Collaboration with the private sector
There is broad international agreement that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) can only be achieved if actors across public and private sectors start to work together at scale, mobilising additional resources and complementing each other’s capacities in order to achieve the required economic, social and environmental results.
Private sector know-how and investments are indispensable when it comes, for example, to the infrastructure and communication developments required in the health sector. With its drive towards innovation and enhanced efficiency, the private sector can function as an engine of development. While their specific aims may differ, German development cooperation and the private sector have important objectives in common:
- Sustainable economic growth: Both have an interest in developing markets and value chains, in generating income for the population, in creating new jobs and positions and – in order to fill them – in setting up the required trainings and career paths.
- Sustainable use of natural resources: Both have an interest in ensuring that natural resources are used sustainably to enable long-term access to raw materials under stable market conditions.
- Compliance with international standards: Both have an interest in ensuring compliance with internationally accepted standards, e.g. the ILO core labour standards to maintain a satisfied and productive workforce.
In health systems development, public and private sectors cannot be seen as mutually exclusive entities, the performance of one is intimately linked to the performance of the other. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dual need for strong and resilient health systems – a longstanding focus for German development cooperation – as well as for vaccines, drugs and innovative medical technologies, whose development and production are driven by private sector companies. Some companies, however, are hesitant to enter unknown markets and invest in countries whose health systems, decision-makers and political framework conditions do not have the capacity to use their technologies, equipment or medicines to best effect. Existing German-supported health programmes in these countries can facilitate fruitful new partnerships between partner countries’ government agencies and private sector companies. Such partnerships can help both to mitigate the immediate crisis of the pandemic and to serve the longer-term development goal of affordable quality healthcare for all.
What does this look like in practice? The articles and studies assembled on this page provide an overview of German development cooperation’s collaboration with the private sector in health.