Name of Lead Author: Jean-Francois de Lavison
Organization: Ahimsa Partners - Ahimsa Fund
Country: France


This initiative is of great interest to me, as I am convinced that it is through establishing new models and new approaches, without dismissing the value of previous models, that we will succeed in improving the situation regarding universal access to healthcare, if everyone makes a contribution. We need a global partnership, headed by a veritable leadership structure to oversee its operations. My varied and international experience has led me to conclude that we have all the assets necessary to improve the situation, but that it is only through a determination to work together in a different manner that we will achieve this goal. I have more than 35 years of experience in public health and 29 years in the vaccines and diagnostics industry (, where I was responsible for international development and relations with major international bodies. I also have five years of experience in the world of foundations, as Treasurer of Fondation Mérieux (, and six years in the humanitarian sector, as President of Institut Bioforce Développement (

Having spent many years working with businesses, foundations and humanitarian organizations, I created Ahimsa Partners with a view to providing support to major players in global public health (e.g. WHO, Global Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, FIND, WHO/TDR) by implementing innovative models to help to reduce the disparity between the world's richest and most impoverished populations. I thus created Ahimsa Fund, in late 2012, in order to establish holistic healthcare projects (prevention, diagnostics, treatment, monitoring) in the field (e.g. prevention of infectious diseases in Brazil, HPV prevention in Burundi, prevention for women and children in India, immunization in the Philippines, mobile medical camps in Nepal). Ahimsa Fund also organizes numerous forums for discussion on the subject of universal access to healthcare for the entire global population ( -


My professional involvement in the private sector, as well as with foundations and humanitarian organizations, means that I am familiar with the global public health community and have significant networking opportunities therein.

I have developed this expertise through various projects and my experience with:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
- Foster a business environment that promotes the sale, distribution, support and training in point-of-care (POC) solutions.
- Develop business standards and best practices focused on the delivery of POC diagnostics in the developing world.

- An external working group (EWG) was convened on October 4-6, 2011, by the World Health Organization (WHO), to review the scope and effectiveness of WHO prequalification programs for medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and devices for immunization and reproductive health. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis was put forward to identify successes and issues, as well as key challenges and opportunities for resolution.

- Consultation to provide guidance on the design of market entry solutions to support UNITAID point-of-care market entry activities.

WHO/TDR: On social innovation.
- In the past few decades, great progress has been achieved through innovation in medicines, devices and vaccines, but we have neglected to innovate in the delivery process. The Sustainable Development Goals call for a new healthcare paradigm that includes social, environmental and economic factors. The objective is to integrate healthcare delivery solutions and the social innovation approach in health system policies and practices, through three areas: research, practice and influence.

We need to develop a strong public private partnership (PPP), engaging the main stakeholders, in order to obtain strong commitments from governments and scale-up and implement successful initiatives. We will need to have impact on policy coherence, by developing and leading an efficient PPP. Leadership will be key if we are to have a real and effective impact on public health. We will need to evaluate and monitor this impact and work with existing organizations on this issue.

If successful, this initiative would have a direct impact on human rights and on the SDGs, with very real results. We propose to engage young people. We are committed to transmitting and to using the international network of committed young people so as to engage them on the project, and in the implementation and follow-up of the various phases. We will need to assess the feasibility of new models to be delivered to global health constituents in order to deliver real results. These models may foster competition and innovation among diagnostic providers. We will have to assess what financial incentives can be put in place or redirected to facilitate these new models, with the objective of reaching more constituents. We will need to devise new models that are appropriate for low- and middle-income countries. A project of this kind will have to consider new business models and new financial incentives. We will need to create a new approach to leverage financial resources and expertise, and develop new partnerships among the main healthcare stakeholders. The intention will be to establish new and innovative models providing cost-effective solutions for the developing world, while simultaneously offering increased opportunities for participants to achieve an acceptable return on investment.

Ahimsa’s experience of the private sector, with the international network of foundations and in the humanitarian field, provides a strong network and useful expertise in this area. Likewise, its experience with the main global health partnerships (Stop TB, UNAIDS, Roll Back Malaria, and the Global Fund private sector constituency) will be an advantage, as will Ahimsa’s current position in the field of global health. Coordination and leadership in a multi-cultural environment, two important skills that are currently lacking, will be key in the success of such an initiative. Due to its expertise and engagement in the field of global health, Ahimsa can make an important contribution to such an initiative.

Bibliography and References

Over 35 years of international experience in the field of global health Jean-François worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 29 years, holding various several international positions and participating in the Merieux Group’s international expansion in Europe, Asia, the Middle-East, Africa and Latin America. He was appointed Corporate Vice President of the holding company, Institut Mérieux, in charge of Global Health and International Affairs. During the same period, he was Treasurer of Fondation Mérieux. He has been elected President of the European Diagnostic Manufacturers Association (EDMA), the organization that represents the European in vitro diagnostics industry on a worldwide level.

Through his extensive international experience in both developed and developing countries, Jean-François has acquired unique skills in the field of global health. His strong commitment to providing a response to the urgent needs of emerging countries prompted to the launch of Ahimsa Partners in January 2010. Through innovative business and financial models, and collaboration with new generations of leaders, Ahimsa Partners proposes innovative partnerships in the field of global health. Ahimsa Partners’ objective is to engage the various stakeholders in the global health landscape (private and public sectors, international organizations, foundations, NGOs, etc.) in order to establish innovative initiatives throughout the world. (
Jean-François is the founder and President of Ahimsa Fund (, a non-profit organization (endowment fund) whose objective is to make good health contagious. Ahimsa Fund focuses on the world’s most underprivileged populations and develops realistic, innovative, cost-effective and replicable public health initiatives with the objective of empowering the local population.

For eight years, Jean-François has been the acting President of Bioforce Institute, a human resources management organization for international aid that works with NGOs and trains over 350 students on humanitarian actions every year. In addition, Jean-François is involved in many projects with top-tier international business schools (Hong Kong University, Georgetown University, INSEAD, HEC, EM Lyon, BRAC University), relating to the bottom of the worldwide population pyramid and social business. He teaches Business Ethics at HEC in collaboration with a Benedictine monk. Recently, Jean-François de Lavison has contributed to various reports:

- The Business of Health in Africa: Partnering with the Private Sector to Improve People’s Lives (International Finance Corporation, in collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation),
- Tackling Tuberculosis: The Business Response (World Economic Forum / Harvard School of Public Health),
- Diagnostics as essential tools for containing antibacterial resistance (Uppsala, Sweden),
- The Race Against Drug Resistance (Center for Global Development),
- A proposal for pay-for-success prizes for milestone-based incentives (BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH),
- Prizes for Global Health Technologies (Center for Global Health).

Contributions to various conferences:

- Ahimsa RoundTable Forum: June 2013:Global Health and Faith based communities:
- Ahimsa RoundTable Forum June 2015:Global Health and Faith inspired communities:
- Fondation Pierre Fabre: “Santé Publique dans les pays du Sud : le rôle de la France ».
- WHO :Global Consultation on Interoperability Diagnostics Standards :
- Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference: