Health - About us


​​​​The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Health Network brings together SDC staff from country offices and headquarters (Bern, Switzerland), as well as implementing partners and actors from other organisations around the world that are active in health cooperation, or in strengthening health systems, fostering greater equality in the access to health-related goods and services and/or progressing towards Universal Health Coverage, with focus on lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The SDC Health Network is primarily a platform to support the implementation of SDC int​erventions in Health cooperation. The platform is however also key in capturing, processing and sharing knowledge and experiences, including results and key lessons, between colleagues, partners and other actors, from global to local levels. This includes, but is not limited to, programmatic and policy experience, bilateral and multilateral (Swiss) cooperation programmes, humanitarian aid activities, global initiative partner activitie​​s, and Swiss-based stakeholders and NGOs active in health.​ 


  • Facilitate exchange of experiences between countries and regions... for positioning and advocating the releva​nce of health in poverty reduction.​

  • Provide access to resources and technical using lessons learned to improve our work, developing incentives and stimulate innovations.
  • Foster field-field exchange... among practitioners, and network communication, sharing knowledge between SDC units and partners who likely know “how it works”, and thereby seek synergies with other SDC thematic networks and communities of practice.
  • Provide easy access to information...on international debates on relevant health issues.
  • Facilitate informed advice...for Swiss/SDC positions at board, institutional and technical level meetings.
  • Coordinate and foster communication and collaboration...on health programmes between operational fieldwork and decision-makers in Parliament.
  • ​Offer guidance and promote exchange... on priorities in health and on positioning SDC/Switzerland in international and global health debates.


​​​Our activities

​​The Health Network publishes quarterly newsletters about health initiatives, projects and events both from SDC and its partners, with contributions from Health Network members. In addition, we publish Newsbriefs whenever there are relevant news to be shared. ​
-> Click here to read our latest Newsletters and Newsbriefs

The Network also creates opportunities to discuss latest developments and trends in the health domain, through online and face-to-face events. 

->  Check out the events section ​


Meet the team

​​Focal Points

​​​Olivier Praz, SDC Health Focal Point, Senior Policy Advisor​​​
​Olivier joined the SDC Health Network team in September 2019. He has a technical background in international relations (social sciences, contemporary history and international law). Olivier has been working for the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs since 2005 and hold several positions as political officer and diplomat in Nigeria, Paris OECD, Bern and Cuba. His experience in international cooperation started with multilateral organizations with a specific focus on global health governance. As such, he represented SDC at the Global Fund Board, the World Health Assembly and other specific governance bodies of global health partners. He was later deputy director of the Dar es Salaam office, in charge of bilateral health cooperation programmes. He held the same position in Havana with focus on local governance, food security and humanitarian aid. In his current position, he manages various partnerships on R&D and equitable access to medical technologies, including the recent Swiss engagement for greater access to COVID-19 diagnostics in low and lower-income countries. Olivier has a Master in International Relations from the Graduate Institute in Geneva. He recently updated his academic education with a certificate on Global Health Delivery from the Harvard University. 

Carla Koch
​Carla Koch is the health advisor for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation's bilateral programmes in Southern and Eastern Africa. She manages the Safeguard Young People programme expansion from HQ in close coordination with colleagues based in field offices. Carla also works for the Global Programme Health, which manages SDC's global health initiatives. Previously, Carla was the SDC Focal Point for WHO, the Global Fund and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance. She has also been responsible for SDC's institutional relationship with UNFPA in the past. Carla holds a degree in International Affairs and Governance and a CEMS Master degree in International Management. 

​Network support

Rahel Streuli, Academic Trainee​
Rahel Streuli has been working as an academic intern with the Global Programme Health and the Global Programme Food Security since February 2022. Among her duties, she collects and creates content by and for the Health Network members, through the shareweb, the Newsletters and the Newsbriefs – and is always looking for more! Rahel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the Bern University of Applied Sciences as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and Interreligious Studies from the University of Bern. 

​Shareweb facilitator

​​Gloria Spezzano, Helvetas
As an Innovation & Learning Advisor, Gloria Spezzano supports Helvetas colleagues at head office and in the field as well as external partners in the use of collaboration tools and in undertaking knowledge sharing activities. 

Gloria holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in International Relations from the University of Perugia, and previously worked with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and UNRISD (UN Research Institute for Social Development), providing communications services, training, support for online information sharing and facilitating networking. Gloria joined Helvetas in 2013, where she worked as Communications Manager at the Helvetas Italian Switzerland office until end of 2020.​


The Health Network in a nutshell


The SDC Health Network gathers practitioners and experts from a diversity of geographical and institutional backgrounds working in health and other sectors linked to health (SDC, other Swiss Federal Offices, bilateral- and multilateral organisations, (I)NGOs, Academia, Foundations, Networks, etc.).

Geographical representation​


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