05/07/2003

Public­private partnerships for health require thoughtful evaluation

The recent issue of the WHO bulletin reflects critically on public­private
partnerships for health. Simply calling an interaction a ‘‘partnership’’ does
not ensure that it actually involves joint decisionmaking, or innovation.
All organizations claiming to be working in the public interest need to deal
effectively with four issues: representation of intended beneficiaries, funders
and other stakeholders; conflicts of interest, which include biases arising
from any person’s organizational affiliation or strongly held convictions;
accountability; and transparency. There is no perfect model, and decisions are
best left to each partnership to determine what works best for them and their
‘‘clients’’, with the obvious caveat that they must comply with the relevant
laws, ethical conventions, and international and national policy frameworks.

True partnership is really about combining different skills, expertise and
other resources - ideally in a framework of defined responsibilities, roles,
accountability and transparency - to achieve a common goal that is unattainable
by independent action. The health benefits of these social experiments must be
maximized and potential risks minimized.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: World Health Organization (WHO)