The Power of Networking

The early twenty-first century brought with it the recognition that the world had become, to borrow Marshall McLuhan’s words, a “global village”. As the world around us is becoming progressively interconnected and complex, human health is increasingly perceived as the integrated outcome of its ecological, social-cultural, economic and institutional determinants. Globalization has driven changes in many aspects of human life, including health.

One important development brought by globalization is the growing importance of information technology. In this electronic age we see ourselves being translated more and more into the form of information, moving toward the technological extension of consciousness. Since the arrival of digital age, information is shared more freely by people across the globe, making geographical distance less significant.

To keep pace with the advent of technology, the [Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)]( launched the website []( in February. For the second year of the project _Health Market Innovations in the Philippines_, the institute wants to promote the project of identifying innovative health programs in the country and increase public awareness on this health endeavor. The website may also serve as a link to engage different stakeholders in the health sector such as the program implementers, policymakers, researchers, funders, and non-profit sectors in the improvement of health care services in the country. The public can also nominate potential health market innovations (HMIs) through this website.

In preparation for the roundtable discussion, the team used the site to gather programs to be included in the list. This turned out to be quite successful. 14 programs were officially nominated in addition to the 38 more identified by the researchers.

The success of Year 1 may also be attributed to the power of networking. Recently, the [Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF)]( identified PPP on health models from Year 1 programs through the website. ZFF is a non-profit organization that focuses on being a catalyst in transforming the local health system in rural municipalities in the Philippines to attain the Millennium Development Goals on Health. The Foundation’s main strategies to respond more effectively to the challenges of the Philippine health sector are the strengthening of the capabilities of the country’s public healthcare systems and improving access to healthcare for the poor, especially in rural areas.

_**162 to 52 Coalition**_

The Philippines has a target of reducing maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by three-quarters by 2015. However, as of 2008, the country has MMR of 162 per 100,000 live births, far from the MDG target of 52 deaths per 100,000 live births.

The 162 to 52 Coalition is the outcome of the Third Philippine Health Outlook Forum held December last year. The Department of Health, through the Bureau of Local Health Development and other stakeholders conceptualized the 162 to 52 Coalition to accelerate the process and pursue strategic and urgent responses in order to attain the maternal health targets at the local level. Amongst the lead conveners are the ZFF, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines, League of Provinces, Health Futures Foundation, Ayala TBI/ACCESS Health Philippines, Sanofi-Aventis and World Health Organization-WPRO.

The Coalition will hold the Stakeholders’ Summit on April 20 which intends to provide private and non-private sectors and governors a venue to forge partnerships in improving maternal and child health through public-private partnerships at the LGU level. PIDS was requested by the Foundation to endorse them to the implementers of their identified innovative health programs. These models will be presented during the summit to the provincial officials of selected provinces together with various stakeholders who committed assistance to them. **The event will be like a ‘marketplace’ wherein the implementers may ‘sell’ their programs to the governors who may want to ‘buy’ or adopt such in their respective provinces.** If the governor is interested in a specific model for adoption, Zuellig Foundation will facilitate the negotiations between the two parties. PIDS will be there as one of the collaborators together with other institutions.

The Year 1 programs that were invited for their PPP health models are [Teens Healthquarters](, [Drug Consignment (the case of Southern Philippines Medical Center)](, [Tarlac Wireless Access for Health](, [Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiatives](, [Well-Family Midwife Clinic](, [Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan](, [Community Health Information Tracking System](, [EntrepreNurse](, [Buddyworks]( and [Botika ng Bayan](

Here is but another case of the growing number of public-private partnerships for health, as governments increasingly attract the private sector to undertake tasks that were formerly the responsibility of the public sector. At the global level, public-private partnerships are more and more perceived as a possible new form of global governance and could have important implications on health-related policies.