Asking the right questions is key to obtaining sufficient and sound information to inform the assessment and its findings. In this section we present suggested questions for each of the major stakeholder groups. While each assessment may have its unique line of questioning, this set of stakeholders and questions represents those commonly included in an assessment, based on our collective experience. Private health providers (whether not-for-profit or commercial) are central to any private health sector assessment, and for this reason are categorized separately. Stakeholders are grouped into the following categories:
- Health Providers—direct service providers and suppliers of products and medicines
- Nonprofit Sector—associations and organizations engaged in health
- Commercial Sector—companies, financial institutions, distributors, and educational institutions
- Public Sector—pertinent ministries and government entities
- Health Consumers—users of health services and products
- Donor Community—donors of financial and technical assistance for the health sector
As with any qualitative research, it’s important to follow established best practices when conducting key informant interviews. In addition to gathering information from key informants, the interviews may also serve as site visits, affording the opportunity for team members to make observations pertinent to the assessment. For example, when visiting health facilities the team can observe patient characteristics and volume, wait time, and the existence of posted patient information. These site visits also provide the opportunity for collecting brochures, gray literature, and products—such as contraceptives and condoms available in retail pharmacies.
The following questions may be useful in identifying existing partnerships or collaboration between public and private actors, as well as factors that may be hindering closer collaboration. These could be asked of many if not most of stakeholders interviewed as part of the assessment.
- What role do you see for the private sector in providing health services and products, particularly for underserved population groups?
- (MOH) From your perspective, how open is the government and/or Ministry of Health to working with the private sector?
- (Private sector) From your perspective, how open is the private sector to working with the Ministry of Health?
- What is the potential for better coordination and/or public-private partnerships (PPPs) to expand access to priority health services and products? What are concrete areas in which to expand the private sector’s role in addressing national health priorities?
- What can be done to encourage better coordination and PPPs in health? (PROBE: What can the MOH do? What can the private sector can do?)
- From your perspective (e.g., public or private), what are some of the legal or regulatory barriers to a greater role for the private health sector in addressing health priority areas?
- What technical assistance would your agency/organization require in order to actively engage the private health sector/collaborate with the public sector?