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Saturday, June 4; 11:45 a.m. –1:00 p.m.
Can a $25 incubator change health prospects for newborns in Nepal—and earn back enough money for its manufacturer to turn a profit and hew to its humanitarian mission?
That's the kind of challenge that Project Antares, a unique collaboration between the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Business School, seeks to address. Project Antares aims to combat public health threats that disproportionately affect poor families, and build on those successes by developing curricula to train leaders in business, public health, and policy. Under the Project's auspices, students from HBS and HSPH have conducted 13 field studies in nine countries. These studies have included not only efforts to distribute $25 incubators in Nepal, but campaigns to fine-tune a primary health care model in rural India that empowers "village health champions"; and to leverage a microfinance effort to deliver health services to women in Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Peru through an organization called Pro Mujer.
Launched four years ago with the guidance of HBS Professor Howard Stevenson and through a gift from primary donor Roslyn Braeman Payne, HBS 1970, along with support from the Brinson Foundation, the Project focuses on commercial approaches to delivering high-impact health interventions to low-income populations. Now Payne has made an additional pledge to join with others to ensure that the Project can continue its quest for enlightened and cost-effective public health interventions that can be sustained as for-profit ventures, rather than relying on continual government support or uncertain grant funding.
"Countries with thoughtful public health policies and systems help create wealth for their people," says Payne. "Public health is one of the most successful forms of global leverage, and Project Antares is trying to accelerate this leverage through original research, teaching, and collaboration with various organizations. I am honored to be a part of a very special effort with a very special team."
The project is co-directed by David Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography at HSPH, and Michael Chu, Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. Chu and Bloom have set several goals for the project for the next few years, including teaching a joint course at HSPH and HBS based on the findings from Project Antares.
Senior Lecturer Michael Chu, Professor Howard Stevenson, and Roslyn Payne will discuss Project Antares, the collaboration between the two schools at Harvard University, and the "lessons learned" for the future.