Policy Briefs

PSP4H generates original research reports, policy briefs and implementation notes on an ongoing basis. The policy briefs are available for online reading or download below. We encourage use of and reference to our materials and ask that you respect copyright by properly citing PSP4H as the source of any materials taken from this web site.

M4P and UHC: How M4P in Health Supports Development
Policy Objectives and Universal Health Coverage

This brief explores how the M4P (Making Markets Work for the Poor) approach to technical assistance, previously untested in the healthcare sector, reinforces development policy objectives both in health and economic growth, supporting the path to universal health coverage (UHC).

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Filling Information Gaps with Market Research

Market research can be critical to filling information gaps that hinder the proper functioning of the healthcare market system, so the mass market can receive better access, quality and value.

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What Prevents Kenya’s Counties from Implementing Public-Private Partnerships in Health?

A series of obstacles identified in dialogue with early adopters underscore why health PPPs have been slow to emerge at the county level despite considerable external assistance. This brief outlines some of the key issues that must be addressed and overcome in order to accomplish widespread adoption of PPPs.

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Applying M4P in the Healthcare Sector: A Primer for Policymakers

The M4P framework is robust enough to describe and analyse what is happening in healthcare markets. This brief describes several key variations between applying M4P in the health sector and other economic sectors.

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Tapping into Potential Consumer Groups: Knowing Your Client

This policy brief focuses on the emerging experience of successful private for-profit healthcare companies that have reached scale while serving the working poor.

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Health Spending Behaviour among Low Income Consumers in Kenya

Conventional wisdom accepts that the primary reason that low income Kenyans are underserved by healthcare providers is that they cannot pay for care. Whereas this is true for those below the absolute poverty line who are dependent on public and social services, there is a substantial – and mostly unrecognized – segment of the low income population that can, and does, pay for healthcare.

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​​The Case for M4P in Health

The experiences of PSP4H show that M4P in health does indeed work and is a valid approach for technical assistance to the for-profit private healthcare sector. The market systems framework does not need to be radically altered to operate in the healthcare sector.

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Key Factors in Low Cost Healthcare Delivery

The cost at which quality healthcare is delivered has been a global topic of discussion. Delivery of low cost healthcare should not be at the expense of delivering quality services, and successful low cost healthcare providers have adopted specific practices to cut costs while improving quality.

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​​The M4P ‘Donut’ for Health Market in Kenya

M4P ‘Making Markets Work for the Poor’ is a market system approach to economic development. The approach increasingly being adopted by private sector development projects around the world across different industries. As the name implies M4P is concerned with understanding how low income consumers function, interact and relate within a market system.

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Health Care Financing: Community Based Insurance Schemes

This policy note assesses evidence of the extent to which community based health insurance is a viable option for low income population in mobilizing resources and providing financial protection, PSP4H views this as a complementary to health financial schemes.

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​​Challenges Confronting Private Health Providers In Kenya: Guidance for Policy Makers

As one of its first activities, the PSP4H programme commissioned research to synthesize existing information and gather new knowledge on the poor in Kenya and opportunities and constraints for the for-profit private sector to reach this important group.This policy note summarizes key finding from qualitative research on private providers which include a literature review, stakeholder forums and key informant interviews.

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Pooled Procurement

In order to reverse the challenges of a fragmented retail distribution chain, Pooled Procurement is regarded as an efficient and sustainable business model to resolve challenges such as high medicines prices, unreliable quality, high procurement processing costs and unreliable distribution systems.

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Innovative Market Solutions for the Private Pharmaceutical Supply Chain in Kenya

PSP4H studies indicate that the poor resort to buying medicines for cash from the commercial retail sector as well as informal drug sellers due to a variety of circumstances other than price. This places the poor at higher risk of purchasing products of dubious origin and quality. However, this brief shows that the private sector can offer attractive alternatives.

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​​Global Experience in Private Healthcare Financing

The ability to pay is among the most common obstacles to access to healthcare for the poor. This policy brief summarizes PSP4H’s review of existing research from around the world to understand the global experience in private health financing, with a particular focus on low-cost private health financing approaches for poor populations.

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This policy note defines sustainability in the context of M4P which is “Behaviour change among market participants that survives the intervention without further subsidy or dependence on external support, incorporating a customer-driven business model that replenishes capital and attracts new investment.”​

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Health Seeking Behaviour

The Health Seeking Behaviour brief indicates the factors that influence the working poor’s interactions with the Kenyan health system.

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​Poverty Definition

The Poverty Definition brief shows that a large segment of the poor make out-of-pocket payments for health services.

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The Poverty Penalty

The Poverty Penalty brief shows how the health system penalizes the poor because they cannot access affordable health care from a qualified provider.

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Qualitative Research on Private Health Sector’s Ability to Serve the Working Poor

Summary of primary qualitative research based on focus group discussions and interviews with working poor health consumers and the health care providers serving them in 12 Kenyan counties during December 2013.

What Have We Learned about the Private Health Sector’s Ability to Serve the Working Poor in Kenya?

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What Constitutes a For-Profit Health Care Provider

Our research in Kenya shows that poor consumers pay for health care in the private sector from both for-profit and not-for-profit entities, with many not-for-profit entities operating their services on a for-profit basis, and vice-versa. Is the legal definition of ‘for-profit’ the only important one when looking at where the working poor access and pay for health care, or are there other definitions of ‘for-profit’ which may be more functional for development actors when we take our target group into account?

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