MIHMEP meets experts: supporting people with disabilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

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The Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation was founded in Italy after World War II and soon became a center of excellence in the healthcare-rehabilitation field, but today it is also well-known for its commitment to social welfare and social-therapeutic service. Thanks to its intense scientific research activities and attention to technological innovations, the Don Gnocchi Foundation has become a point of reference in Italy and abroad, as well as in international scientific networks.

But there is another area of activities in which the foundation is bringing value beyond Italy’s national borders: international cooperation projects. The Department of International Solidarity-NGO and International Relations is led by Riccardo Aggujaro, a graduate of the Master of International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy (MIHMEP) at the SDA Bocconi School of Management.

Since 2001, the Don Gnocchi Foundation has obtained eligibility for international development cooperation activities from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and developed projects in South America (Bolivia and Ecuador), Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia), Asia (Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Cambodia), and Europe (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, and Italy). The projects are all characterized by the so-called “Community Based Inclusive Development” approach, with a strong focus on studying and adapting the activities to the specificities of the local context, as well as to the needs of the people involved. The ultimate goal of the Don Gnocchi Foundation is to transfer its know-how to local professionals and staff so that they can become more self-sufficient and autonomous in running the services that address the needs of the population.

Aggujaro, along with Chiara Martelli (Desk Officer) and Sara Dukic (Local Project Coordinator), visited the MIHMEP24 class for the “MIHMEP invites experts” series, to present their efforts in the field of disability in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The objectives of their work in the country are to promote a model of health management and development for Marija Nasa Nada Rehabilitation Center (which was built in 2004), improving the services provided, training and updating staff, strengthening the local network with other local organizations addressing disabilities, and developing new partnerships.

It is no coincidence that a MIHMEP alumnus is leading the department in charge of developing such initiatives, since the curriculum of MIHMEP and its specialization tracks (especially those in Health Care Management and Global Health & Development) are designed to build the perfect mix of hard and soft skills required for these types of challenges in the modern healthcare landscape. The example of the Don Gnocchi Foundation confirms that healthcare leaders with a broad and solid spectrum of competencies will increasingly be the center of attention for many organizations in the sector. MIHMEP is the right place to prepare for the future.


Andrea Rotolo


SDA Bocconi School of Management

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