Moving from Humanitarian to Development aid: East African Symposium on aid effectiveness and Health Systems Development

Symposium dates: 15th – 16th August 2018

Location: Kampala - Uganda

Venue: Serena Hotel, Kampala


The aid effectiveness discourse advances the importance of more effective partnership between donors/aid agencies, recipient governments and implementing partners. In post conflict settings, aid effectiveness aim to align the development assistance to country’s priorities, building state capacity and systems beyond the relief phase. 

Post-conflict settings present unique opportunities to build health systems despite complex transitions from short-term humanitarian assistance (“emergency relief”) programming to longer-term “development assistance”. Coordination of the multitude actors during the transition may pose challenges and missed opportunities to health systems development. For instance, The Washington Report on Humanitarian Affairs, John Prendergast observed that, “A new approach to humanitarian assistance is needed. Major progress has been made over the past year in moving away from food aid [….] to a more rehabilitative approach. Further shifts need to be made to reinforce civil structures and build up local capacity”. David Milliband a former minister in UK Government also noted that humanitarian situations (in Kenya) where poverty levels among people outside refugee camps are much higher than those inside the camps – a situation that was not aligned with the medium and long term needs for the local and national economy. 

In the recent past, several conferences, symposia and meetings have been held to focus on health in fragile states including conflict settings in Africa. What seems to be missing in all these is a firm focus on rebuilding health systems. Health systems contribute to the social security and safety net that are key to peace and development programming.

Generating evidence to guide post-conflict health programming and aid effectiveness in these setting is sparse. The ReBUILD Consortium, with assistance from DFID has undertaken a programme of research in several countries including Northern Uganda to generate evidence to guide aid programmes in health systems reconstruction. Riding on SDG concerns - Leaving No One Behind, the ReBUILD Consortium with seed support from DFID is organising a symposium on aid effectiveness in post conflict settings in the East African region with the objectives to: 

1. Advance the dialogue on aid transitions from relief to development with particular focus on aid flows, programme designs and building capacity for health systems. 

2. Create regional visibility and engagements aimed at improving longer-term programming for health system improvements in post conflict settings. 

3. Build linkages within regional and global development agencies to improve collaboration, learning and programme designs and adaptions to enhance results and accelerate progress for health and well-being post conflict communities. 

4. For those interested, the symposium will also offer skills building session on Apply Social Network Analysis (SNA) in the assessment of aid flows and effectiveness drawing from the work of the ReBUILD Consortium.  


Targeted attendees:

Expected symposium participants are; health system researchers, humanitarian agencies, agencies funding post conflict reconstruction interventions, civil society organisations engaged in conflict and post conflict work in the areas of health, gender and livelihood development. 

Symposium theme:

Aid and Aid Effectiveness in Post Conflict settings: Transitioning from Humanitarian assistance to developing capacity for health systems.

Symposium deliberations will mainly focus on the key areas of concern including, general financing for health, human resources for health, community livelihoods and how to manage the transition. 

Specifically, the symposium will examine what we are learning in the following areas;

Transitions in the area of human resources; 1) from expert-hires to a stable and local workforce; from non-state provisions to government-led provisions; and 3) from targeted and well financed essential benefits to fairly diffuse entitlements – among others. 

Transitions in the area of community livelihoods; 1) how communities survive during conflict and immediate post conflict, 2) how the transition from humanitarian support to post conflict reality is managed, 3) voices and experiences of affected communities

Transition and the burgeoning private sector; 1) the mechanisms to harmonise services provided across and private sectors, 2) integration of the new growth of private providers into the national service delivery system


Skills building session: 

A skills-building session is being organised and will focus on how to use aid management tools to track aid. Training content has been developed to the highest level of quality possible. The training will be delivered by highly knowledgeable and experienced facilitators. The training will feature the use of the Social Network Analysis methodology to generate additional evidence that can support strengthening coordination of aid and long term health planning in post conflict settings.    


Call to Action:

If you are working in this area and are interested in the symposium, we invite you to;

1. Join the organising committee

2. Co-sponsor the symposium

3. Organise and/or sponsor a session in any area related to the symposium focus.

4. Share this information as widely as possible

Registration Fees:

Participants from Low and Middle-Income Countries: USD 150

Participants from Developed Countries: USD 300


Contact Us:

Professor Freddie Ssengooba: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Tel: 256 772 509 316

Ms. Milly Nattimba: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Tel: 256 782 549387

Mr. Nick Hooton: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Tel: 44 7979 791325

Website: AND



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