Implementation Research to catalyze advances in health systems strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa: the African Health Initiative

Publication Date:

31 May 2013


Sherr K, Requejo J, Basinga P. (2013). Implementation Research to catalyze advances in health systems strengthening in sub-Saharan Africa: the African Health Initiative. BMC Health Serv Res. 13(Suppl 2), S1. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-13-S2-S1



The importance of strengthening health systems has gained increased attention in recent years, and there have been renewed calls for a focus on health systems as part and parcel of meeting the health related Millennium Development Goals.[1, 2] Despite the growing focus on health systems, the largest global health initiatives – such as PEPFAR, PMI, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, and GAVI – continue to have a disease specific focus. The divergence in opinion on what constitutes health systems strengthening and the scarcity of rigorous evaluations of various approaches undermine efforts to focus on health systems as a means of improving population health. In response to this challenge, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) launched the African Health Initiative (AHI) to catalyze significant advances in strengthening health systems by supporting Population Health and Implementation Training (PHIT) Partnerships in five diverse sub-Saharan African contexts. Each Partnership is implementing and evaluating an innovative project designed to address key health systems constraints and improve service delivery and health outcomes.


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Our mission is to promote policies and support programs that strengthen government primary health care and foster social, economic, and health equity for all. Our vision is a just world that promotes health and well-being, including universal access to quality health care.

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Health Alliance International began in 1987 as a US-based international solidarity organization committed to supporting the public sector provision of health care for all.  Over 35 years, HAI conducted programs in 17 countries, with flagship programs in Mozambique, Côte d'Ivoire, and Timor-Leste.

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In line with HAI’s commitment to support and strengthen local public health leadership, as of October 2021, HAI fully transitioned global operations and active programs to locally-based, locally-led NGOs. Learn more about this shift toward local autonomy and equity in global health.

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