The Private Sector in Health

This thematic working group examines the growing role of the non-state sector in delivering health care to people in developing countries and the related challenges and opportunities.

Aims and activities of the TWG

The non-state sector plays a significant role in delivering health care to people in developing countries. This poses significant challenges and opportunities in terms of the safety, effectiveness and cost of health services. There is a need to build systematic knowledge about patient demand for healthcare from private providers, the performance of private providers, the outcomes of regulatory interventions and the political economy of pluralistic health systems.

The Private Sector Thematic Working Group encourages research that generates knowledge on these and other topics and provides opportunities for researchers, policymakers and practitioners to engage in policy debates.

The group has organised biennial symposia and webinars, has its own email newsletter, and its members have contributed to a number of journal collections on the role of the private sector in health.

Activities currently underway include:

  • The Private-Sector-in-Health Symposium 2018: The Private Sector TWG will organize the 4th Private Sector in Health (PSH) Symposium, alongside the main Health Systems conference in 2018 in Liverpool, UK. Activity lead: Phyllis Awor

  • Implementing improvement and innovation in health services and systems: The Private Sector TWG will explore the innovation landscape in the health sector and approaches that stimulate scale-up and social impact of health innovations. Activity leads: Priya Balasubramaniam and Desta Lakew

  • Regulation:  The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) PHC Private Sector Engagement Collaborative is working to develop new learning and guidance on private sector regulation in LMICs. The Private Sector Thematic Working Group members and its member networks will collaborate with JLN through a variety of ways. Activity lead: Cicely Thomas

  • Power, politics and accountability: In July 2017 the Institute of Development Studies will co-organise a major international workshop entitled “Unpicking power and politics for transformative change: towards accountability for health equity” with partners from the Unequal Voices Project and the Future Health Systems Consortium.  Activity lead: Gerry Bloom

  • Informal providers: This sub-group will function as a platform for scientific advocacy, emphasising the need to deal with the challenges that informal providers represent, as well as a platform for building greater evidence on how these challenges might be met. Activity lead: Meenakshi Gautham

Read our Outline of current Private Sector in Health TWG group activities to find out more.


Group facilitators

  • Phyllis Awor

    Coordinating Committee Member
  • Priya Balasubramaniam

    Coordinating Committee Member
  • Gerry Bloom

    Coordinating Committee Member
  • Meenakshi Gautham

    Coordinating Committee Member
  • Desta Lakew

    Coordinating Committee Member
  • Cicely Thomas

    Coordinating Committee Member
  • Uranchimeg Tsevelvaanchig

    Coordinating Committee Member

Publications and Resources

Get involved

Members can engage by:

  • Convening, sharing and discussing current research, new findings and their implications, new resources, and exchange learning from policy and implementation. Get in touch at [email protected] so we can circulate any relevant publications or other resources you would like us to share with the PSinHealth community(via our newsletter and other channels); or share directly on Twitter (@psinhealth).

  • You can find out more about some of the activities underway by reading the Summary of PSIH TWG Activities document in the resources list below, and get in touch with the activity leads to find out how you can get involved. 

  • Please also feel free to suggest other activities you would like to lead. We do not have any resources to fund these activities, but we can ensure that they are integrated into our communications activities.

Join our group