The Private Sector Programme in Health (PSP) was a research and policy network for those interested in issues related to the non-state health sector in low- and middle-income countries. The ambition was to be at the forefront of the international research and policy dialogue on the role of the private health care sector in low- and middle-income countries.

The programme was coordinated by the Division of Global Health (IHCAR) at Karolinska Institutet, in collaboration with the International Health Systems Program (IHSP) at Harvard School of Public Health. The institutions which participated in the programme were located in Jinan and Guangzhou in China, Hanoi in Vietnam, Vientiane in Laos, Ujjain, Trivandrum and Chennai in India, Kampala in Uganda and Lusaka in Zambia. Core funding for the programme was provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Find programme publications here.


From 2002-2008 the PSP, in collaboration with partner institutions, undertook extensive research on the role of the private sector in health – specifically on how the non-government sector can be involved in providing health care to the population.

During the first phase of the programme the work at IHCAR and the IHSP was focused on facilitating development of country specific research proposals that correspond to the overall programme objectives and to secure comparability between the country projects. For this, a generic research protocol and a toolkit for mapping public and private providers was developed by the IHCAR/IHSP team.

Country specific research proposals were developed by the partner institutions and extensive research was conducted in China, Vietnam, India, Uganda and Zambia. For more information on the country studies, please contact the principal investigators of each country directly (contact information can be found under Collaborators)

The PSP in health has led to extensive networking with various research institutions, international organisations and donors. This networking is one of the more rewarding and interesting outcomes of the project. It has allowed Sida priorities like pro-poor perspectives and an orientation towards health outcomes, to influence developments within the international health community on private sector issues.

The work on PSP has also demonstrated the role and need for interaction in international health among international and national organisations on private health sector development.

PSP Publications can be found here.