Change-making Product Development Partnerships: investment opportunities

Stakeholder Insights

  • Evaluated outcome, outputs and impact of Australia’s $40 million investment in the leading Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) in infectious diseases
  • Mapped product portfolios of medicines and technologies of PDPs across the innovation life cycle
  • Identified value for money of the investment
  • Identified opportunities for maximum impact for future DFAT’s investment with a focus on Asia-Pacific


We were commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to develop an evaluation of Australia’s successful $40 million investment in Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) from 2013 to 2018 and recommend options for impactful DFAT investments in the future. Specific focus was on PDPs which represent the leading therapeutics and diagnostics PDPs in the tuberculosis (TB) and malaria space globally, with FIND involved in other disease areas as well. PDPs included were the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for the development of better diagnostic tools and tests for TB and malaria; Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) for the development of antimalarial medicines; and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) for the development of new TB drugs and regimens including for drug-resistant TB.

Evaluation findings were then used to guide and design DFAT’s future PDP investment strategy by applying a broader health and development lens. Evaluation methodology involved mapping and triangulation of data from a literature review, document review, website review and key informant interviews with over 20 individual key informants identified across four stakeholder groups relevant to PDPs – donors, Australian researchers, industry and all key PDP’s representatives. Key criteria for the mapping and evaluation included PDP’s performance in meeting investment outputs and outcomes and an assessment of the investment according to the Australian Aid Policy’s four investment tests of pursuing national interest and extending Australia’s influence; impact on promoting growth and reducing poverty; Australia’s value-add and leverage (including working with Australian research institutions); and making performance count. These tests include the goals of the Health for Development Strategy which sit under the Australian Aid Policy and align well with DFAT’s new Regional Health Security Initiative. Standard OECD DAC evaluation criteria including relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability were also assessed in addition to governance.

This project was a collaboration with Antara Global Health and the Specialist Health Service (SHS) managed by Abt Associates Pty Ltd. The report Final Evaluation of Australia’s investment in Product Development Partnerships (2013-2018) is available (Click here to view).

Information gathered through the Smart Map process and evaluation is proprietary and was used for the development of recommendations to DFAT. The final report is publicly available.
Access and uptake of PDP's products remain a critical question. Their impact is limited until access is incentivized and delivered through partnerships.
Barbara Bulc and Rohit Ramchandani, Co-leads of the evaluation