Market Development Approaches

The Market Development Approaches Working Group (MDA WG) contributes to the goal of reproductive health (RH) supply security through a greater focus on the "total market" which, by definition, includes the private and commercial sectors. It seeks to bring about changes that allow for greater movement "up" the value chain, from subsidized to non-subsidized products. It also aims to facilitate overall market growth, greater equity through the better targeting of subsidies, and wider private sector involvement.

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Innovative Financing for RH/FP Commodities

Improving Youth Access to Contraceptives through Markets

Facilitating public-private collaboration

It is generally understood that the State has a responsibility for ensuring the health of its people. The State often meets this obligation through a combination of the following: the provision of direct health services, health insurance coverage, or subsidized services and medicines. In many developed countries, the role of the public health system is complemented by recognized private sector organizations (social marketing groups, nongovernmental organizations, and commercial providers). However, in many developing countries the public sector is the dominant provider of health services, with non-public actors playing undervalued and sometimes marginal roles. Relationships between the public and private sectors are sometimes characterized by friction, mistrust, and mutual suspicion. This workstream aims to define and clarify the complementary roles of the public and non-public sectors in contributing to national efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health – thus improving collaboration between sectors. It is hoped that collaboration will lead to more efficient use of in-country resources, and, ultimately, expanded and improved service provision for the client.

The workstream:

  • supports the stewardship role of government in ensuring health of the whole population;
  • recognizes the significant role of the non-public sector in health service provision; and
  • seeks to promote enhanced cooperation and collaboration between the public and non-public sectors.

The primary activities under this workstream are the Total Market Initiative and developing data sources for advocacy of market development approaches.

QuRHM program – Facilitating the availability of quality assured supplies

Since 2005, members of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), which includes major procurers for international programmes; public and private donors, governmental representatives, manufacturers and technical agencies, have been actively seeking to identify manufacturers of reproductive health medicines to provide products that meet international quality assurance criteria to national programmes worldwide. In October 2006, WHO launched its Prequalification Programme for Essential Reproductive Health Medicines. In the same month members of RHSC committed in principle, to procure products that are either; prequalified by WHO or approved by a stringent regulatory drug agency - the so called “Bonn consensus”

Read more about this workstream on the Concept Foundation website.

Innovation Fund

Current open grants under the Innovation Fund.

Provisioning of reproductive health commodities to providers using e-Commerce

Pregna International Ltd.: Provisioning of reproductive health commodities to providers using e-Commerce and alternative distribution mechanisms

Award amount: $178,090

Pregna operates an E-commerce portal ( which reaches out to providers with RH and other products and enables them to procure commodities directly through the medium of e-commerce. As an alternative to marketing commodities through donor-funded social market programs, this project aims to enroll and motivate providers to procure required commodities through the portal to ensure access to a basket of quality RH products and enhance availability of new/underused methods. Key activities include: a) identifying and enrolling quality-assured suppliers of RH products; b) marketing the portal and raising awareness of its potential to increase availability of supplies; and c) providing a sustained source of RH commodities by enrolling health providers into the service.

Pilot project to expand maternal and reproductive health services

Financing for Development/Kangu: Pilot project to expand maternal and reproductive health services to disproportionately marginalized women in the LAC region through crowdfunding technology

Award amount: $198,640

Summary: Addressing inequities in access to health services in the Latin America/Caribbean region, F4D will pilot the expansion of the Kangu crowdfunding platform in this region. Through this pilot, F4D will support service provision that specifically targets low-access patients. Specifically, F4D will: a) pilot Kangu with IPPF in three LAC countries in order to reduce financial and other barriers by financing private sector provision of RH services, and b) mobilize new resources for meeting RH needs of low-access women by working with local partners to develop fundraising campaigns and engaging these partners in increasing group donations through their employees.

Stewardship Capacity Assessment Tool

Abt Associates: Stewardship Capacity Assessment Tool

Award amount: $90,613

Building on initial work carried out in the MDAWG, this project is seeking funding to test and revise indicators and develop a tool for assessing government capacity to act as a steward in developing a TMA. The project supports three objectives: a) refine and vet proposed stewardship capacity indicators; b) provide a tool for assessing, improving, and monitoring stewardship capacity in the public sector; and c) identify challenges in the implementation of the tool and recommend mitigation strategies.

MDAWG Impact Investing Work Stream Project Part 1

Financing for Development/impact investing: MDAWG Impact Investing Work Stream Project – Part 1

Award amount: $50,000

The overall project goal is to facilitate impact investments that produce both a social and financial return for the investor as well as a significant business development benefit to the RH manufacturer. As a three-part project, the Innovation Fund would support part one, which is the analysis of the market and investor scoping. Objectives are: a) development a set of Investment Criteria that are aligned to the RHSC core pillars by facilitated a coordinated effort between stakeholders, and b) identify interested, eligible investors and estimate appetite for RH investments.


Working Group Co-Chairs

Ian Askew

Director of Reproductive Health Services and Research
Population Council

Secretariat contact

Anita Deshpande

Senior Programme Officer, Market Shaping
Washington, DC, USA


Market Shaping for Family Planning

An analysis of current activities and future opportunities to improve the effectiveness of family planning markets.