UNICEF and Pampers recently celebrated a ground-breaking partnership to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus (MNT), which still claims the lives of 58,000 newborns every year—down from 200,000 newborn deaths a year in 2000.
Q&A with Duncan Blair, Director of Public Health Initiatives, Alere, Inc.
Impact: How do you define innovation? What do you think are some of the most important factors driving innovation in global health?
DB: Innovation is not only about delivering something new but also about delivering something which provides positive outcomes. What you need for innovation really is creative and engaged people — it’s all about people being willing to challenge the status quo. If everybody always thinks the same things, talks the same language and simply tows the party line then that’s not an environment very conducive to innovation. So what you need is people and an environment that fosters and encourages group members to take risks, whether this is an R&D team, a marketing team, a program implementation team, or a policy development team. Without people who are willing to state their opinion and argue their position then you have no innovation.
Q&A with Klaus Brill, Head of Corporate Commercial Relations, Bayer.
Impact: How does Bayer determine a best investment in terms of value, business plan, audience and opportunity?
Klaus Brill (KB): At Bayer, we look for win-win investment opportunities coming to us through various organizations, governments or internal parties. For Bayer, we make sure that the opportunity matches our general interests in terms of our motto “Science for a Better Life.” We do an assessment to ensure that the opportunity matches one of our global core businesses: women’s health care, primary care, oncology, cardiology, and ophthalmology. If we can identify an interest from a business perspective, we can see the opportunity as a win-win investment for us and our partner.
It is imperative that both the public and private sectors work together. Businesses have invested in GAVI because they know that one of the strongest ways to promote global health is through immunization. And quite simply, vaccines provide a strong return on investment. Through collaboration between the public and private sectors, GAVI has been able to raise additional funds and, most importantly, bring significant private-sector expertise, skills, advocacy and visibility to its work
Impact interviews Dr. Naveen Rao, lead of Merck for Mothers. In 2011, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, created Merck for Mothers, a 10-year, $500 million initiative to reduce maternal mortality globally. Rao shares his thoughts on public-private partnerships and the importance of engaging local partners in efforts to improve maternal health.
Through providing increased access to safe water treatment products and promoting hand-washing with soap at critical times, the partnership between Procter & Gamble, USAID, and PSI seeks to prevent diarrhea among approximately 70,000 children under five in Myanmar, thereby reducing the number of preventable deaths. Diarrhea is the second major cause of death among children under five, following pneumonia, which can also be reduced significantly by improving hand-washing practices.
With nearly 170 participants registered, 21 countries represented, countless organizations and specialties and the loud buzz of excited conversation, the first ever Unclogging the Blockages in Sanitation workshop in Kampala got off to a great start. Day 1′s goal was to Understand the Blockages: an entire day dedicated to informing participants of the challenges faced within the sanitation sector.
By Lorea Russell – This originally appears on the Tomorrow Global blog.
David McGuire, President and CEO of The QED Group LLC, wrote a piece on Devex Impact last week about how the private sector was a critical but misused partner in development. Mr. McGuire talks about the “give us your money and we’ll do good things” attitude that a lot of NGOs have. Guilty as charged.
For a long time I saw PPPs as a way of getting a company to put in some money to kick in the USAID contribution, and not as a real partner. As I’ve started to work in the social enterprise sector, I’ve had to re-think and re-frame how I feel about business models being used to further development goals. That led to a rethink of my previous interactions with the private sector.
I have mixed feelings – I’m kicking myself for all the missed opportunities to engage the private sector in a meaningful way. I would never treat a donor or another partner like a check, so why would I treat a private sector partner that way? Mostly because I just assumed they didn’t actually “care” about the communities the way I did. I thought they just wanted to throw money at the problem so I could fix it and they could say they were making a difference. In retrospect, these partnerships might have produced a lot more if I’d taken a different approach to communicating with partners – language, process, and definitions of success can make or break successful partnerships between the private sector and NGO partners.
We have featured posts and information regarding the importance of private-public partnerships (PPPs) for global health. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is hosting a special series that examines ways that PPPs can impact agriculture. The core issue is malnutrition and PPPs play a vital role in reducing the burden. “Smart public-private partnerships that draw on the added value of government, business and civil society will ensure that we can reduce hunger and improve nutrition in sustainable, people-centered ways that ultimately improve lives and save them,” writes InterAction CEO Sam Worthington.
Edesia founder and Executive Director, Navyn Salem, wrote last week about how her nonprofit is partnering with the Haitian government, the United States, Nutriset and others to establish a pilot program for the distribution of a new fortified peanut paste for schoolchildren.