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Developing countries already have a private sector that plays a major role in delivering positive health outcomes. There is growing evidence that most people in developing countries seek treatment - for malaria, TB, diarrhea, and fever to name a few- from private providers [See figure below]. Contrary to a common belief, the private sector serves not only the upper- and middle-classes in urban settings but can also be found in remote rural regions and in the impoverished sections in many cities serving the poor.
Source: most recent Demographic and Health Household Surveys
Governments, donors and others in the international community need to reconsider the role of the private sector in health and engage with the private sector as a necessary part of an overall strategy to improve health care and to strengthen the health system. Yet few government in developing countries have a legal and regulatory framework in place to support and harness the private sector's contribution or public sector skills and capacity needed to engage with private sector entities.
What is CGD doing about it?
In the right environment, the private sector, working in concert with the public sector, can significantly help to improve the scope, scale, quality and efficiency of health services. But how does one create the right environment and with what tools and approaches? To answer these questions, the Center for Global Development has convened a working group to:
Assess the constraints related to knowledge and implementation capacity which developing countries face in engaging the private health sector, and;
Develop specific solutions to address these constraints, with particular attention to designing a mechanism that developing countries can access for technical assistance and other forms of support to work with the private sector in health.
Who is involved in the Private Sector Working Group?
The Working Group, convened by visiting fellow April Harding and CGD vice president Ruth Levine brings together a diverse group of 21 experts from the global health, academic, and business communities, who bring a wealth of private sector knowledge and experience to the Working Group's deliberations and findings. Working group members participate in an individual capacity:
Daniella Ballou-Aares, Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors
James Cercone, President, Sanigest International
Scott Featherston, Investment Officer, Health and Education Department, IFC
Gargee Ghosh, Senior Program Officer, Global Health Policy and Finance, Gates Foundation
April Harding, Visiting Fellow, CGD
Ishrat Husain, Senior Advisor, Africa Bureau, USAID
Barry Kistnasamy, Professor, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine
Danielle Kuczynski, Program Coordinator, CGD (support)
Ruth Levine, Vice President, CGD
Dominic Montagu, Global Health Group Lead, UCSF
Stefan Nachuk, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation
Barbara O’Hanlon, Senior Policy Adviser, PSP-One Project; CGD consultant (facilitator)
Malcolm Pautz, Senior Project Advisor, Health PPPs, Treasury of South Africa
Alex Preker, Lead Economist, Africa, World Bank
Julian Schweitzer, Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank
Guy Stallworthy, Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Hope Sukin, Public Health Director, Africa Bureau, USAID
Jurrien Toonen, Senior Advisor, Royal Tropical Institute, Netherlands
Gerver Torres, Senior Scientist, Gallup International
Jim Tulloch, Principal Health Advisor, AUSAID
Juan Pablo Uribe, Executive Director, Foundation Santa Fe
What will the Private Sector Working Group produce?
The primary purpose of the Private Sector Working Group is to design an advisory facility that will provide technical support to developing country policymakers' efforts to improve health and strengthen the health system through private sector engagement. Over the course of 3 consultation meetings, the Working Group will draft the charter for a Private Sector Advisory Facility (PSAF). The Working Group will also produce a policy brief that will outline the PSAF's rationale, framework (mission, purpose, technical priorities, clients), organizational structure and governance.