Strathmore University Kenya – Open PHENCES, the Custodians of Public-Private Collaborations in Kenya

About Strathmore University and Open PHENCES Hub

Open PHENCES supports creation of cohesive ecosystems to meet social, health, and development needs of communities through responsible collaborations, and execution of joint investment cases and public sector scaling of innovations. Open PHENCES is a ‘think and do’ tank created to democratise public-private engagement in healthcare across Sub-Saharan Africa. Housed at Strathmore University Business School (SBS) in Nairobi, Kenya and seed-funded by the RISA Fund, Open PHENCES brings together a diverse pool of health systems champions with a common vision – unified health systems that harness individual strengths of ecosystem actors and channel them towards the public good.

How the RISA Fund Grant was Used

The RISA grant supported Kenyan counties to establish engagement mechanisms that result in a common understanding of priority maternal and child health challenges and solutions. It supported the implementation of co-creation workshops to develop fit-forpurpose investment cases grounded in local ecosystem capabilities and acceptance. Open PHENCES worked with four counties: Homa Bay, Kiambu, Kisumu, and Trans Nzoia during the inception phase and established joint learning and co-creation mechanisms that deliver investment cases more focused on improving lives and less on who owns the health system inputs.

Top Findings and Achievements

  • Development partners have an interest to support ecosystem building for effective private sector participation on a sub-national level.
  • The ‘popular version’ public-private collaboration (PPC) document simplifying the Kenyan PPC framework was developed and disseminated across various forums, including the 2022 East Africa Health Expo, hosted by Strathmore University and other key partners.
  • The County Reproductive, Maternal, New-born, Child, and Adolescent Health care (RMNCAH) Innovation report was developed through mapping and analysis of counties’ situations.
  • Co-creation and identification of RMNCAH investment priorities were done through coordinated events in the counties. Four County RMNCAH Investment Priority reports were developed.

Recommendations and Next Steps

  • Support local managers and ecosystem actors to create fit-for-purpose solutions and greater sense of ownership in both health and non-health sectors.
  • Unearth resources at county/sub-national level within the ecosystem, which includes access and optimisation of existing resources through structured and shared partnerships.
  • Debunk the myths and building of trust unearthed opportunities, and allow identification and uptake of new innovations in healthcare and other sectors.
  • Organise the private sector (including innovators) to enable effective and ethical engagement and collaboration within healthcare and other sectors, as well as develop and execute joint investment cases.
  • Plan and coordinate mechanisms dependent on the support of the county leadership.