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The global public health sector has seen a rising interest in market-based and evidence-based approaches to addressing urgent environmental health concerns in recent years. Numerous public-private partnerships and innovative financing schemes have been developed around issues such as indoor air pollution, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), malaria control (e.g., bed nets) and solid waste management.
Notwithstanding the enormous enthusiasm for private sector engagement and multi-sectoral partnerships, many nonprofit organizations have been facing multifaceted difficulties in leveraging the potential resources brought in by the partners to broaden their outreach and deepen their impacts.
In response to the growing demand for knowledge and expertise in innovative health intervention design and partnership management in the public health sector, the Global Partnerships for Healthy Homes Initiative (GPH²I) aims to build the technical capacity of the NGOs by providing research, consulting, and trainings.
One of the key challenges that many NGOs face today is private sector engagement. The conventional model of partner engagement tends to take place at the project implementation phase. Such effort is often too little, too late, to meaningfully engage business partners because it does not take into account the incentives faced by businesses. As a result, while many organizations actively seek corporate partners, most of the corporate partnerships are limited within the realm of corporate social responsibility or charitable contributions.
Contrary to the conventional approach, the research conduced by the Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR) has shown that businesses can play a more impactful and enduring role in multi-sector partnerships if they are engaged differently. There is a need to recognize the importance of engaging business partners at the early stage of project design and addressing business interests by creating values. Based on its diverse research and project experience, ICR has identified a list of values that businesses may seek to capture, as well as the mechanisms through which the values can be delivered. Furthermore, ICR has accumulated in-depth knowledge in building successful and sustainable multi-sector partnerships. It can apply the best practices and the key lessons learned to help client organizations successfully form, manage, and sustain their global partnerships.
The GPH²I brings together faculty and student from GW School of Business, School of Public Health and Health Services, and Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration to provide consulting services to health NGOs in the following areas:
Lead Researchers for the Initiative are:
John Forrer, Associate Research Professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy, School of Business and Associate Director of the GW Institute for Corporate Responsibility
Jay Graham, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Department of Global Health
Kathy Newcomer, Director, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
Karen Mo, Research Assistant, Institute for Corporate Responsibility