The Ask: A private sector GHS client is conducting large-scale clinical trials of a unique new health technology with the potential to save millions of lives in developing countries. In order to ensure the product’s rapid and widespread uptake, the client asked GHS to help develop a long-term stakeholder engagement strategy that would build support among key opinion-leaders and policymakers. These stakeholders could eventually facilitate access and funding for the product.
The Approach: GHS and the client agreed that it was essential to build support for product access during the clinical development stage. This would help ensure that the product, if licensed, could be made available to those who need it as quickly as possible. As the first step in this long-term market-building project, GHS assessed the state of the field. GHS provided a detailed initial analysis of the global health landscape based on our own knowledge and experience, our network of contacts, and a broad scan of international media coverage. To expand upon our initial findings, GHS also designed a direct survey of specific key stakeholders drawn from NGOs, government, academia, think tanks and the private sector. These stakeholders were located in diverse countries in Africa, Europe and North America. GHS worked with the client to develop a list of interviewees and a general questionnaire to guide interviews. GHS then conducted in-depth, semi-structured interviews with close to 50 key opinion-leaders spanning four continents, with an offer of anonymity to ensure their candor. The survey pinpointed key concerns and misperceptions, and identified criteria for decision-making. GHS used these interviews to develop a frank and detailed report for use in future planning.
The Outcome: The knowledge that GHS and the client gained from the survey provided an invaluable baseline to measure the success of future advocacy activities and to inform future media and stakeholder outreach. GHS also worked with the client to facilitate ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders. Based on the interviews, GHS and the client developed several long-term advocacy strategies and tactics that continue to be implemented.