James Cook University ISSN 1445-6354
The recent policy environment in both Papua New Guinea and Australia for partnering with private entities to address health issues has led to a public private partnership (PPP) between the National Department of Health in Papua New Guinea, the Australian Government and the Oil Search Foundation. A Reproductive Health Training Unit was formed to provide health worker training in Essential Obstetric Care and Emergency Obstetric Care. This paper provides a qualitative evaluation of the PPP looking at facilitating features and barriers to the PPP’s target of improving the competence of front-line health workers in obstetric care service provision in Papua New Guinea. A qualitative methodology gathered data since the PPP’s inception in 2012. A dataset of 85 interviews with partners and relevant stakeholders from across Papua New Guinea was analysed using thematic analysis. Themes of facilitating features of the PPP were: Understanding and agreeing with the national plan for PPPs; Having strong champions, strong relationships and a formal decision-making body; and Creating autonomy and branding. Themes outlining the barriers to the PPP’s effectiveness were: Lacking governance framework; Differing institutional cultures and ownership struggles; and, Lacking capacity within the institutes themselves.