NetMark was a ten-year (1999–2009), $65.4 million United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project aimed at reducing the burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing the commercial supply of and public demand for insecticide treated nets.
The NetMark Project’s goal was to reduce malaria cases and deaths in Africa by increasing the availability, affordability and use of insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets (ITNs) through partnerships with commercial net and insecticide manufacturers and their African distributors.
Through NetMark, AED (now FHI 360) pioneered its innovative Full Market Impact™ (FMI™) model, a comprehensive approach for expanding markets for health products and services. NetMark’s full impact on the ITN market encompassed six areas:
NetMark increased the supply of ITNs by improving the coordination of commercial and institutional procurements, providing technical and financial support to expand manufacturing capacity and quality, and creating strong links between manufacturers and the best distributors in Africa. Increasing the supply of ITNs was necessary to meet the rapid increase in demand for ITNs (particularly LLINs) among consumers and institutional buyers.
NetMark built demand for ITNs through marketing campaigns based on extensive behavioral research. This effort was amplified by joint investment with African distributors and ITN suppliers who marketed their own brands. As demand grew within a competitive market, consumers benefited from improved quality, lower prices and wider availability.
NetMark worked with suppliers and distributors to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of ITNs at a national scale through improved stock management, joint investment to expand the number of outlets carrying ITNs, partnerships with grassroots organizations for community level distribution, and mobile promotional teams.
NetMark worked closely with world-class consultants from Anovotek, insecticide companies, and net manufacturers to bring the most promising LLIN technologies from the laboratory to Africa as quickly as possible. NetMark continued to support the technology transfer for LLIN production so that LLINs were available to individuals and institutional buyers at the lowest possible cost.
AED believes that economics should never be a barrier to ITN use in Africa. NetMark worked with commercial- and public-sector partners to ensure equal demand and access to ITNs across all socioeconomic groups. NetMark used targeted subsidies to provide discounted or free ITNs to the most vulnerable populations via the commercial sector. In countries with high and equitable net coverage (e.g., Mali), NetMark worked with partners to promote the retreatment of those nets.
NetMark developed a “market” culture to replace a “trader” culture, in which suppliers and distributors simply sold what they could when they could. In this regard, NetMark facilitated the growth of strong, lasting partnerships between suppliers and their distributors.
NetMark achieved unprecedented results through public-private partnership:
For more information, please visit the NetMark website at http://www.netmarkafrica.org/.
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