Who we are

Secretariat

The ESTHER Switzerland Secretariat is hosted by the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine at the University in Bern.

The project manager is Dr. Dörte Petit: doerte.petit@ispm.unibe.ch, Tel +41 31 631 33 35

The supervisor of ESTHER Switzerland is Prof. Dr. Oscar H. Franco, Director of ISPM.

ESTHER Switzerland Steering Committee

The ESTHER Switzerland Steering Committee consists of the following persons:

  1. Prof. Dr. Oscar Franco, chair, Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, ISPM
  2. Prof. Dr. Jan Fehr, University of Zurich
  3. Ms Katthyana Aparicio Reyes, World Health Organization
  4. Prof. Dr. Kaspar Wyss, Swiss Centre for International Health
  5. Ms Erica Placella, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  6. Mr Martin Leschhorn Strebel, Medicus Mundi Schweiz
  7. Dr. David Weakliam, Global Health Programme, Ireland
  8. Mr Thomas Vogel, HUG
  9. Dr. Jochen Ehmer, Solidarmed

The responsibilities of the Steering Committee are the following:

  • Provide general oversight and strategic guidance of ESTHER Switzerland in accordance with the principles described in the ESTHER Switzerland project document;
  • Oversee the strategic activities of the secretariat and approve yearly reports;
  • Promote ESTHER Switzerland in different communities, provide advice on additional funding sources, and contribute to the sustainability of the initiative;
  • Provide advice on operational activities, the risk of failure of specific projects, and appropriate actions to reduce risks;
  • Examine proposals for projects based on the peer reviews;
  • Examine proposals for start-up funds based on the review by the ESTHER Secretariat;
    • The SC can accept a proposal, ask for clarification or changes or reject it.
    • The SC is free to fix the amount of the fund allocated to a project.

Conflict of Interest

ESTHER Switzerland has a thorough review process of all proposals submitted for funding. In a first step, each proposal is reviewed by three reviewers, who independently score the proposal and provide comments. In a second step, the Steering Committee considers the assessment of the reviewers and takes a funding decision based on the scores and comments by reviewers. All steering committee members may have interests related to their expertise.

To ensure the highest integrity and public confidence in its activities, ESTHER Switzerland requires that experts serving as a member of the Steering Committee disclose any circumstances that could give rise to a potential conflict of interest related to the subject of activity in which they will be involved.

All members of the Steering Committee must disclose any circumstances that could represent a potential conflict of interest (i.e. any interest that may affect or may reasonably be perceived to affect the expert’s objectivity and independence).

All reviewers and members of the Steering Committee must therefore disclose on a Declaration of Interests form any financial, professional or other interest relevant to the proposals they will be asked to review. They must also declare relevant interests of their immediate family members, and if they are aware, any relevant interests of other parties with whom they have substantial common interests, and which may be perceived as unduly influencing their judgement (e.g. employer, close professional associates).

All potential significant interests will be disclosed to the other participants at the start of the review process. In case a conflict of interest declared by a Steering Committee member in relation to a given ESTHER proposal, the member will be recused from the review of this particular proposal and will not participate in the decision on funding. S/he will leave the meeting for the time of the discussion of the proposal concerned.

Simiarly, all external reviewers must disclose on a Declaration of Interests form any financial, professional or other interest relevant to the proposals they have been asked to review. They must also declare relevant interests of their immediate family members, and if they are aware, any relevant interests of other parties with whom they have substantial common interests, and which may be perceived as unduly influencing their judgement (e.g. employer, close professional associates).

In case of a conflict of interest declared by a reviewer, the reviewer will be recused from the review of the ESTHER proposal in question.

 

Funding

ESTHER Switzerland is currently fully funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). https://www.eda.admin.ch/deza/en/home.html