Improving health and reducing inequities worldwide



The private sector is a significant source of healthcare among all populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but especially for the poor. In developing countries, the private sector—from traditional birth attendants and medicine peddlers to trained pharmacists and doctors—provides over half of all of healthcare. In South and Southeast Asia this number is more than 80%. Until now very little attention by academics or policy makers has focused on this aspect of health systems. The result is that major information gaps exist in nearly all countries, and that policies and regulatory frameworks are ill formed, ineffective, or non-existent in most countries. There is no international institutional leadership addressing this. The Private Sector Healthcare Initiative seeks to fill this gap in country capacity to understand and work with the private sector. One way we do this is through support for Communities of Practice, both program implementers and global networks of academics and researchers working on private sector issues.

Strengthening Implementation

The Private Sector Healthcare Initiative serves as secretariat for SF4Health.org, an online community of practice where social franchising stakeholders from around the world exchange information and innovations.

Improving Research & Measurement

  • Metrics Working Group (MWG) - supports building better measures of social franchising performance indicators and better systems for indicator tracking, and implementing these metrics in programs worldwide. The MWG promotes the exchange of current standards and methods for both monitoring and evaluation (M&E), including Management Information Systems (MIS) data systems, outcome indicator calculators and performance measures for both facilities and programs.
  • Quality Metrics Support Program - launched in January 2011, is an effort to encourage social franchises worldwide to implement quality measurement initiatives. At the First Global Conference on Social Franchising held in November 2011 in Mombasa, Kenya, the Global Health Group publicly recognized social franchises that effectively collect and use quality metrics, based on a survey and site visits.
  • Demand-Side Financing Working Group - supports the integration of social franchising and demand-side financing programs into national health systems, especially mechanisms such as national health insurance.

Promoting Academic Research