By Marie Connelly, GHDonline

The growth in international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in health care around the globe raises questions regarding how these organizations can best support governments in strengthening local health systems. From November 7th to 11th, Rwandan Minister of Health Dr. Agnes Binagwaho will lead a GHDonline Expert Panel discussion, Strengthening Health Systems: The Role of NGOs, to address these important questions.

For more details of how PIH works to strengthen health systems, check out the newly released PIH Program Management Guide.

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho will be joined by:

  • Ted Constan, Chief Operating Officer, Partners In Health
  • Dr. Felix Kayigamba, Country Director, The Access Project
  • Christina Bethke, Program Coordinator, Tiyatien Health
  • James Pfieffer, NGO Code of Conduct author and Director of Mozambique Operations, Health Alliance International

In a preview of this discussion, Dr. Agnes shared with us that “For a government like Rwanda pursuing its comprehensive national strategic plan for health articulated through a participatory process as part of the overall development plan for the country, having NGO partners that align their work to that plan is the right way to speed up development. But to achieve that result, we need each and every stakeholder to play their own part with efficiency, transparency, and accountability.” She added, ”Our GHDonline panel discussion will help us all to think about what is needed to get there.”

To reach these goals, true partnerships must be formed. Ted Constan, Chief Operating Officer of Partners In Health, stressed that “communication, transparency, and flexibility are critical ingredients for successful partnerships between NGOs and Ministries of Health.”

In addition to discussing the necessary elements of these kinds of partnerships, our panelists will also address:

  • The challenges of administering joint programs
  • Ways that NGOs can best support building local human resource capacity
  • Leveraging partnerships to address infrastructure needs
  • Examples of successful partnerships

We look forward to hearing your questions, and hope you will also share your own experiences on these important topics.

Join our Expert Panel discussion, Strengthening Health Systems: The Role of NGOs at GHDonline.