Innovation and Impact Newsletter - August 2020

Speeches Shim

USAID: From the American People
Join Global Health on Facebook Icon
Follow CII on Twitter Icon
Innovation and Impact E-newsletter from the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact. USAID Global Health

August 2020



Digital Health: Planning National Systems Board Game is an Academic Hit at Harvard

Photo of a board game

CII Senior Digital Health Advisor Merrick Schaefer was a guest lecturer in the Harvard Medical School and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health course Management Practices in Health Care Delivery for mid-career global health professionals. Modifying the board game he designed as part of the WHO/ITU course Digital Health: Planning National Systems (developed through the Digital Square project with USAID support), Merrick modeled the scenario of public health leaders investing in Digital Health systems for an equitable and effective national COVID-19 vaccine program. All 37 students played the game simultaneously and virtually. His lecture was the highest reviewed class of the entire program!


Innovation Icon Innovation

World Mosquito Program (WMP) was named as one of six finalists with “bold solutions to critical social challenges” in 100&Change, MacArthur's global competition for a single $100 million grant. In 2016, WMP was one of the winning innovators for the Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge for Development. WMP developed a technique which uses Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to block disease transmission by mosquitoes that carry Zika, Dengue and other diseases. This approach can be self- sustaining for up to 8 years, often resulting in elimination of local transmission. WMP is currently operating in 12 countries.

World Mosquito Program logo
100&Change Finalists logo

Digital Health icon. Innovation

Global Health Technologies Coalition and Global Health Council Feature CII Innovators

The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) and Global Health Council both published a blog post titled USAID innovators poised to take on today's grandest global health challenge with an accompanying video, which highlights innovators CII has supported who are now applying their innovations and skill sets to COVID-19 use cases. This blog post focuses on four Grand Challenge innovators: DripAssist, an infusion rate monitor from ShiftLabs; Highlight, a disinfectant powder from Kinnos; Simprints, a biometric identification for disease surveillance; and a low-cost COVID-19 diagnostic test in development by Rice University (who had previously won Grand Challenge awards for the Pumani bubble CPAP).

Global Health Technologies Coalition logo
Global Health Council logo


CII’s Acting Director Amy Lin presented findings from CII’s Unleashing Private Capital for Global Health Innovation report during a healthcare financing session hosted by the Business Council for the UN (BCUN), Pfizer, and the Global Development Incubator. This session was moderated by the Center for Global Development (CGD) for the UN High-Level Political Forum. The session brought together private and social sector leaders and UN officials to discuss gaps in healthcare financing and a pathway for more creative blended finance models. Market Access expert, Monisha Ashok, also presented CII’s work on innovative and blended financing to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). There were nearly 100 participants and strong interest and questions on CII’s Utkrisht Development Impact Bond, plans for a Private Capital Fund, and other innovative finance models.

High-Level Political Forum logo
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation logo

Digital Health icon. INNOVATION

Saving Lives at Birth Final Evaluation Report and Forum

On July 22, the Duke University Innovations in Healthcare team held a digital forum on The Future of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Innovation. Key speakers included Merck for Mothers Executive Director Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Laerdal Foundation Executive Director Tore Laerdal, and EGPAF Uganda Country Director Dr. Edward Bitarakwate, among other experts. The forum highlighted the findings from the Saving Lives at Birth Final Evaluation Report. CII Senior Advisor Meghan Majorowski led a panel of MNCH stakeholders-- including other donors, innovators, med-device companies, and NGOs/accelerators-- in a discussion of the evaluation’s implications for the innovation community.

Evaluating Saving Lives At Birth report cover


The Aspen Institute
Innovators In___: A Virtual Exchange of Ideas
August 19, 2020

DS-I Africa Virtual Forum
DS-I Africa virtual symposium 
August 10-13, 2020

Partnerships for COVID-19 in Africa
AHBS Webinar Series Brochure [PDF, 1.7MB]
Every Friday from July 17th - August 14th

Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
Strategies to Support the COVID-19 Response in LMICs
Aug 6, 13, 20, 27, 2020


broadcast bars News

The Guardian
Fighting for breath: how the medical oxygen industry is failing African hospitals
August 10, 2020

The Atlantic
The Pandemic Experts Are Not Okay
July 7, 2020

Lancet Global Health
Early estimates of the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and child mortality in low-income and middle-income countries: a modelling study
July, 2020



Photo of Margaret Melville

Margaret Melville: Graduate Innovation and Scale-Up Intern

Margaret joins CII prior to starting her MBA program at INSEAD in France. Previously, she was part of launching an impact investing fund, worked as a management consultant, and co-founded a social venture designing medical devices for LMICs. Margaret graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Management and a minor in Women’s Studies. In her spare time, Margaret loves being outdoors and runs a public speaking class for refugee youth in her community.

Read the full interview [PDF, 733KB].

Photo of Mila Dorji

Mila Dorji: Graduate Innovation and Scale-Up Intern

Mila joined CII after graduating from Yale College. He holds a degree in Neuroscience and Global Health and is currently on a temporary leave of absence from his MPH program in Healthcare Management at the Yale School of Public Health. Mila’s past experiences include authoring Big Data neuroscience research and heading a multilateral project to improve prehospital emergency medical care in Bhutan. In his free time, Mila enjoys surfing, freediving, and backpacking.

Read the full interview [PDF, 540KB].

Photo of Beata Corcoran

Beata Corcoran: Undergraduate Innovation and Scale-Up Intern

Beata joins CII as a rising junior at Princeton University where she is obtaining a degree in Medical Anthropology as well as certificates in Global Health Policy and African Studies. On campus, she works as a SHARE peer supporting survivors of interpersonal violence and volunteers as a rowing coach for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Prior to working at CII, she worked in a township in Cape Town, South Africa focusing on maternal and child health initiatives alongside community health workers. She has also been the recipient of multiple research grants to support the experiences of and give platforms to impoverished women in Southern Africa. In her free time, Beata loves playing guitar, scuba diving and cliff jumping.

Read the full interview [PDF, 200KB].


USAID's Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) takes a business-minded approach to fast-tracking the development, introduction and scale-up of health interventions that address the world's most important health challenges. CII invests seed capital in the most promising ideas and novel approaches, using forward-looking business practices to cut the time it takes to transform discoveries in the lab to impact on the ground.

Learn more