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The 9 Principles of Successful Public-private Partnership

"If only someone had told us before..." is a frequently heard lament. With its equally familiar response, "But, I thought you knew?"

To help avoid any disappointments or surprises we have prepared 9 Principlesa list of fundamental facts that we have learned in our international work and now take for granted. It isn't a definitive list by any means, but some basic practices that may help you in planning and managing your public-private partnerships.

We would welcome hearing about the Principles you've learned. Please send your Principles to this email address: .

1. Value

George W. Merck, founder of Merck Pharmaceuticals, said, "we try never to forget that medicine is for the people. It is not for the profits." Delays, disappointments, and set backs are merely inconveniences when your commitment is to a child's survival.

2. Expectations

Set realistic goals. Stay focused. Keep things in perspective. Everything you dowhether big or smallwill make a difference.

3. Time

Whatever it is will take longer than you wanted and exceed what you planned for.

4. Trust

You will often work in emotional and irrational environments. Establishing credibility, respect, and trust among partners and adversaries will see you through tense and difficult situations. It may not always be returned but it will be rewarded.

5. Dialogue

You're trying to create an environment that understands and tries to meet the diverse needs and goals of many audiences. Begin this by talking, listening, and acting. Keep it going in the best and worst of times.

6. Originality

There is too much that needs to be done to duplicate other organization's work or not do anything at all. Think of your organization in new and original ways to fill the gaps in child survival.

7. Creativity

Business-as-we-know-it does not apply. Time to be creative as well as draw upon non-traditional resources and local experiences to mobilize against childhood diseases.

8. Flexibility

The landscape changes daily, even hourly, be flexible and open-minded. Anticipate change and make adjustments accordingly. It will help keep you sane.

9. Positive Persistence

Don't take "No" for an answer. If this were easy someone else would have done it already.

9 principles of successful public-private partnership

Case studies: public-private success stories