Tag Archives: MSH

It Takes All of Us: Partnering for Impact

Sunday evening the study tour delegates learned how partnerships are key to strengthening health systems. Management Sciences for Health (MSH) and GE Foundation hosted a discussion and reception at the Bella Center in Copenhagen on the power of public-private partnerships on the eve of the Women Deliver 2016 conference.

MSH President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick moderated a lively discussion between Haiti’s former Minister of Health Dr. Florence Guillaume and Dr. David Barash, Chief Medical Officer of the GE Foundation on what makes successful partnerships work.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick discusses successful partnerships with Dr. Florence Guillaume and Dr. David Barash. Photo credit: Matthew Martin/MSH.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick discusses successful partnerships with Dr. Florence Guillaume and Dr. David Barash. Photo credit: Matthew Martin/MSH.

“Public-private partnerships are a creation of the 21st century, “ said Dr. Quick.  “Development work is too big for one sector, it takes all of us. “

In Liberia, partnerships are helping rebuild the health system after it was shattered by Ebola, including servicing water wells and improving maternal health services, as seen here:

According to Dr. Guillaume, in order to be effective in rebuilding after the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Haiti needed “many partners but one plan.” She continued saying “it was difficult to transfer ‘partners’ into ‘partnerships.’ Partnerships are like marriages, you need to share the same vision and work and plan together.” This worked well in Haiti with immunizations for children under 5, leading to 85% coverage for vaccines for measles. It was more difficult for maternal and child care given the need for partners throughout the continuum of care for women, including training of midwives.

Dr. Barash said the private sector has multiple ways to engage—either through philanthropy or early stage funding for pilot projects—and partners need shared values to help build communities and make economies more robust.  He described how in Kenya, GE Foundation invested extensively and trained midwives and nurses in anesthesiology. “ We needed to have an ecosystem around them—infrastructure, building the equipment and capacity building for the providers. We need trained biomedical technicians to fix the equipment.”

Dr. Guillaume highlighted the challenges of too many partners and donors regarding supply chain for medicines  and each partner having their own warehouse without coordination. She recommended that you must start a discussion with the local people at the beginning of the partnership. Dr. Barash said multiple sectors must discuss and define objectives from the start and identify how they will all operate together.

“One of the fundamentals of a good public private partnership is a common vision at the beginning of what success looks like and treating everyone as an ally,” said Dr. Quick.

This post was written by Barbara Ayotte, MSH’s Senior Director of Strategic Communications.

Welcome and About the Tour

Before our study tour kicks off in Copenhagen, Denmark, we wanted to say a few words about why we’re going to Women Deliver, why these tours matter, and our plans for the future.

This study tour is a bit different from our usual ones – we typically bring congressional staffers, or delegates, to the “field” to visit clinics and meet with local government officials. However, this time, we are attending the Women Deliver 2016 conference. Women Deliver is the world’s largest global convening that focuses on the health, rights, and well-being of women and girls. The conference brings together thousands of policymakers, donors, activists, and more, to review progress, discuss challenges, and push for new and ambitious commitments toward improving the lives of girls and women. The conference offers our delegates a unique opportunity to learn the latest happenings in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) and engage with thought leaders from the highest levels to the grassroots.

Our study tour not only aims to provide a comprehensive RMNCAH education but will enhance the delegates’ storytelling skills. They will leave Copenhagen with the ability to tell stories about the impact of reducing maternal mortality on women, families, communities, and local economies. They will return to Washington better equipped to tell the stories of women and girls around the world to target audiences.

The delegates have a packed schedule each day. Their tour starts out with three, in-depth RMNCAH briefings to prep them for the conference discussions, meetings, and dinners they will attend throughout the week. They will meet with government, NGO, and private sector leaders from all over the world; project implementers from the field; and US and international journalists and communications staff. Each day, the staffers will partake in discussions on topics such as the role of faith communities, how youth are leading in RMNCAH, and effective communication strategies.

Learning tours like this one are key for global health advocacy: they educate and engage Congress on global health issues and provide staffers with the opportunity to connect with thought leaders and tell the story of international development successes.