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DFID hands over to the Netherlands

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Marco Gerritsen, looking happy taking on the focal partner role

I mentioned in a previous blog that I would be handing over the focal partner role on the 11 March, well, a few days later than expected, on the 25 March the hand-over took place. At the end of the big twice yearly Ministry of Health meeting (the CCS) with development partners, which was postponed from the 11to the 25March, I handed over my role as coordinator of the health sector to Marco Gerritsen of the Netherlands Embassy. To the right is a picture of Marco looking happy with the new challenge!

DFID has been the focal partner, coordinating donor support to the health sector for the past 2 years, since April 2008. My previous blogs should have given a flavour of what this role has involved, it has been an exciting and productive couple of years.

Minister Garrido and Dr Benzerroug El Hadi at the CCS meeting
Minister Garrido and Dr Benzerroug El Hadi at the CCS meeting

Donor support to the health sector in Mozambique is coordinated by a group of 3 agencies, DFID has been the focal partner, and the two vice focal partners have been Dr. Benzerroug El Hadi, Country Representative of the World Health Organisation, and Dr. Marco Gerritsen, Senior Health Adviser at the Netherlands Embassy. I have attached a picture of Dr. Benzerroug, sitting next to Minister Garrido at the CCS. At the same time as DFID handed over its role, WHO handed over its vice focal partner role to Patricia Guzman, the Country Representative of UNFPA.

I will continue as the vice-focal partner for another year, and WHO will continue to work closely with UNFPA, reflecting strong UN coordination here in Mozambique, which is a ‘Delivering as One’ pilot country for better UN coordination.

I mentioned in my last blog that the CCS meeting on the 25 March was a success, and I am looking forward to continuing to work as the vice-focal partner over the coming year. I am hoping that a slight reduction in demands on my time might allow me to get out with Ministry officials and partner agencies and see some of the work that is currently going on to improve health in Mozambique. Lets see...

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  1. Comment by Owen Barder posted on

    Why isn't the Government of Mozambique the "coordinator of the health sector"?


  2. Comment by Neil Squires posted on

    Hi Owen
    The Government of Mozambique does lead and coordinate the health sector, but a focal partner is appointed to coordinate the many donor and partner agencies who support the sector. The intention is to reduce the amount of time government spends talking to each agency, by having a coordinating agency who can represent all donor views in the policy discussion with government. Whilst it is difficult to stop every agency that provides the Ministry of Health funds from organising meetings with the Ministry, the coordination role has considerably reduced the number of separate bilateral meetings and visits to the country that occur. Partners to the health sector meet on a monthly basis, agree the main priorities for discussion with the Ministry, and then the coordinator will raise these issues in a monthly meeting with the Permanent Secretary and Directors. This helps to ensure that the Ministry has the time needed to lead and manage the sector, rather than having to spend time managing a series of meetings and sometimes conflicting requests that might otherwise come from partner agencies.