A new version of our action learning projects class applies business school talent to the challenges of delivering global health
MIT Sloan School of Management works with health care enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa and, now, India, to address their problems, decisions, and opportunities. Guided by MIT Sloan faculty and Global Health Delivery Project experts, experienced MBA students plan, refine and help enact substantial improvements to meet the needs of partner organizations. The goal is to tackle constraints that limit health care delivery for organizations on the front lines of working with patients and communities in resource-limited settings. Starting in early 2011, student teams work from MIT as well as on-site for two weeks in March to deliver customized solutions co-designed with each enterprise. At the end, we share results and learning.
How does it work?
We work with potential partners to identify their pressing problems. If there’s a good fit, we define an actionable project. At the start of the course, each team of four MBA students, most with several years’ work experience, pairs with a host. Teams work part-time from MIT for two months, then full-time on-site for two weeks, ending with a final presentation of the work and findings. The collaboration wraps up after the work is finalized back at MIT in April.
Projects cluster in three areas: process and supply chain improvement; reaching and serving patients, including via pricing, income generation, and marketing; and developing new lines of business or organizational models to increase sustainability.
How is this possible?
We build on MIT Sloan’s signature international action learning platform. Over the past two years more than 100 MIT graduate students worked with businesses and organizations across Africa, applying management skills, tools, and approaches to solve problems their hosts identify. Our global health focus is enabled by the expertise and resources of our partners at the Global Health Delivery Project. Students are unpaid and no fees are involved. We share travel costs with hosts as needed.
Why do this?
We aim to contribute via teaching and learning, serving host needs, and generating ideas and insights that could inform others and spur future work, including research. Health delivery organizations and their leaders need innovative and practical approaches. So far, almost 30 projects have demonstrated that tangible improvements can increase efficiency, reduce problems, and support the development of health delivery organizations.
Join us! MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Anjali Sastry and the rest of the GHD Lab team seek practical, operational health care delivery challenges in logistics, reaching and serving patients, or business development.