Mrs. De Haan brings 20+ years experience in working in health care reform projects in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on the former Soviet Union area, including Central Asia where she lived during the past 5 years. She is a self-starter with a sleeves-on mentality, a problem shooter and pairs a no-nonsense mentality with highly developed diplomatic skills.
After graduating from the University of Amsterdam in Psychology and in Political Sciences, she worked in Russia as the correspondent for several Dutch newspapers on changes in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, for which her Russian roots were very helpful. During these years she experienced that the population was severely hit by the outdated and non-effective health system. As to contribute to improvements, she established an NGO that aimed to promote Western approaches and quality standards in health service deliveries in the region
During 10 years she worked as managing director of this international NGO that implemented 12 successful projects funded by the European Union and other donors. All projects aimed to introduce evidence-based practices, as well as new staffing and financing schemes in health facilities and to enhance the role of primary health services. After that period, she embarked as a Key Expert or as Team Leader in various projects funded by the EU, KfW or GIZ, varying from direct health services improvement (AIDS prevention in Russia, prevention of blood borne hospital infections in Kazakhstan) till health system reform projects in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Currently, Olga de Haan works as Result Based Monitoring expert for EU funded health projects and cooperates with professional medical organizations in Central Asia for the development of an ethical code to be included in the organizations’ constitutions.