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Merck for Mothers and NORAD Co-chair New UN Task Force on Sustainable Business Models in Health

There is a critical need to increase access to health care for women and children living in the world's poorest countries. The private sector has the potential to be an innovator in delivering high-quality, affordable care in even the hardest-to-reach communities around the world. However, while many new businesses and entrepreneurs have recently entered the health field and are committed to serving very poor customers, the number of people they are reaching remains relatively small.

Merck for Mothers and NORAD – the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation – are co-chairing the Task Force on Sustainable Business Models to better understand how these "social businesses" can be expanded in a way that preserves quality while reaching the maximum number of people. Our premise is that innovation does not apply solely to products. The private sector also has a valuable role to play in fostering innovation in service delivery.

This new task force, which has been commissioned by the Every Woman, Every Child Innovation Working Group, is comprised of representatives from academia, NGOs, development agencies, social enterprises and the private sector, and aims to harness the expertise and hands-on experience of its members to provide practical recommendations to improve access to health care for women and children who need it most.

Learn more about the Innovation Working Group by downloading their most recent report on innovation in maternal and child health:

"Innovating for Every Woman, Every Child"

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Task Force Members


Naveen Rao, M.D.

Lead, Merck for Mothers (United States)

Frederik Kristensen, M.D.

Senior Advisor,
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

Task Force

Iain Barton, M.D.

CEO, RTT Health Sciences (South Africa)

Stefan Germann

Director for Partnerships, Innovation & Accountability, Global Health and WASH Team, World Vision International (Malaysia)

Bright Simons

Founder and President, mPedigree Network Ghana)

Narayan Sundararajan

Chief Technology Officer, Grameen-Intel Social Business Limited & Program Manager, Intel World Ahead (United States)

Wendy Taylor

Senior Advisor, Innovative Finance and Public-Private Partnerships, United States Agency for International Development (United States)