Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In Brazil, a charity makes successful transition to social enterprise

A DKT Brazil promoter hands out samples of Prudence condoms in downtown São Paulo, Brazil on World AIDS Day. Photo: David J. Olson
This blog was originally published on Devex Impact on Nov. 28, 2014.
SÃO PAULO, Brazil — In its 24 years of existence, DKT Brazil has transformed itself from a charity entirely dependent on international donors to a social enterprise dependent only on its own business and marketing savvy.
Brazil has become one of the centers of the social enterprise world. In 2012, the Social Enterprise World Forum was held there. I’m reading more articles, like this one in the Guardian, which claims that social enterprise is becoming the norm, “a really valid option proposed for anyone wanting to start or grow a business in Brazil.”

When DKT Brazil was launched in 1990 as a condom social marketing organization, it considered itself a charity and received most of its funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development and other donors. But when it lost its USAID funding in 2003, it was forced to become financially sustainable.
It achieved 100% financial sustainability, and more. All of its Prudence condom products make money, yet many of them are within the contraceptive affordability index, which dictates that the cost of a year of contraception should not be more than 0.25% of a family’s disposable income. In fact, DKT’s cheapest condom is only 0.22%; even its most expensive brand does not reach 0.5%. DKT believes it prevented over 9,000 HIV infections in Brazil in 2013.
DKT Brazil believes it has lessons to offer other social enterprises in Brazil and elsewhere. DKT Brazil Country Manager Dan Marun offers three:

Ebola makes the definitive case for health workers and strong health systems

This blog was originally published by Global Health TV on Nov. 25, 2014.

Since I first wrote about Ebola here at Global Health TV two months ago, the number of Ebola deaths has more than doubled, to 5,459, and the number infected has reached 15,351, according to the World Health Organization. Ebola has caused countless angst and affliction, mostly in West Africa but also in Spain and the U.S.

But there is one good thing that Ebola has done: It has made the case for strengthening health systems and frontline health workers more effectively than we in global health have been able to do. It has shown that weaknesses in health systems in poorer countries can affect people in richer countries. It has made that case not only to the global health community, but to the entire world.

“Weaknesses in West Africa’s health systems do not affect just West Africa – they affect us all,” said Pape Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International, in testimony to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Nov. 12. “Ebola, HIV and other viruses and infectious diseases do not respect borders. Globally, our countries’ health systems are interconnected, creating one global interdependent health system. Today, that system is woefully precarious.”

Social marketing poised to make major contribution to 2020 family planning goal

A Pakistani couple receives family planning counseling at a health center that is part of DKT Pakistan's Dhanak social franchising network.
This blog was originally published at on Nov. 3, 2014.

Social marketing organizations are providing more contraception than ever before, but its leaders are determined to up their game even more and become major contributors to the international family planning goal of 120 million new women and girls in the next six years that was set by Family Planning 2020 (FP2020).

In 2013, social marketing organizations around the world delivered 70 million couple years of protection (CYPs), an increase of 7% from 2012, according to the 2013 Contraceptive Social Marketing Statistics published recently by DKT International. (A couple year of protection is the amount of contraception needed to protect one couple for one year; see note at end of article). The report provides details on the 93 contraceptive social marketing programs that produced more than 10,000 CYPs in 66 countries.

2013 FP2020 report is released

This week, FP2020 released its annual progress report, announcing that 8.4 million additional women and girls used modern contraception in 2013 as compared to 2012. The report notes that this accomplishment did not meet the goal of 9.4 million additional users in the first year but “is still a significant milestone.”