Publications

    Rosenberg J, Dreisbach T, Donovan C, Weintraub R. Positive Outlier: Sri Lanka’s Health Outcomes over Time. Harvard Business Publishing. 2018.Abstract

    This case describes the development and structure of Sri Lanka’s health system, which has yielded health outcomes far superior to any of its South Asian neighbors. The case highlights factors supporting the health outcomes, including the availability of free health services to all citizens, government investment in the health workforce, and the care-seeking behavior of Sri Lankan citizens. After providing an overview of Sri Lanka’s history, geography, demographics, and economy, the case traces the evolution of the public sector health system from the precolonial era through the period of heavy investment in health from the 1930s through 1950s and on into the 21st century. The case describes the management of the system and the relationship between the national health ministry and provincial and local governments. It examines how health professionals are trained and deployed throughout the system, the supply chain, and financing. The case then examines the growing private health sector, its relationship with the public sector, and the role of innovation. After a summary of the country’s health outcomes, readers are pushed to think about what it will take to address the changing epidemiological burden to continue to boast exemplary health outcomes and provide quality health care to those who need it.

    ​​​​​​Teaching Note available to registered faculty through Harvard Business Publishing or the Case Centre.

    A productive class discussion will allow readers to appreciate the capabilities of a public payer system to improve the health of the population; the influence of the private sector in a “single payer system” and the downstream effects on demand and supply of services; the return on investment for a country offering free public medical and nursing education; and the relationship between literacy, demand generation, and health outcomes.

    Keywords: Universal health care, health care delivery, health system, health outcomes, social determinants of health.

    Wachter K, Rosenberg J, Singal R, Weintraub R. Reducing Child Malnutrition in Maharashtra, India. Harvard Business Publishing. 2015.Abstract

    This case demonstrates what it takes to address a chronic, intergenerational public health issue. It explores the drivers behind the reduction of malnutrition in Maharashtra State, India, from 2001–2013. Specifically, the case examines the strategies and management decisions of leaders of the government-established Rajmata Jijau Mother-Child Health and Nutrition Mission as they worked to reduce the incidence of malnutrition in children and women through a multi-sectoral collaborative approach.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Stunting Syndrome from Conception through Adulthood
    Stunting Syndrome from Conception through Adulthood. Dark blue denotes the period between conception and 2 years (‘the first 1000 days’) when interventions are most effective. Light blue denotes the time period between 2 years and mid-childhood and during the adolescent growth spurt when some catch-up in linear growth may occur. The light blue period before Conceptus reflects evidence that dietary interventions targeting stunted women pre-conception improve birth outcomes. Gray denotes periods when the stunting syndrome appears unresponsive to interventions. Dashed line–a stunted child whose environment becomes more affluent with abundant access to food, causing excessive weight gain; solid line–a stunted child whose environment remains resource-constrained/food insecure. Source: Adapted by case writers with assistance from Isabelle Celentano from Pendergast AJ, Humphrey JH. “The stunting syndrome in developing countries,” Paediatr Int Child Health. 2014;34(4):250-265; doi:10.1179/2046905514Y.0000000158.

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate how to configure specific interventions and indicators to ameliorate and measure malnutrition for a local setting; the complexity and importance of crafting policies and generating political will across sectors in support of nutrition programs; and the role of a strong community workforce in enabling nutrition programs to reach the target population.

    Keywords: Maternal and child health, children, intergenerational disease, public-private partnership, nutrition, strategy, political leadership, scale-up, community health workers, health care delivery, malnutrition, cross-sector collaboration