PSHI FHI 360 Home

Center Director Discusses NetMark Project, BOP Strategies at University of Michigan

David McGuire, Vice President and Director of AED's Center for Private Sector Health Initiatives and the NetMark Project, was invited to be a guest speaker as part of the Global Impact Speaker Series hosted by the University of Michigan's William Davidson Institute. While on campus, David sat down with Professor Ted London of the Ross School of Business for an interview. Following are highlights of David's responses in the interview:

"The focus of our center is trying to strike a balance between public health and equity and sustainability. That involves partnerships with the private sector, so all of our projects are based on joint investment strategies with the private sector to try to achieve both health impact and sustainability: How can you get products and services that are of high quality and are affordable to the base of the pyramid on a sustainable basis? And how can you combine those approaches with other, publicly funded approaches so that you are creating maximum impact and making the most cost-effective investments?

"Due to the model we’re using [in our NetMark project]—this joint investment model—USAID is very happy with it because our commercial partners to date have invested $1.25 for every $1 invested by the donor, which translates into about $55 million to date. So that’s where you get the sustainability: getting these companies to take ownership, helping them to overcome the market barriers, and getting them to invest in their own business.

"When [NetMark] launched, there were no commercially available ITNs (insecticide treated nets) available in Africa. Now there are over 20 brands of ITNs being sold by 40 commercial partners throughout Africa. And, the price of those products due to the competition we’ve created, is 30-70% less than what untreated nets were being sold for in 2002. We’ve created that sustainable market.

"Our commercial partners, since 2002, have distributed 30 million ITNs on a fully commercial basis. There really is a significant market for these nets. And the more nets we can get out there on a commercial basis, the more cost-effectively the donors can invest in getting free and subsidized nets to those who can’t benefit from the commercial market."

Watch the interview (requires Windows Media Player) and view the entire schedule for Michigan's Global Impact Speaker Series.

Posted November 2007

Read more about the NetMark project