Completed Research

Public-Private Partnerships for Global Health: The mVacciNation Pilot in Mozambique

University of Toronto

Vaccination coverage for several routine vaccines is less than 75 per cent in many parts of in Mozambique, and the under-five mortality rate remains high at 97 deaths per 1,000 live births. A cross sector partnership established the mVacciNation (mVacc) program in 2014 to help tackle the issue of low vaccination coverage among children under the age of five. mVacc is a program based on the use of a mobile phone application. The application is used by healthcare workers to capture and record the vaccinations and health records of each child. With this data, they forecast and optimize vaccine stock levels and follow up with each child’s caregiver via SMS to remind them of upcoming vaccination appointments. Healthcare workers and program managers are able to track vaccine stock levels and ensure safe storage by immediately addressing any issues in the cold chain. The data is then synced and centrally stored on the Ministry of Health cloud, enabling the app to be integrated into existing data management systems.

Hard to Reach

Children under the age of five at risk of not receiving their childhood vaccines.

Key Takeaways

Despite the program’s discontinuation, the stakeholders in the multi-partner effort experienced successes by understanding the context, selecting the right problem, mobilizing a governance framework and establishing knowledge sharing. Here are lessons learned for those working across partnering sectors in global health and development.

  1. Address risks to support future scaling up
  2. Start with co-creation based on community needs
  3. Ensure explicit government buy-in in the partnership-initiation phase
  4. Align goals and objective at the beginning
  5. Have a formal governance structure
  6. Ensure there is room for flexibility and adjustment
  7. Have ongoing deliberation about what are the suitable conditions for the use of Public-private partnership models


This research was made possible through the Reach Alliance, a partnership between the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. Research was also funded by the Ralph and Roz Halbert Professorship of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. We express our gratitude and appreciation to those we met over the course of this project. In particular, we acknowledge and thank the key informants who took the time to share their insights with us.

This research was vetted by and received approval from the Ethics Review Board at the University of Toronto. Research was conducted remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.