PLoS One 16 (7) e0254495 [2021-07-20; online 2021-07-20]
The global Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic exposed the weakness of healthcare systems including laboratory systems and is a call to action for unprecedented collaboration and partnerships to deal with the global crisis. The United States (U.S.) President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) establishes the global HIV/AIDS treatment agenda in alignment with the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets to achieve epidemic control related to enhanced testing, treatment, and viral suppression. A strategic PEPFAR priority area recognizes that large-scale collective efforts and sharing of resources bear greater potential impact for lasting change than any single organization or entity can achieve alone. An important vehicle utilized within the global public health context is the public-private partnership (PPP) model whereby multiple international organizations forge unified project charters to collectively reach mutually agreed goals. While touted as an ideal mechanism to synthesize resources and maximize gain in numerous applications, little is known from a seasoned stakeholder perspective regarding PPP implementation and sustainability issues. The purpose of this research is to holistically examine perceptions of PPP model sustainability related to inputs and impacts among a collective network of stakeholders experienced with PEPFAR workforce development, laboratory-system strengthening project implementation. Interviews were conducted with frontline stakeholders from public and private sector organizations based in the US and select PEPFAR-supported priority countries. Analysis revealed three dominant themes: PPP impacts, keys of successful collaboration, and logistical challenges and opportunities to enhance sustainability of PPP outcomes in the future.