Fostering Healthy Businesses: Delivering Innovations in Maternal and Child Health

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Given its reach and ability to innovate, private healthcare has an important role to play in complementing public health systems and supporting governments’ efforts to reach the MDGs. But these businesses need support to help them reach scale, become more inclusive, and have a real impact in saving the lives of women and children. 

The Task Force on Sustainable Business Models—commissioned by the IWG—has been charged with exploring the landscape of health businesses serving poor women and children in low- and middle-income countries to understand what it will take for such organizations to reach scale and yield long-term improvements in health. Task Force members brought a wide variety of practical experience to the work. They harnessed their deep knowledge and consulted with dozens of experts in global health and development to learn about promising new business models; creative ways by which longstanding businesses are reaching poorer populations; and the challenges all of these businesses continue to confront as they try to grow, survive, and—most importantly—thrive. 

The Task Force’s actionable recommendations center on three complementary areas: changes in policy, new and expanded incentive schemes, and innovative financing. Our focus is on strategies that governments, businesses, and investors can employ to integrate their work more thoroughly in service of a shared mission: to strengthen health systems that will provide improved and more equitable healthcare for women and children.