ESTHER Ireland Grant 2020 -2021

The 2020 – 2021 ESTHER Ireland Grant is accepting applications from 16 November 2020.

Background

The ESTHER alliance for Global Health Partnerships engages health institutions in effective and sustainable North-South partnerships, strengthening the capacity of health institutions to provide quality services through knowledge generation, sharing best practice, collaboration, and advocacy.

The ESTHER Alliance aims to contribute to the achievement of healthy lives and wellbeing for all, at all ages. ESTHER Alliance supports peer-to-peer partnerships that are capable of inspiring institutions and individuals to change the way they work, improve the quality of service delivery and potentially influence health policy.

ESTHER partners believe that this approach addresses systemic challenges in healthcare, contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 3 and progress towards Universal Health Coverage.

ESTHER Ireland grants have brought together hospitals, clinics and third-level institutions across a range of countries, from Malawi and Ghana to Zambia and Nepal. So far ESTHER has supported over 30 health partnerships.

One small ESTHER grant, it’s like a seed; it can lead to an oak tree.

Dr. Rosarii Griffin of University College Cork (UCC)  speaking of the partnership with Mzuzu University (Malawi).

2020 – 2021 ESTHER Ireland Funding Call

The scope of ESTHER grants has evolved from previous years, based on more than five years of learning from Irish-South health partnerships, including internal and external evaluations in 2017.  This round of grants reflects the current global and Irish context with COVID-19 and lessons learned from the pandemic.  It also responds to the directions and priorities of the Government’s International Development Policy, A Better World, which was published in 2019.

As with previous calls, this round of grants has two categories.  Band 1 grants are to support new partnerships, and Band 2 grants are to support established partnerships.  ESTHER Ireland welcome applications from partnerships involving different types of health institutions, including hospitals, primary care services, public health units, education and training organisations, universities, and Government health departments.

NGOs are generally not eligible for ESTHER grants as they don’t fulfil the criteria of an institutional health partnership.  While they may follow partnership principles, their model is usually that of implementing projects rather than peer-to-peer working through a twinning arrangement. 

Band 1: New Partnership Grants

Irish health organisations and institutions are eligible to apply for a Band 1 grant to facilitate the development of a new link or partnership with a counterpart organisation or institution in a low-or middle- income country.

In the context of this programme, we consider a new partnership to be one that has recently started to work together or has not yet started working together but has taken preliminary steps.  It should demonstrate a commitment to adhere to the ESTHER principles of Quality of Partnerships

Intended outcomes from activities implemented under this scheme could include formalising an agreement such as an MOU between partners or developing a shared vision and action plan.

Grants must be spent within 12 months of disbursement.

The ceiling for Band 1 grants is €8,000.

Criteria Band 1

  • Higher priority is given to partnerships in countries with official Government links through Irish Aid and/or the HSE:
    • Irish Aid key partner countries providing bilateral support to the health sector (Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Liberia)
    • Other Irish Aid key partner countries (e.g. Zambia, Malawi, Uganda)
    • Countries in which HSE is engaged with through formal agreements (e.g. Mozambique, Sudan, Zambia, Sierra Leone)
  • Coherent with objectives of Irish Aid development policy, A Better World
  • Grant funding should achieve value for money. Having co-funding is considered an advantage.
  • Successful partnerships should be willing to produce a case study.

Band 2: Established Partnership Grants

Applications are invited from Irish health institutions and organisations engaged in established health partnerships.  We consider an established partnership to be one that has been working together for more than a year and has been formalised, such as through a Memorandum of Understanding.  Partnerships must demonstrate clear evidence of quality of partnership, such as receiving ESTHER Accreditation for Quality of Partnership.

Partnerships may apply for grants to:

  • Implement small scale innovations or pilot projects
  • Undertake activities that strengthen the working relationship between the partners (e.g. exchange visits, stakeholder meetings, communication systems)
  • Build capacity within the existing partnership to enable it to initiate and implement projects and programmes (e.g. skills building workshops)

Criteria Band 2

  • Partnerships should demonstrate a clear theory of change for how they will improve health services and health outcomes. Change pathways may include one or more of a range of interventions areas such as education, training, mentoring, exchange visits, technical support, service quality improvement and research.
  • Higher priority is given to partnerships in countries with official Government links through Irish Aid and/or the HSE:
    • Irish Aid key partner countries providing bilateral support to the health sector (Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania)
    • Other Irish Aid key partner countries (e.g. Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Sierra Leone)
    • Countries in which HSE is engaged with through formal agreements (e.g. Mozambique, Sudan, Zambia)
  • Preference is given to partnerships with greater potential to achieve impact:
    • Aim to strengthen the capacity of health institutions to address local health priorities and unmet health service needs
    • Contribute to health systems strengthening and universal health coverage
    • Contribute to and support the COVID-19 response in partners’ countries.
  • Coherent with Irish Aid development policy, A Better World
  • Grant funding should achieve value for money. Having co-funding is considered an advantage.
  • Successful partnerships should be willing to monitor their partnership using the ESTHER Pilot Effect Tool and produce a case study.

The ceiling for Band 2 grants is €10,000.

Application Process

To apply for one of our grants please log in or sign up to the online grant platform, Common Grant Application, and complete the online application procedure. Applications are open from the 16th of November – 31st of March 2021.

Download the Application Guidelines 

First-time users register here

Returning users log in here

For any queries please contact us on: info@esther.ie 

The below video provides a step by step guide on completing one of our online application forms. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have any queries, please email grants@esther.ie.