Save A Life (SALI) model: an intervention model to achieve development goals through public NGO partnership (PNP), capability development and evidence-based practice

Heitham Awadalla, Ibrahim A. Janahi, David Dombkins, Fahad A. Elnour, Osman Abbass, Abubakr A. Omer, Khalid Mudawe Nurain, Abulgassim Abdelwahab, Osama Y. Algibali


Save A Life (SALI) is an innovative model based on public NGO partnerships (PNP) aiming at sustainable solutions/services/projects to save lives in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Achieving the United Nations Developmental Goals (SDGs) requires all service delivery actors to work systemically and in partnership. In this review we describe a model of NGO (SALI), implemented in Sudan. SALI is providing a structured capability development program that transforms local NGOs from being humanitarian aid-dependent, into development-oriented organizations—equal in capability to large private sector clinical health care providers in OECD countries that deliver sustainable core public services guided by evidence. The core components are: effective PNP; capability development program (systems and personnel); robust governance systems supported by an enterprise management system; and applied research and evidence generation. Since the beginning of the pilot phase in Sudan in 2016 (currently two local NGOs are delivering health projects using the SALI model), a considerable progress was achieved. For instance, developing the capability toolkits; training of the country core team to lead the program; establishing PNP core group; and implementing several projects using the SALI model. Initial findings reflect a promising future for this model which will be focusing on institutionalization and certification of the model. The United Nations PPP Centre of Excellence in Geneva has recognized the pilot SALI project as one of the ten best projects in delivering the United Nations Development Goals and recommends the Taqaddum model for Putting People First Partnerships. Investing in the development of local NGOs is a critical lever to achieve the SDGs in fragile and conflict-affected countries. The SALI model is a pragmatic model to transform the way humanitarian projects are designed and delivered to provide sustainable, fit for purpose, and value for money health care services. The initial findings are promising to shape the road for SALI to be a global recognized model of intervention.