Cross Sector Collaboration on Shared Value Measurement for Health Solutions

In the summer of 2013, FSG and the Shared Value Initiative convened a group of representatives from pharmaceutical, medical device, food/nutrition, technology, and communication companies as well as interested parties from academia, NGOs, civil society and government agencies in Boston for a workshop discussion centered on shared value measurement for health solutions. Shared value has proven to be a powerful framework in helping businesses to address the health needs of underserved populations in a profitable way, but further measurement is needed to demonstrate the full potential of a shared value strategy.The objectives of the workshop were twofold:

  • To reach consensus on how to frame the issue of shared value measurement for health solutions, identifying the different levels of measurement needed to track and optimize shared value creation; and

  • To develop options/recommendations for how companies should approach these distinct levels of shared value measurement, creating an ongoing learning agenda for corporations and other interested parties.

As participants explored the appropriate scope and approach to shared value measurement, several areas of consensus emerged:

  • First, there is a minimum scope for measurement. Companies usually track process measures to assess the implementation of a shared value initiative (e.g., the number of medical education trainings delivered). Participants suggested that downstream measures of health outcomes at the end user level (e.g., blood indicators of diabetes control) need to be collected more systematically so as to generate insights that would enable corporations to really optimize shared value creation from their investment;

  • Second, shared value measurement is primarily a management tool aimed at increasing the total shared value created. Participants however acknowledged the importance of external, societal audiences that may scrutinize, influence and sometimes even participate in the effective execution of a shared value investment. Companies need to collaborate with these audiences and consider how far to invest in measurement further along the shared value creation pathway (i.e., beyond measures of process and immediate outcomes from accessing products or services);

  • Third, the availability of resources for measurement is a limiting factor in shared value settings; leveraging existing measurement information can help minimize the costs associated with a given scope of shared value measurement. In addition, there are opportunities to expand and increase the efficiency of existing measurement approaches, given the changes currently ongoing in health systems (e.g., expansion of universal health coverage, role of food companies, development of information technologies).

Moving forward, the group discussions suggested two main areas for further research:

  • First, companies need to better understand how they can leverage existing measurement resources for shared value measurement;

  • Second, companies need to consider their external, societal audiences in different shared value settings, and assess the implications that the concerns and needs of these audiences create for shared value measurement.

Later this year and through 2014, FSG will further engage with the group of corporate representatives as well as external stakeholders from the social sector to explore the above learning agenda with a view to providing companies with a navigational tool (sample metrics, methodologies, and catalogue of resources) for measurement of shared value for health solutions.

Do you have ongoing shared value initiatives involving health solutions? Have you developed or have you considered developing a measurement approach to capture the social and business value creation from these projects? We’d love to hear from you!

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