Publications

    Rosenberg J, Ahmad I, Sharara N, Weintraub R. Improving Maternal Health by Addressing Stockouts: Integrating the Private Sector into the Public Health Supply Chain in Senegal. Harvard Business Publishing. 2021.Abstract

    This case traces the development of a series of initiatives to intended to reduce stockouts of family planning commodities in Senegal’s public health system and the eventual scale up of the redesigned supply chain to include additional commodities and its transfer of management to the government. After providing some background on the history of Senegal, including its governance and health system, the case explores early efforts to overhaul the supply chain in the country and reproductive health efforts. It then describes the Gates Foundation’s involvement and how the relationship between family planning and supply chain management came to light. The Gates Foundation, along with others, supported the launch of the Informed Push Model with Third Party Logisticians (IPM-3PL), which proved to reduce stockouts dramatically. Despite significant initial support from both government ministries and international donor agencies, as the program scaled IPM-3PL did not survive the transition to a fully government-run model, and the program was eventually discontinued in 2019 after two attempts to hand over the program to Senegal’s National Supply Pharmacy (Pharmacie Nationale d'Approvisionnement; PNA), the government agency in charge of distribution of medicines. The case ends with the director of the PNA contemplating what was next for Senegal and what she could tell others who had been so closely watching the country as an example.

    Learning Objectives:

    This case documents the need for and process to overhaul Senegal’s public health supply chain. A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate the following:

    1. The benefits and challenges of transitioning aspects of a public health supply chain between push and pull models
    2. The trade-offs of private sector integration in public health supply chains
    3. How the management and financing structure of a public health supply chain impacts its efficacy and scalability
    4. The need for cross-sector and intragovernmental collaboration for effective supply chain management and the relationship between policy and last mile delivery

    Supply Chain Scenarios

    Keywords: supply chain management, private-public partnership, maternal health, third party logisticians, informed push model, scale up, distribution

    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, 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