Central America Hand Washing Initiative

Central America Hand Washing Initiative

In 1996, several private and public organizations in Central America collaborated in a campaign designed to increase the awareness of hand washing as one of the major control measures of diarrhea. The partnership managed to enhance public understanding with regard to the same with much reduced cost and higher effectuality while at the same time the private sectors managed to keep their goals and objectives (Saade, Bateman, & Bendahmane, 2001). This was achieved through leveraged partners’ resources as well as unique strengths towards the realization of results in a short period. Each partner played a role in the campaign through the unique alignment of his or her different goals within the interplay.

To achieve the desired results, there was a need to select organizations that met unique roles in the whole campaign. Private companies that produce soaps played a role in the provision of the given products. Soaps were used for the campaign as the focus items needed for effectual message relaying. On the other hand, the media, such as broadcasting firms and newspapers also played an important role in increasing the ailment’s awareness. There was achieved through extensive television, radio and newspaper advertisements to increase awareness and reach out to many individuals. Media firms donated printing spaces in the newspapers and promotional sessions in the television and radios for the campaign, hence reducing the advertisement overheads that were required in the campaign. In addition, posters, banners and brochures were created as well as video and audio tapes that were broadcasted in regional terms.

The private companies also jointly played the role of assigning planning personnel to support all desired efforts. This was achieved using own resources for the strategy implementation as well as the preservation of the same for continuity (Saade, Bateman, & Bendahmane, 2001). Other private voluntary organizations such as CARE and World Vision improved their hygiene programs through the campaign. Initial approaches comprised of school campaigns that delivered hygiene packages and soaps amongst other materials to the learners. They also developed washing kits and other materials aimed at encouraging children in hand washing following activities such as games.

The public sectors were served with the responsibility of assigning planning personnel to create coordination with the private sectors. The same also provided health professionals to the private organizations that were liable for formulating the health strategy. The health personnel assisted jointly with the public sector aided in implementing the strategy to private organizations, mobilizing as well as motivating local involvement. The organizing firm or catalyst, USAID, held the responsibility of facilitating the desired affiliation among the partners, providing technical help, guiding strategy development, monitoring the executions phase and propagating attained results (Saade, Bateman, & Bendahmane, 2001).

With the outlined roles, interplay for achieving the results was automatically set with individuals dealing with a distinct issue for accountability. Identified goals include increased sales for the private sector, improved health for the public sector and sustainable public health through leveraging resources for the catalyst organization (Belka, 2008). Interactions created in this partnership offered different opportunities for all partners through a combination of resources and efforts that enhanced a synergetic advantage for all the players. Within the partnership, the catalyst organization had to be an international body bent towards improving public health worldwide. Considering the organization is a non-profit making body, gathering the colossal amounts of resources necessitated for the project would be hard.

Public organizations on the other hand were interested in achieving sustainable public health on a national term. Hence, collaboration with the catalyst firm was necessary. Private sectors needed to attain high revenues as possible through increased sales. Such a partnership or campaign offers a noteworthy opportunity for products offered by the private sector through the creation of enhanced demand following the campaign executions (Given, 2010). Upon collaboration with each sector serving its functions, a beneficial relationship was formulated with each partner having a chance to pool resources from other’s players. Gains noted in the relations are that each institution is able to achieve its individual goals in a concurrent manner with the campaign objectives (Saade, Bateman, & Bendahmane, 2001).

Private and public companies as demonstrated above in the case of the given Central America initiative can merge towards the promotion of health awareness programs despite objective differences notably by the fact that the private sector is interested in making profits while the governments and non-governmental institutions seek to improve individual well being. In instances meant to improve the quality of life, resources required should be pooled from the public sector that acquires its funds from fiscal practices, non-governmental organizations acquiring funding from sponsors while the private sector gets funds through sales revenue. These varying goals and objectives need to be considered while setting up a public-private partnership.

The first step in ensuring successful partnership is seeking an achievable project, followed by the selection of experienced partners or players. For instance, in the Central American case, the partners were quite compatible since the project revolved around products offered by the private companies. After the selection phase, partners should formulate joint goals and objectives under which each partner can benefit. After the project strategy is set, role issuing should be accorded to each partner according to identified strengths and resources in creating congruence with noted specialties. For instance, in the Central American case the private sector specifically the media executed the advertising role since it was in accordance to their specialty, hence gaining public recognition for service effectuality (Belka, 2008). PPPs serve a crucial role within a society by improving communal wellbeing as noted in the Central American hand washing campaign. Different organizations both private and public should acquire roles that align to their business spheres in order to create complementary associations with other partner (Ameinfo.com, 2008).



Ameinfo.com. (2008). Yielding new benefits from public—private partnerships. Retrieved from http://www.ameinfo.com/170538.html

Belka, M. (2008). Guide book on promoting good governance in public-private partnership. New York, NY: United Nations.

Given, J. (2010). Take your partners: Public private interplay in Australian and New Zealand plans for next generation broadband. Telecommunications Policy, 34 (9), 540-549.

Saade, C., Bateman, M., &Bendahmane, D.B. (2001). Public-private partnership: Mobilizing resources to achieve public health goals. Retrieved from http://www.basics.org/publicatons/abs/abs_mobilizing.html


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