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.

    Brooks P, Rosenberg J, Weintraub R. The Global Trachoma Mapping Project. Harvard Business Publishing. 2016.Abstract

    This case explores what it took to map the prevalence of trachoma infection in 1,531 districts across 26 countries by directly examining 2.39 million individuals in just three years. Dozens of organizations worked together on the largest standardized mapping project in the world as part of an effort to eliminate blinding trachoma globally by the year 2020. After providing some background on trachoma, early control efforts, and the formation of a global coalition, the case explores the events, strategies, technology, and stakeholders that enabled the mapping project. It describes how the stakeholders worked together, the coordination and management mechanisms used, and the investments required. Given that disease elimination had been achieved only once before, in the case of smallpox, the case asks students to consider how the project’s leaders, Tom Millar and Anthony Solomon, could help maximize returns from trachoma mapping so that the campaign could achieve its ultimate goal of global trachoma elimination within the next five years. Were there ways in which they could leverage efforts to map this neglected tropical disease to inform other disease control programs?

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Life cycle of Trachoma
    Life Cycle of Trachoma. Source: The Carter Center/Al Granberg, International Trachoma Initiative. Available at

    Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate what contributes to the development of a productive coalition; what it takes to collect quality data at scale; the challenges and benefits of identifying your target population for public health programming; and the tradeoffs between a targeted campaign addressing one disease and bundling efforts for multiple diseases.

    Keywords: Disease mapping, disease elimination, multi-sectoral collaboration, electronic data capture


    Dhillon R, Rhatigan J. The Measles Initiative. Harvard Business Publishing. 2011.Abstract

    This case examines the work of the Measles Initiative (MI), a consortium of multiple international organizations, in helping catalyze a global effort to reduce worldwide measles-related mortality by expanding delivery of measles vaccinations. After providing background information on the biology of the measles virus and the epidemiology of measles, it recounts the formation of the MI, its partnership structure, its goals, its program design, and its financing. The case focuses on how multilateral global health initiatives coordinate with national governments to improve health care delivery. By 2009, the MI had made significant gains in reducing measles mortality, but was facing decreased funding and was questioning its strategy going forward.

    Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.

    Clinical Presentations of Measles
    Clinical Presentations of Measles. Image A Source: CDC: Image 132. Public Health Image Library. Available at: Image B Source: CDC: Image 6887. Public Health Image Library. Available at (Exhibit 1 from “The Measles Initiative” case.)

    Learning Objectives: To understand how multi-lateral, international disease-control initiatives are designed, coordinated, and financed and to examine how these initiatives interact with national health systems to achieve their objectives.

    Keywords: Coordination of multilateral global health initiatives and national governments, international partnerships, measles vaccination campaigns, strategy