WDI, Partners Launch MarketBookShelf.com
Thursday, November 9, 2017
The William Davidson Institute (WDI) and two partner organizations have developed a new online collection of health market literature that provides immediate access to documents and related resources to increase awareness among global health workers and other stakeholders, and aid in their research and decision making.
Market Bookshelf, created by WDI, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), is a response to an unmet need in the global healthcare field – an easy-to-navigate place where health market knowledge can be aggregated and disseminated. It’s also an effort to change the paradigm and to encourage more proactive sharing of data analyses and market knowledge which have been generated as a result of donor spending.
“We’ve got a lot of new great market information, especially coming from conference presentations, and it’s always a question of how to best get it out there and make it easily accessible to the public,” according to Denise L. Harrison, senior market development advisor with USAID’s Commodities Security & Logistics Division, Office of Population & Reproductive Health.
The genesis of Market Bookshelf came from an RHSC working group collaboration, facilitated by RHSC, with an emphasis on market development and private sector involvement. This working group was an excellent example of diverse partners mobilizing collective strengths to increase access to a full range of affordable, quality reproductive health supplies in low- and middle-income countries.
“The Market Bookshelf team has spent a considerable amount of time scouring available open-access global health resources to find documents based in market concepts, interventions, analyses and more – from USAID’s Development Experience Clearinghouse to UNITAID, PSI, PATH, and ACTwatch online repositories,” said Andrea Bare, senior advisor for WDI’s Healthcare initiative. “But further expansion of the resources available on the site will be highly dependent on user-submitted reports and documents.”
The project has focused on availability of market information, which would in turn facilitate market development activities resulting in increased access to reproductive and maternal health supplies, as well as medicines and diagnostics more broadly. Market Bookshelf includes all health areas, extending beyond reproductive and maternal health supplies.
In her work with pharmaceutical and contraceptive manufacturers, Harrison heard recommendations that USAID should make market information easier to find in order to facilitate market participation. Similarly, Julia White, market development technical officer with RHSC, said: “Markets matter in global health; so it follows and that market data and knowledge matter too.”
The new knowledge platform currently features over 500 documents from more than 700 authors that are indexed by content area, health area, geography, document type, and year.
Market Bookshelf is constantly updated with new articles, reports and tools, and covers a broad range of health areas, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, contraception, neonatal and child health, maternal health, tuberculosis & other communicable diseases, immunization and non-communicable diseases. The site ensures that project reports and findings can be accessed long after the projects themselves have closed.
Documents uploaded to Market Bookshelf are grouped into three categories to help users find specific documents:
- Market Analysis – documents that analyze markets from different supply and demand angles
- Market Interventions – documents and tools about actual market intervention experiences, best practices and lessons learned
- Cross-Cutting – documents and tools that combine market analysis work with market intervention decisions (i.e. total market approach and market shaping)
This range of document types provides relevant resources to a range of stakeholders, implementers and researchers in the global health market community. For example, pharmaceutical or device manufacturers now have access to existing market analyses for both target and analogous product areas as they study market conditions across several countries. Country governments can review case studies for evaluating collaboration options, and implementing organizations can study market conditions as well as report on program results.
For international development workers, Market Bookshelf can advance their work and ensure its originality by providing existing market analyses, articles, presentations and toolkits developed by global health practitioners as well as publications from leading authors. Development workers can also contribute their efforts to the repository to increase their visibility.
The goal with knowledge sharing is for collaboration, not competition. Market Bookshelf is a platform that can extend the visibility and reach of project reports and other grey literature and elevate the impact of dollars dedicated to analyzing markets and support a culture of sharing across the global health community. This in turn will insure that important evidence to guide market participation is available.
RHSC, USAID and WDI look forward to collaborating with contributors and growing the collection. Users and contributors are encouraged to visit the site and reach out to to the Market Bookshelf Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.