Analysis of a unique global public-private partnership to promote oral health

Authors

  • Cynthia M. Pine,

    1. Centre for Social Justice Research, College of Health and Social Care, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK
    2. Director: WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Oral Health in Deprived Communities, University of Liverpool, England, UK.
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  • Lindsey Dugdill

    1. Centre for Social Justice Research, College of Health and Social Care, University of Salford, Greater Manchester, England, UK
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Abstract

Partnerships for health promotion are between two or more partners to work co-operatively towards a set of shared health outcomes; few public-private partnerships in oral health promotion have been established.

Aim:  To undertake a detailed analysis of a unique global public-private partnership to promote oral health between a global company, Unilever and the Féderation Dentaire International (FDI), a membership organisation representing more than one million dentists worldwide.

Methods:  Qualitative and quantitative, including: collating and analysing a wide range of partnership documents (n = 164); reviewing film and pictorial records; undertaking structured interviews (n = 34) with people who had a critical role in establishing and delivering the aims of the partnership, and external experts; and site visits to selected global projects active at the time of the evaluation.

Results:  Over 1 million people have been reached directly through their engagement with 39 projects in 36 countries; an oral health message about the benefits of twice daily tooth brushing has appeared with the authority of the FDI logo on billions of packs of Unilever Oral Care’s toothpastes worldwide; many individual members of National Dental Associations have participated in health promotion activities within their communities for the first time; some organisational challenges during the development and delivery of the partnership were recognised by both partners.

Conclusions:  The first phase of this unique global partnership has been successful in making major progress towards achieving its goals; lessons learned have ensured that the next phase of the partnership has significant potential to contribute to improving oral health globally.

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