Increasingly, non-profit organizations like Population Services International (PSI) and Marie Stopes International (MSI) are applying commercial franchising strategies—like those employed by McDonald’s and Subway—to improve health in developing countries. Social franchising unites healthcare facilities and providers in a network with a common brand, strict quality standards, and specified health services at affordable prices. With years of experience behind them, PSI and MSI are the two leading organizations in franchising for social good.
Under the Support for International Family Planning Organizations (SIFPO) projects funded by USAID, PSI and MSI recently launched the Social Franchising for Health eLearning course on the Global Health eLearning Center.
The course outlines the health system challenges that social franchising is designed to address, including:
- An unmet need for greater access to quality, affordable health services
- An overburdened public health system
- An under-regulated private sector
- Low participation of the private sector in the delivery of preventive health care
- Lack of incentives for health providers to deliver quality health care
- Limited professional development opportunities for health care professionals
- Limited access to health financing mechanisms for the private sector health system
Social franchising typically taps into the broad reach of the private sector to increase delivery points for essential health services and strengthen quality. When clients go to the brand-name clinics and pharmacies that make up a social franchise, they can trust that their healthcare will be affordable, high quality, and delivered with respect. Social franchises can reach underserved populations who may not otherwise have convenient access to health services while reducing some of the burden on public health facilities.
Through interactive content and real-life country examples, course participants will learn about these and other aspects of the social franchising model. They will be able to articulate how success is measured, how social franchising strengthens health systems, and what best practices are emerging.
Take the course now at www.globalhealthlearning.org/course/social-franchising-health.