DKT employs entrepreneurial strategies to deliver health impact, including an embrace of innovation and risk-taking. A number of factors contribute to DKT’s entrepreneurial approach:
Belief in the power of the private sector: While acknowledging the important role of the public sector and civic organizations, DKT focuses on the private sector, working with a wide range of partners to deliver a positive impact on sexual and reproductive health. This approach delivers concrete results at scale in an efficient and highly cost-effective manner.
Financial sustainability: Depending on the per capita income of a given country, DKT is able to charge prices that cover the cost of goods or even provide a modest profit to reinvest in local programs or globally. This allows for both cost recovery and financial sustainability. Globally, approximately 70% of DKT’s operating costs are covered by sales revenue. DKT’s average cost per couple year of protection is less than $2.
Cross-subsidization: Within programs, DKT often sells both a low-cost and higher-cost contraceptive, using the revenue from the more expensive brands to subsidize the cost of the lower-priced option. DKT invests surplus revenue from its more profitable programs into programs in poorer countries. Several programs, such as Brazil, Mexico, Philippines and Indonesia, are fully sustainable.
Low overhead cost: DKT spends less than 2% of total operating expenses on headquarters costs, with only 0.2% going towards fundraising expenses. Precious donor resources are used where they have the greatest impact — education, outreach and demand creation.
Decentralization: DKT’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. includes a small team that focuses on broad strategy and financial oversight. Technical support, procurement and other functions are fully delegated to field offices. Country teams are given substantial autonomy, which allows field offices to make decisions quickly, explore timely opportunities and develop culturally-appropriate programming.
Acceptance of risk: DKT encourages reasonable risk taken in the pursuit of innovation and advancing our mission.
Rigorous measurement: Every program is rigorously and transparently measured by key reproductive health metrics including couple years of protection, changes in contraceptive prevalence and maternal mortality. We make our results public for greater accountability. DKT also publishes its Contraceptive Social Marketing Statistics annually.