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Making stronger relationships between public health institutions

Peer-to-peer collaboration between the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a collaboration and to build strong peer-to-peer relationships within the urgent topic of environmental and climate health.

delegation from NIPH met with employees and leadership from EPHI
Delegation from NIPH met with employees and leadership from EPHI. Copyright: EPHI

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a collaboration and to build strong peer-to-peer relationships within the urgent topic of environmental and climate health.


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On Friday, 10 June 2022, a delegation from NIPH met with employees and leadership from EPHI and signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) together. With this agreement, we are paving the way to support and strengthen the role of public health institutions as key actors in the field of environmental and climate health, under the Building Stronger Public Institutions and Systems (BIS) program.

Approximately 30 researchers and employees from NIPH, EPHI, as well as the School of Public Health of Addis Ababa University, Armauer Hansen Research Institute, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation attended this meeting where the two Public Health Institutions presented their individual strategies and their joined collaboration plans.  

The BIS program goal is to contribute to the building of competent and resilient health systems underpinned by strong public health institutions in six countries and through global and regional networks. The key to change for the BIS program builds on the concept of twinning: National public health institutions and partners linking up and sharing expertise and engaging in long-term partnerships to develop and improve systems and capacity, each in its own national context and as part of the global health architecture. This is what the NIPH-EPHI collaboration aim to do, based on equality and mutual learning, national ownership and sustainability, and responsible ethical behavior. This is not a transactional but a purely collaborative relationship, that aims to break down silos between peers.   

This collaboration will be:

  1. contributing to increased capability, knowledge and skills, and
  2. supporting organizational level systems and knowledge

Both NIPH and EPHI are members of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI). Late 2021, IANPHI launched the Roadmap for Action on Health and Climate Change at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, supporting the development of National Public Health Institutions’ capacity globally to be key advocates and actors of climate mitigation and adaptation.

This MOU will:

  • support one PhD student from EPHI to conduct his/her research in the field of air pollution,
  • facilitate the exchange of knowledge between institutions in emerging topics of environmental and climate health.

During the meeting, EPHI Research Director Dr.Masresha Tessema, provided a summary of the ten-year research road maps for EPHI. He emphasized how crucial and important it is for EPHI to collaborate with NIPH. Dr. Mesay Hailu, Director General of EPHI, reaffirmed his commitment to advancing the partnership. Additionally, he suggested that EPHI could learn a lot from NIPH.

More information on the BIS Ethiopia project can be found at The Building Stronger Public Health Institutions and Systems (BIS) Program in Ethiopia