Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Regional Cooperation in Health in South-Eastern Europe

Project completed

The South-Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) brings together health authorities and decision makers from the countries of South-Eastern Europe (SEE), in order to improve quality of health care in the region. Within the Network, health care issues of shared interest for the member states are discussed, good practices shared, and regional health policies developed, fostering modernization of health care systems in the region. In order to ensure sustainability of the ongoing efforts within the Network, the ownership of the SEEHN needs to be transferred from the international community to the countries in the region.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Health systems strengthening
01.06.2013 - 30.06.2015
CHF  403’500

Health systems in the SEE countries are struggling with economic and political pressures; they must respond to already long-lasting health care problems, including a low quality of services and outdated clinical practices. SEEHN was established in 2001, as a political and institutional forum for regional cooperation in health addressing shared interests among the SEE countries. It gathers the health ministries of ten member countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania and Serbia.


The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the regional cooperation in order to enhance the perfor-mance of health systems and improve public health in SEE.

Target groups

The project’s direct beneficiaries are health authorities of the ten SEE countries, while its end beneficiaries are the citizens of these countries.

Medium-term outcomes

1. The ownership of SEEHN has been transferred to the region, and its sustainability has been ensured.

2. The transparency of SEEHN’s operations, its cooperation with countries and organizations in Europe, and its recognition as a regional health policy hub, have been enhanced.

3. National public health stakeholders in SEE, dealing with international relations, competently engage in health diplomacy and negotiations at national and international levels.



Expected results:  

Developed standard operational procedures of the SEEHN Secretariat

Built up managerial capacities of the SEEHN Secretariat

Built up management capacities of the 9 SEEHN Regional Health Development Centers

Official SEEHN web site developed and operational

SEEHN newspaper developed and regularly published

Built up capacities  for health diplomacy and negotiation at national levels in the ten SEE countries


Results from previous phases:  

SEEHN had established 9 Regional Health Development Centers (RHDCs) under the auspices of the member states’ governments, in the view to address important and mutually agreed public health issues in SEE. In 2010, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by SEEHN's member countries, the Network took the ownership for the regional cooperation in health. The Secretariat of SEEHN was registered recently in Skopje/Macedonia; it should provide administrative support to the Network and to the RHDCs. The interim Secretariat is currently served solely by WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, which ensures the continuity of SEEHN and its key activities until the member states take over full responsibility for the operations of the Network.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • World Health Organization

Other partners

Ministries of Health and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the ten SEE countries (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania and Serbia).

Coordination with other projects and actors

The project will closely cooperate with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) to include health into the future SEE 2020 Strategy; this strategy will be developed under the auspices of RCC in order to foster concerted health development actions in SEE, within RCC’s framework of operations.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    403’500 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    356’766
Project phases

Phase 1 01.06.2013 - 30.06.2015   (Completed)