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.

    Cuneo CN, Rosenberg J, Madore A, Weintraub R. Improving Mental Health Services for Survivors of Sexual Violence in the DRC. Harvard Business Publishing. 2017.Abstract

    This case explores the implementation and evaluation of mental health treatment for victims of conflict-related gender-based violence (GBV) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian organization based in New York City. Following the contextual background, the case traces the IRC’s work developing a psychosocial support program for GBV survivors starting in 2002. When the Applied Mental Health Research Group (AMHR) at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health evaluates the program in 2008, the IRC begins to consider the potential for its work to inform similar interventions. In 2011, the IRC team collaborated with AMHR to implement two concurrent randomized control trials (RCTs): one on the mental health effects of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and the other on the mental health and financial impact of a social and economic empowerment intervention called the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). While the time and resources that went into completing the trials expanded the monitoring and evaluation capacity within the IRC and added important evidence to the lean body of global mental health literature, conducting the studies stretched the IRC’s local staff thin and required clarification of priorities and purpose. Had the RCTs had been worth it, and for whom? How could the study findings contribute to improving services for vulnerable populations in the region and beyond? 

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Theory of Change
    Source: Study of Effectiveness of a Social-Economic Intervention for Sexual Violence Survivors in Eastern DRC, November 2014.

    Theory of Change 2
    Source: Group Cognitive Processing Therapy: A Specialized Mental Health Intervention that Supports Improvements in Well-being for Sexual Violence Survivors. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, International Rescue Committee.

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate the challenge of meeting human resource needs to provide mental health care, the complexity of implementation and empirical study of mental health services, and the ethics and challenges of conducting randomized controlled trials in conflict settings.

    Keywords: public health, human resources, health care delivery, information management, mental health, scale-up, resource-limited settings, health care policy, data collection, public administration

    Hashimoto K, Rhatigan J. Chagas Disease Vector Control in Honduras. Harvard Business Publishing. 2017.Abstract

    This case describes how the Honduran Ministry of Health developed and implemented a Chagas disease control program with the assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and others from 2003 to 2012. After providing background information about Honduras and Chagas disease, the case examines the work of the Guatemalan Ministry of Health and JICA to implement a Chagas disease control program that provided the template for the program in Honduras. The case then describes the adaptation of this model for the Honduran context, including details of the surveillance model and vector control interventions. The case concludes with the program considering how it would maintain its success in spite of decreased funding and changes in leadership.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Chagas vector chart
    Main vector species of Chagas disease in Central America. Source: Biblioteca Virtual en Salud de Honduras.

    Indoor residual spraying
    Training community members for indoor residual spraying in the first trial in Intibucá 2004. Source: Case writers.

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate strategies in control of neglected tropical diseases; Chagas disease vector control and surveillance; the role of bilateral cooperation to strengthen health systems management; and how regional disease control initiatives are implemented locally.

    Keywords: Information management, scale-up, health care policy, public administration, government policy, resource-limited settings, data-collection

    Rosenberg J, Wachter K, Weintraub R. Concept Note: Malnutrition. Harvard Business Publishing. 2015.Abstract

    This concept note provides an overview of malnutrition, including its definition, causes, and management related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. It also describes the state of global malnutrition, including national and international efforts to reduce malnutrition and the stakeholders involved.

    Learning Objectives: To further students’ and instructors’ understanding of malnutrition-related concepts presented in the Global Health Delivery (GHD) Case Collection (e.g., GHD-031: Reducing Child Malnutrition in Maharashtra, India).

    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

    Wachter K, Talbot JR, Weintraub R. Partners In Health in Neno District, Malawi. Harvard Business Publishing. 2013.Abstract

    Set in Neno District, Malawi from 2007–2012, the case focuses on the economic impact of investing in health care infrastructure. It examines management decisions that leaders of Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo (APZU) and its founding organization—Partners In Health (PIH)—made as they supported the Government of Malawi in building a hospital and scaling up the delivery of APZU clinical and social programs across Neno district. The case highlights how a non-governmental organization can navigate the politics and local culture to improve Malawi’s health care system in close partnership with a strong, protocol-driven government. The case begins with Ophelia Dahl, co-founder and executive director of Partners In Health, reflecting on her December 2011 trip to Neno, nearly four years after her first visit. She observed signs of progress unrelated to health—bank branches had opened in town, a new road had been built, and the market had expanded dramatically. Ultimately, the case explores what this demonstrates about the value of her organization’s investments in health.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Neno rural hospital
    In the foreground: One-story original structures of Neno Rural Hospital used for outpatient and maternity services. In back: Two-story building constructed by APZU and partners used for inpatient wards, meetings, computer use, laboratory work, and government offices. Source: Keri Wachter, 2012.

    Learning Objectives: To understand the challenges of hiring and retaining local and expat staff, the complexity of an international NGO partnering with the government to improve health care, how leadership acumen and approaches impact scaling up and sustaining health care delivery, the relationship between the district hospital and the local economy, and how to assess impact beyond health measures.

    Keywords: Global health, social equality, project management, business and government relations, partnerships, strategy, economic development, health care policy, health care delivery, public health, human resource management, developing countries, innovation