Public-Private Partnerships

With government budgets shrinking and private donors increasingly interested in achieving measurable impacts for their financial support, the challenge of identifying and maximizing public-private partnerships has never been greater.

Abt Associates is well-versed in engaging the private sector to promote positive development outcomes around the world. Whether it’s to improve nutrition in the developing world or increase the self-sufficiency of low-income Americans, we bring public and private stakeholders together with a clear understanding of their roles and what is required to accomplish positive change. Sometimes the match-ups are obvious ones; other times, the result of our willingness to find new ways to approach age-old problems.

True change takes collaborative mobilization of both the public and private sectors. That strongly held belief drives us to focus on original long-term solutions that not only stabilize economies, but also promise a better way of life for all involved.


UNITED STATES: How can private funding be leveraged to strengthen research outcomes?


The Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self- Sufficiency (ISIS) project is a 10-year effort, led by Abt Associates, to evaluate career pathways programs as a strategy for increasing the economic self-sufficiency of low-income individuals and families. While many promising programs were considered, most were not operating at a scale needed for the evaluation. Abt leveraged support from the private sector to bring programs to scale by funding program enhancements and postsecondary occupational training for additional participants. Grants from The Open Society Foundations and a number of other foundations distributed to ISIS programs increased by 40 percent the total value of ISIS and bolstered the study’s ability to confidently detect policyrelevant program effects on participants’ earnings and educational outcomes.
CLIENT: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, HHS / PROJECT: Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS)


UNITED STATES: Is it possible to get environmental groups and chemical manufacturers to cooperate with each other?

In January of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency released two reports evaluating safer alternatives to the flame retardants DecaBDE and BPA—two chemicals found in a variety of products consumers come in contact with daily. The reports were the result of extraordinary multi-year collaborations between chemical and product manufacturers, environmental groups, retailers, academics, recycling companies, government agencies, and a team of innovators from Abt Associates. Providing technical support and extensive stakeholder outreach, Abt developed the reports, which mark an important advance in chemical transparency. U.S. manufacturers interested in making safer products now have comprehensive data on the human health and environmental impacts of these commonly used chemicals and their potential alternatives.
CLIENT: EPA / PROJECT: Design for the Environment (DfE) Program


TANZANIA: How do you create a marketbased solution to reduce childhood malnutrition?


Commercial solutions to issues like childhood malnutrition can be a tough sell in countries where free donor services are common. In Tanzania, USAID turned to Abt Associates to spearhead a market-based solution to micronutrient deficiencies, which afflict over half the country’s young children. Abt forged partnerships among local and international enterprises and government clinics to process, distribute and promote a specially formulated micronutrient powder for children aged 6 months to 5 years. Abt also worked closely with Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to get taxes waived so that the product could be sold at an affordable price at local kiosks. Rather than another giveaway program that eventually ends, Tanzania now has a sustainable market solution for healthier children’s diets.
CLIENT: USAID Feed the Future Initiative / PROJECT: Tuboreshe Chakula


ETHIOPIA: How can the private and public sectors collaborate for the health of a nation?

Ethiopian officials and the private health sector agree: they want their health care system to have the highest quality, integrity and professional standards. In line with the country’s health sector strategic plan, there are growing numbers of private service providers and facilities working with the public sector to achieve Ethiopia’s public health goals. To help facilitate this process, Abt Associates, through the Private Health Sector Program (PHSP), and the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health hosted the first-ever Private Health Sector Forum for the government and the private health sector to discuss issues standing in the way of universal access. PHSP enables hundreds of private clinics and laboratories to partner with the government in delivery of critical services for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and family planning.
CLIENT: USAID / PROJECT: Private Health Sector Program


SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: Do private entrepreneurs hold a key to improving health in sub-Saharan Africa?

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 11 percent of the world’s population, but 24 percent of the global disease burden. Yet entrepreneurs in countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya face an uphill battle obtaining funding to bring innovative, lower cost products and services to fruition. To address this need, Abt Associates is administering the HANSHEP Health Enterprise Fund, a challenge fund that provides financial and technical assistance to local health care entrepreneurs. The Fund allows groups such as Afya Research Africa to implement innovative solutions such as launching nine kiosk-style clinics in underserved areas that treated more than 2,500 patients in six months.
CLIENT: USAID / PROJECT: HANSHEP Health Enterprise Fund/Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS)