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Uk Partnerships for Health Systems

The UK Partnerships for Health Systems programme aims to help Low and Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) build stronger, more resilient health systems and make progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) through improved health service performance for poor and vulnerable populations.

Blue leaf
Blue leaf


We regret to inform you that the UK Partnerships for Health Systems programme has been cancelled by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. As a result THET will not be accepting any further grant applications for this programme and can only apologise for the significant amount of work already put into developing your proposals.

If you have a specific query regarding the closure, or about another grants programme, please contact grants@thet.org

To read the letter from FCDO detailing its decision in relation to the UKPHS programme, please click here. 


Our team are devastated, but we are also aware that the huge demand for the exchange of expertise continues. THET will continue to advocate for the contribution Health Partnerships are making to the UK Government and other audiences including our partners at WHO, and through our conferences and policy work that you do so much to shape. 

In parallel, we are working with broader coalitions to support efforts to raise attention to the impact these cuts to UK Aid are having. If you would like to contribute to this advocacy work, please contact THET’s Communications Officer: summer.simpson@thet.org.

To view THET’s Press Release, please click here. 


We often describe Health Partnerships as a model for improving health through co-development between institutions from different countries, but they are so much more than that. At the heart of Health Partnerships are individuals united through a common purpose and a shared commitment to overcoming challenges that threaten health and wellbeing across the world. Over the lifetime of a partnership – which often last for many years – individuals from the UK and LMICs build connections and learn lessons through shared experiences that catalyse our progress towards achieving health for all.

In the more than 30 years since THET was founded, we have witnessed thousands of individuals support one another to build stronger, more resilient health systems around the world. The power of solidarity within and across borders is well-known to the Health Partnership community, not just during extraordinary times such as those the world is currently navigating, but always.


LMIC health workers receive training to develop and strengthen their skills.

UK health workers and the NHS gain invaluable experience from differing health care systems which improve key leadership and adaptability skills.

Patients globally benefit from health care systems that are strengthened by both the enhanced skills of staff and greater access to health care.


From child health to infectious disease and from patient safety to mental health, Health Partnerships are strengthening health systems overseas and the UK to build a healthier future for all.

“In terms of the benefits to partnerships, UK partners can also learn a lot as in this part of the country, we have a lot of infective cases, so data from these places will enrich the knowledge of our Scottish partners on these types of infections and will enrich their scientific investigations and discoveries.” – Justus, Senior Pharmacist, Ghana (CwPAMS partnership funded by UK Aid).

“I’m more acutely aware of service improvement and potential quality improvement projects in my NHS hospital. Being exposed to high intensity environments where patients often present very late into their illness, is invaluable experience that can only make you a better doctor.” – Dr Mark Lee, Global Links RCPCH (Health Partnership Scheme project funded by UK Aid).

Programme Structure

The UKPHS is a grants programme for Health Partnerships. It seeks to:

  • Support the development of stronger and more resilient health systems through better governance, information, and management of health institutions.
  • Provide the health workforce with opportunities to improve skills and knowledge.
  • Build on institutional capacity to decrease any reliance on external support.

UKPHS grants will be awarded through a competitive bidding process managed by THET and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM). The grants programme will be split into three categories.

Large grants: These are available for long-term strategic Health Partnership activities (up to 30 months) and will fund strategic partnerships that support health workforce development and health systems priorities in ten focus countries in Africa and Asia.

COVID-19 Response fund: These are available for Health Partnerships to contribute remotely to the COVID-19 outbreak, in a wider range of LMICS for a period of 6 months.

Small grants: These will be in a wider range of LMICs for a period of 12-18 months to address health system and health challenges within a number of themes, including innovation, gender equality and/or social inclusion, climate change and blended/remote learning.

Focus Countries and Themes


The ten countries under the Large Grants stream have been selected based on existing strong FCDO country links, health system need and demand in each country, and on an assessment of the existing footprint of Health Partnership activity between the UK and LMIC health institutions and system.

Under this first round of funding, partnerships implementing projects in Myanmar, Nepal, Uganda and Zambia are invited to apply. Further rounds of funding will be available for Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Somalia/Somaliland, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. Applicants aiming to implement projects here should wait for further announcements before making an application.

Small grants and COVID-19 Response grants can operate in any LMIC in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia


The UKPHS aims to contribute to SDG 3: ensuring healthier lives and promotion of well-being for all at all ages, including supporting countries to achieve universal health coverage.

The key outcome of the programme will be improved capability of the health system to address national priorities, including meeting the needs of the poor and most vulnerable populations, and all projects should feed into this.

It is crucial to the success of this programme and the sustainability of its outcomes that all project activities feed into nationally identified health system priorities. THET and LSTM therefore conducted scoping visits to each country and worked with national stakeholders to determine the health systems strengthening priorities that Health Partnerships are best placed to address. These are outlined in the Country Health System Priority documents that accompany this call.