by Manoj Mohanan, Kimberly S. Babiarz, Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert et al.
Health Affairs 35, No.10 (2016):1800-1809
Despite the rapid growth of social franchising, there is little evidence on its population impact in the health sector. This article evaluates the World Health Partners (WHP) Sky program, a large-scale social franchising and telemedicine program in Bihar, India. The authors found that the WHP-Sky program did not improve rates of appropriate treatment or disease prevalence. Both provider participation and service use among target populations were low. The results do not imply that social franchising cannot succeed; instead, they underscore the importance of understanding factors that explain variation in the performance of social franchises. The findings also highlight, for donors and governments in particular, the importance of conducting rigorous impact evaluations of new and potentially innovative health care delivery programs before investing in scaling them up.