Making a difference while making a profit

1 min read

Can for-profit health ventures be an effective way to improve the health of poor people around the globe? Teams of students at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard Business School (HBS), and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) sought to answer that question during a semester-long course during which they worked with partner organizations in Nicaragua, India, and Cambodia.

In the process, they witnessed the power of private delivery mechanisms for improving health – and experienced the messiness that is the real world of public health in resource-poor countries.

For the seventh year, Antares—a collaboration between HSPH and HBS focused on harnessing private enterprise for public health—has brought together three cross-disciplinary teams made up of four students each as part of a semester-long course that includes a five-day field experience. The teams worked with partner organizations in developing countries that are implementing self-sustaining models for providing health-related services to the poor and made recommendations for improvements. The student teams then presented their findings in April to an audience of peers, mentors, friends of Antares, and faculty at HBS.