The African Health Initiative (AHI) seeks to catalyze significant advances in strengthening health systems by supporting partnerships that will design, implement and evaluate large-scale models of care that link implementation research and workforce training directly to the delivery of integrated primary healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa.
Central to the Initiative is the establishment of large-scale PHIT Partnerships that link implementation research and training directly to health care delivery.
Based on the recommendations of the expert reviewers and availability of DDCF funds, the foundation selected five teams from four institutions to receive grants ranging from $8 million to $15 million each over five to seven years.
About the African Health Initiative
As DDCF approached its 10th anniversary, the foundation's board challenged the staff to identify a compelling and urgent need that fit the mandate of Doris Duke’s will, and for which a well-timed and large infusion of the foundation’s resources (above and beyond its normal grant-making activities) had the potential to make a significant positive impact on society. Seeing the board’s challenge as an opportunity to build upon and expand beyond the foundation’s previous support for AIDS research in Africa, the Medical Research Program sought to identify opportunities for DDCF to help address health disparities in Africa more broadly.
Extensive research and interviews with dozens of experts revealed that despite the recent growth of health investments in Africa, efforts to improve access to essential medical care remain seriously hindered by fragile health systems, health worker shortages and a lack of focus on integrated care. In response to these challenges, DDCF launched the multi-million dollar African Health Initiative in the fall of 2007. In 2009, four grants ranging from $8 million to $15 million each to support five Population Health Implementation & Training (PHIT) partnerships working in Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. All PHIT projects, which were funded over five to seven years, remain in progress. The African Health Initiative does not accept unsolicited requests for funding.
Below is a video, courtesy of the World Bank, which illustrates the impetus of the African Health Initiative's work to strengthen health systems:
- The World Health Organization Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research released the first World Report on Health Policy and Systems Research in May 2017.
- The 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research was held on November 14-18, 2016 in Vancouver, Canada. A summary of the key themes and outcomes from the meeting is available here.
- An editorial in the February 2017 World Health Organization Bulletin promoted the strengthening of health systems through embedded research.
- The 3rd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research was held on September 29-October 3, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. A summary of the key themes and outcomes from the meeting is available here.
- A comment in the Lancet advocated for donor support of the NGO Code of Conduct.
- The Council on Health Research for Development (COHRED) released new guidance for fair research contracting.
- The Insitute of Medicine (IOM) released the report, "Evaluation Design for Complex Global Initiatives," which summarized the January workshop.
- PHIT Data Collaborative Concept Paper (447 KB PDF)
What We're Learning
- "The African Health Initiative Presents Its Baseline Data" Lola Adedokun, M.P.H., Director for the African Health Initiative and Program Director for the Child Well-being Program
- "The African Health Initiative on Understanding Implementation" Mary Travis Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., Former Program Director of the African Health Initiative
- "Early Lessons from the African Health Initiative" Mary Travis Bassett, M.D., M.P.H., Former Program Director of the African Health Initiative