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

Selena Lopreno, SDC Health Focal Point

Selena Lopreno joined the SDC Network team in July 2023 as a health advisor for the health Unit of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. She has a background in political science and a Master of Sciences in global health, with a specialization in environmental health. Previously, Selena was working for the State Secretariat of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign affairs on global health in multilateral bodies. Among other, she represented Switzerland at the World Health Assembly, the Human rights Council, the Commission on Narcotic drugs and the UN General Assembly. Before this, she gained experience in research (Laboratory for Research and Study in Environment and Health, France and Addiction Medicine Unit of the CHUV, Switzerland) and in health promotion at the local level (Sacopar, Belgium)

Carla Koch, Health Advisor
​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

Lara Sponagel, Academic Trainee​
Lara has been working as an academic trainee for the Global Programme Health and the Global Programme Food Systems since February 2023. She maintains the shareweb as well as the network and is responsible for the newsletter and the newsbrief. During her Master of Science in Global Health she has acquired comprehensive knowledge of the diverse landscape of global and public health. With different internships and positions within academia/research, NGO’s or international organizations (like UNHCR) she was able to gain first insights international cooperation and is eager to learn more. 
David Streiff, Network Facilitator
As an Evaluation and Learning Advisor at Helvetas, David supports Helvetas colleagues at head office and in the field in setting up Monitoring and Evaluation systems and pushes a results-based management approach.

David holds a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Bern, and previously worked with People In Need (PIN) in the Philippines, with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in Germany and South Sudan and since 2022 with Helvetas. David is experienced in conducting rapid needs assessments (market, WASH and food), setting-up digital monitoring systems and capacitating colleagues to use those as well as support project during the planning phase with establishing theories of change and translating these into logframes.


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.).


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