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TitlePublic-private partnerships for health : a review of best practices in the health sector
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsThomas, A, Curtis, V, Water and Sanitation Program -Washington, DC, US, WSP
Pagination20 p. : 3 box., 1 fig., photogr., 8 tab.
Date Published2003-07-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Program, WSP
Place PublishedWashington, DC, USA
Keywordscase studies, government organizations, non-governmental organizations, partnerships, private sector, public health, sdiman, socioeconomic impact

This review has been prepared as a guide to best practices for PPPs in the health sector. It examines the underlying philosophy of PPPs, their costs, benefits, and impacts, as well as their governance, management, and implementation strategies. The report draws on the experiences of six case studies, interviews with key players from the private and public sectors, and literature. It offers general lessons of principle and process for forming partnerships and effectively managing them.

Five contextual shifts in international public health are cited as reasons for the emergence of PPPs: an ideological shift which has created a facilitating environment for business, disillusionment with UN efficiency, a recognition that the global health agenda is too large for a single sector or organization to address on its own, a realization that the market alone cannot provide solutions, and a growing interest within the private sector to enhance its involvement in social issues. The features of a successful PPP are transparency, accountability, a sound governance structure, and a well-defined leadership. Other factors for success are a clear understanding of market mechanisms and how they influence the outcome and overall strategy of the PPP. While the main focus of health partnerships is to meet public health goals, the possible costs and benefits need to be carefully studied to evaluate their wider socio-economic impact. To do this, six case studies were documented, and are referred to in relation to lessons learned and principles of governance, communications, strategy, selecting partners, and measuring impact.

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