The Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in Health (ASELPH)


ASELPH is a partnership between the University of Pretoria, the University of Fort Hare, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and South Africa Partners, in collaboration with the South African National Department of Health.

Seeking to strengthen health transformation in South Africa, ASELPH specifically aims to improve crucial components of the health care system. This includes both increasing its capacity to deliver high-quality, cost-efficient services, and, to strengthen and elevate executive level training for future generations of health leaders. ASELPH focuses on service delivery improvements, human resource capacity development, and excellence in executive level training.

Strong Progress in ASELPH’s First Four Years

Designed to contribute to the goals of the Health Minister’s Health Management Development Plan for South Africa, ASELPH is focused on training provincial and district managers responsible for implementing strategic priorities, including the National Health Insurance initiative, the re-engineering of Primary Health Care and the National Comprehensive Plan for HIV, STIs and TB.

Since its inception in 2013, 263 health care managers have enrolled in an ASELPH program at the University of Fort Hare or the University of Pretoria and 97 ASELPH Fellows have graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Systems Management – Executive Leadership from the University of Pretoria. The ASELPH Fellows represent all 9 provinces and 52 of the 54 health districts nation-wide.

Our Role in this Vital Program

South Africa Partners serves as the management team for ASELPH, monitoring work plans, developing budgets, managing funds, reporting to funders, and securing additional resources to ensure the program’s longevity. In addition, we are responsible for monitoring & evaluation, communications and sustainability. We consider ASELPH a key program to transform and improve South Africa’s healthcare system – and the health of the nation.

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The ASELPH programme is a critical milestone in public-sector health training in South Africa.  For us, as KZN, I believe it is one of the best things to have happened to the department.  The programme provides training, support and mentorship for managers to allow them to confidently implement the health-sector reforms that are envisaged by the National Development Plan.

Mr. MM Zungu, Deputy Director-General for National Health Insurance


I have been involved in capacity building for the past seven years.  ASELPH has assisted in my understanding of the importance of measuring the impact of that capacity building.  It is not enough that we transfer skills and impart knowledge – these skills and knowledge must be put into practice.

Dr. Siphiwe Mndaweni, former ASELPH Fellow


This programme comes at a crucial time when we are facing serious health reform in South Africa in the form of decentralisation, NHI and others. As such the programme becomes an important step that lays the foundation for these reforms. These reforms need “implementers” and ASELPH provides these “implementers” while, at the same time, allowing managers and leaders – as executives – to be the architects and the implementers of the reforms.

Dr. Sibongile Zungu, ASELPH instructor and former ASELPH Fellow

Increasing the Capacity of South Africa’s Health Leaders