Public policy and franchising reproductive health: current evidence and future directions. Guidance from a technical consultation meeting.
To assist policymakers and researchers to take advantage of lessons learned in the area of private-provider networks, particularly franchises, and to explore the types of policy options available to facilitate a greater role for the private sector, the World Health Organization's Department of Reproductive Health and Research, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Private Sector Partnerships-One project, convened a technical consultation from 7 to 9 December, 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting, entitled "Public Policy and Franchising Reproductive Health: current evidence and future directions", brought together experts in private-provider networks and franchises as well as in public policy. The consultation: reviewed the evidence to date on the performance and impact of health networks and franchises in low- and middle-income countries; explored public policy options that can facilitate and support the delivery of reproductive health through private-provider networks and health franchises in low- and middle-income countries. This Guidance Note is based on the proceedings of the meeting and offers policymakers and researchers the latest evidence on private-provider networks and franchises, lessons learned in the field, and policy recommendations on how to mobilize private-provider networks and health franchises to help address reproductive health care needs in developing countries. (excerpt)