Since 2010, the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) has been documenting health market innovations across the developing world. CHMI envisions a world in which the private sector – where the majority of people in many countries go for health care – reaches its potential as a source for quality, accessible and affordable health care for all people. Health market innovations are programs and policies – run by governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social entrepreneurs, and private companies – that have the potential to improve the private sector and overall health marketplace for the poor. Many have the potential to be expanded and replicated to serve more people.
Through its network of partners in 16 countries – managed by the Results for Development Institute – CHMI has identified more than 1000 programs from 107 countries and profiled them on the publicly available web portal www.HealthMarketInnovations.org.
Yet the team realized although much rich descriptive information was available, it was also important to understand which programs are actually “working”—improving the access, quality, and affordability of privately delivered health care for the poor. These results are important to national and global health policy makers, donors, investors, and other program managers wanting to replicate proven models. Ideally, each CHMI-profiled program would have a rigorous third-party evaluation, including baseline data and/or a control group. However, given the cost of such studies, and the newness of many of the innovations profiled, the reality is that few innovative programs are or ever will be evaluated to academic standards.
But this does not mean that no information exists about how well programs are working. Many initiatives track performance through in-house monitoring. While this type of information is imperfect and may be unreliable at times, it is better than no information at all. Frequently, these data are lost in internal documents and grey literature, thus becoming a missed opportunity to promote the growth of successful programs.
Recognizing these realities, in 2011, CHMI launched an initiative to collect, record, and publicize programmatic results—clear, quantifiable, and self-reported measures of program performance across key dimensions. This initiative will inform longer-term activities such as the development of program performance metrics and the facilitation of formal program evaluation. Since 2011, more than 100 programs have reported results to CHMI.
Download the CHMI Highlights: 2011 report here.