

Support to the process of establishing a national accreditation body in Kenya in collaboration with the AQUA-Institute for Applied Quality Management Göttingen
Courses in quality of care at the University of Heidelberg (1) (2)
Blended learning courses in QM on behalf of GIZ
Research on implementation of quality management, methods and tools in Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.


The Heidelberg Quality Management Group has a strong track record on producing strategy and concept papers for a variety of audiences and target groups. Additionally members of the group have significant experience in drafting curricula, providing training for participants from low- and middle-income countries as well as conducting operational research.


With a wide variety of services and extensive experience from different continents, the Heidelberg Quality Management Working Group seeks to build quality management capacity at all levels and to bridge the gap between practical experience and academic training and research. Besides facilitating dialogue and exchange across coutries, the Group also provides services in the G dialogue and exchange across countries, the Group also provides services in the German health sector.

Social protection and health financing

Social protection for the vulnerable

We conceptualise and strengthen mechanisms alleviating and mitigating the risks of falling into poverty due to ill health, disability, old age and exclusion. Our expertise includes conditional cash transfers and provisions for ageing populations.

Social protection in health

We promote universal health coverage by designing, scaling-up and linking social, private and micro insurance mechanisms. Our experience comprises the definition of benefit packages and the design of models for risk equalization.

Reimbursement and provider payments

We aim at setting the right incentives within an efficient and coherent purchasing framework and combine expert knowledge and skills in issues as diverse as pay for performance, hospital financing (including DRGs) and pharmaceutical pricing.

Public financial management and good governance

Our portfolio encompasses the improvement of public financial management at national, district and local level. We have a track record in the promotion of good governance and in linking health sector strategic plans to national accounting mechanisms.

Economic analyses and costing studies

We conduct economic evaluations and analyse the benefit incidence of health care programmes. We also address the question of how health systems can best incorporate innovations — from e-health to telemedicine.