Accepted paper:

Evaluation of a public-private health partnership in Benin: an ethnographic case study


Marie Schnitzler (University of Western Brittany)

Paper short abstract:

Through an ethnographic case study, I try to understand how the status of a hospital under private management might influence its organization and its use by clients. The research leads to a better understanding of private centers as well as a comparison between private and public health sectors.

Paper long abstract:

While private clinics are generally recognized as important care givers in current African cities, the sector remains under-studied in the social sciences. The research for my master thesis focused on the creation of a hospital anchored to a public-private partnership including the World Bank, the Beninese Health Ministry and a private non-governmental association. The main purpose of my enquiry is to understand how the status of this hospital influences (or not) its organization and its use by clients. Therefore, I firstly analyze the emergence and the diversity of the Beninese private health sector as well as the connotations of the notion of public-private partnership. These two points help to understand the particular context of creation of the studied public-private partnership and how it was imposed to the Ministry by the World Bank. Secondly, my research shows how the creation is nowadays read in different ways by the various actors in order to claim their rights on the management of the hospital. Thirdly, focusing on collaboration between the different categories of workers and their relationships with clients, I describe formal and informal organization of this private hospital. This part underlines the particularities of private direction in comparison with well-known studies of public centers. Using these data, I also try to understand why clients come to this specific hospital. I argue that status is not as important in their choice.

panel P129
Health and governance in sub-Saharan Africa