The World Economic Forum and the Joint Centre for Public-Private Partnerships to Collaborate
7 May 2021
The Joint Centre for Public-Private Partnerships at UCL is pleased to announce a major new collaboration with the World Economic Forum. As one of our first major initiatives since our formation several weeks ago, the Joint Centre is partnering with the Forum to develop and refine a set of best practices for cross-sector collaboration in expanding healthcare access.
Taking input from the Forum’s constituents, and combining it with insights from the PPP Initiative’s Healthcare PPP Guide, the project will build on lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic. Ultimately, we will create a set of recommendations designed to enable effective, sustainable healthcare partnerships between the private sector, governments, and multilaterals.
Looking Back at the First Year of the Covid-19 Pandemic
The past year has been a remarkable one for cross-sector collaboration in healthcare. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, private companies have worked alongside governments to create reliable tests for the virus, manufacture protective equipment at scale, adopt transmission mitigation protocols, and of course, develop and distribute several safe and effective vaccines in record time. But this kind of collaboration did not emerge out of thin air. It was the direct result of a unique set of incentives: with a deadly virus threatening to kill millions and disrupt large sectors of the economy, the private sector was—overnight—incentivized to support public health goals. The question is: will this kind of collaboration continue as we move into a post-pandemic world? Without an emergency like Covid-19 to incentivize action, how can we ensure that effective cross-sector engagement becomes a mainstay of global health policy, rather than an aberration?
Even in the absence of a global catastrophe, cross-sector collaboration is still possible. But it will require a more deliberate approach. Effective public-private partnerships require incentives to be thoughtfully designed, and conflicts of interests must be effectively understood and managed. To achieve this, governments and corporations alike will need professionals who understand the conditions that enable successful partnerships, and are well-trained in frameworks and skills like negotiation, political management, engagement of the public as a partner, and stakeholder analysis.
Our collaboration with the Forum—a global, virtual endeavor—seeks to address these gaps, preparing and enabling executives in both the public and private sectors to create and maintain effective public-private partnerships. The project will involve four key elements:
● An inaugural workshop, seeking validation and commitment from our partners and constituents
● A series of roundtable discussions and interviews, designed to generate insights, learn from successes and failures, and better understand the relevance of country context to Covid-19
● A “Best Practices” paper—linked to the Healthcare PPP Guide—designed to facilitate future public-private partnerships in healthcare
● A presentation event for disseminating the paper’s findings
The Joint Centre is thrilled to have the World Economic Forum—one of the world’s preeminent conveners for public-private cooperation—as our partner in this endeavor. This project builds on years of collaboration between the Forum and the PPP Initiative (the Joint Centre’s co-founder), including work on the World Health Organization’s Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases.
Now, with the new Joint Centre acting as a convening partner, this project will move beyond any particular disease category, instead focusing on the urgent issue of healthcare access, combining the Healthcare PPP Guide with lessons learned from the past year.
This exciting partnership with the Forum is only the beginning. The Joint Centre continues to grow—expanding its network of partners, and developing additional projects and research initiatives like this one—in service of one of its most fundamental goals: accelerating cross-sector collaboration in healthcare.