To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

VillageReach: innovating for improved health care at the “last mile”

Cynthia Schweer Rayner (Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa)
Camilla Thorogood (University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business - Breakwater Campus, Cape Town, South Africa)
Francois Bonnici (University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business - Breakwater Campus, Cape Town, South Africa)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 23 November 2020


Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are to understand the definition of public value and the strategic drivers behind public value creation, understand the nature of social innovation in the public sector, identify the critical opportunities and challenges involved in sustaining innovation in the public sector and identify the role that non-profit organizations can play in supporting and sustaining social innovation.

Case overview/synopsis

This case puts participants in the shoes of a global health innovator’s leadership team as the organization approaches a funding crisis. The organization, VillageReach, is on a quest to expand across the public health system of Mozambique and experiences a funding dilemma. The case reveals the challenges of working with governments to achieve large-scale, systemic change. It explores the conundrum of using international donor funding to embed new practices in government service delivery. Ultimately, it asks participants to choose between the pursuit of new, small-scale innovative projects and the large-scale rollout of a national programme.

Complexity academic level

This teaching case is written for courses focused on social entrepreneurship, social innovation and social change. It can also be used in courses focused on non-profit management and public sector innovation. Specifically, the teaching case is suitable for two audiences: social enterprise and non-profit managers focused on strategy, development and operations (the case focuses on an enterprise that relies primarily on donor funding) and health-care managers and administrators. Generally, the case is suitable for undergraduates in their final year of study as well as graduate-level business and public administration courses, including MBA, MPH, MPA, EMBA and Executive Education courses.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



Schweer Rayner, C., Thorogood, C. and Bonnici, F. (2020), "VillageReach: innovating for improved health care at the “last mile”", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 10 No. 4.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles