06 – Harnessing private sector expertise for social innovation

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The discussion explored a number of robust examples of how private sector expertise and a business approach has delivered great results to long-entrenched challenges in global health.

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Copyright UNICEF/2006/Shehzad Noorani

As GAVI seeks to put more “private” into its public-private partnership, the discussion explored a number of robust examples of how private sector expertise and a business approach has delivered great results to long-entrenched challenges in global health.

Dr Klaus Mueller moderated the panel, bringing his long experience in forging partnerships between the private and public sectors to the forefront.

Rene Karsenti kicked off the discussion by sharing his experiences with IFFIm; “IFFIm has been an innovative model to provide predictable financing to GAVI, thereby increasing access to life-saving vaccines to the world’s poor.

Finding new applications for existing tools was not only spoken of in the financial context, Dr Breitenbach, head of Business Development for Vodafone’s mHealth Business, discussed the opportunities and challenges of a new platform that leverages SMS capabilities to monitor vaccine stockpiles.

Dr Dube of ARK highlighted ARK’s unique approach to diarrhoeal control, by piloting a unique programme that employs established business practices to relieve bottlenecks.

Dr Mugambi rounded out the discussion by impressing upon the audience the importance of data-based decision making and the importance of measuring results. She commented, “Investing in health is more than just helping children to survive, it is helping them to succeed – to go to school, to work and to ultimately uplift the socio-economic outlook of their countries.

Before opening up the floor to questions, Dr Karsenti remarked “Public-private partnerships opens up your approach to scrutiny by many different stakeholders – which forces everyone to have a discipline in the way we spend money on programmes and to ensure they are effective.

1 in 5

1 in 5 of all children who die before the age of five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHO Department of Immunisation, Vaccines and Biologicals’ estimates and projections, as of October 2012

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